A later start, we shopped at Booths for fresh bread and other breakfast and picnic provisions so didn’t leave until 09:45. Wayfarers is a great hostel, they even had a track pump and tools for cyclists. Had we not booked all our accommodation ahead, we’d have stayed two nights here as we were in need of a rest. I felt sluggish today, the legs were reluctant to climb the hilly 48 miles ahead of us.
It was a dry but mainly overcast day with just a few sunny spells and that stiff westerly again. We ate on a bench in Brampton and a few miles further called in on the cafe at Lanercost Priory. The roads were very quiet, some fast stretches where momentum got us up the next rise and some twisty steep narrow lanes. One long road leading to Bewcastle had a “Road Ahead Closed” sign. Normally cyclists can get through but what if there’s a collapsed bridge and we have to backtrack miles and find an alternative? After several miles we encountered a half barrier with a “Road Closed ” sign and continued without problems to Bewcastle. It appeared that the council had been patching up the road but hadn’t removed the signs.
We reached the Grapes Hotel at 17:40, stashed our bikes in their shed and considered dinner options, opting for a vegetable frittata at the next door hotel, which also offered Carlisle Citadel and Sam Smiths bitter. I tried both, the Yorkshire ale was of course the better.
Today’s distance: 48 miles (77.2 km)
Today’s ascent: 1400 metres
Cumulative: 655.2 miles (1054.8 km), 12386 metres