Tuesday, 12 May 2015

I did it Solway ๐ŸŽถ

Most of the day has been dominated by the Solway Firth, and what gracious domination.
First a little about the Youth Hostel at Cockermouth. I am beginning to think that the YHA should rebrand itself OFHA (Old Farts) I haven't seen a Young Person in any that I have stayed in, and last night was a memorable example. I have changed the names to protect the innocent but we have Mr and Mrs volunteer warden, who must be getting on for 70, he still cycles 10000 miles a year, which he took pleasure in explaining, isn't that far really, it's only 200 miles a week. Yes every week, come rain or shine, snow or hurricane. Then there is motormouth Bob, who is 70+ also a cyclist, and is prepared to tell anyone not sharp enough to get out of the room, all about his travels, his life as a policeman, his lovers and exploits Walter Mitty or not he can bore for not just England but The world. Then there was Gordon the C2C cyclist and Barry who I didn't find out much about because I was too busy ducking verbal broadsides from Bob. They were definitely late 50s so that puts the average age in the hostel last night at about 65. I think it's great.
This is the hostel, which used to be a water mill.
After Cockermouth I hit the sea again at Maryport, a delightful little Cumbrian fishing town
With a superb beach.
Just a little further North at Wigton was this tower that looks as if it's a watchtower. The wind was blowing hard all day, but was particularly strong along this exposed coast
The wind is clearly part of the landscape with trees growing to accommodate it's pressure
Holme Cultram Abbey was just one of the interesting old buildings I came across
A magnificent old church in a tiny village.
New Abbey in Dumfries, but first the border, 
This was taken by one of a lovy young couple who were riding their pedal cycles from Snowdpnia to Fort William. I took one of them and they returned the favour.
I don't think they were planning an event in Gretna Green, does anyone?
Onwards into Scotland. The weather was no better, but somehow being in Scptland makes it all brighter, the road was clear for miles, huge views south over the Solway were magnigicent. There is something special about looking at the satnav to see that the next turn is 15 miles away.
Spomehow I had made a mistake with my final destination. I had programmed TT to a back street in Newton Stewsrt, when I needed to be in Creetown. The two are not too far apart, but it added ten miles to my day.
Creetown is a bit run down. It has a granite mining history, but that is finished
  The hotel has the look of former glory, it's too big for the town. And I'm not sure how it's making money. The food is basic, beer fizzy and the crowd in the bar small. Like many rural areas it's struggling. Will the SNP make a difference?

Here is today's route 

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