After a rough night in the hostel we headed down for breakfast and we were greeted by green eggs and grey baked beans. I decided to give the cooked breakfast a miss and stick the coco pops and warm milk followed by cold toast…. Oh yes I kid you not.
We still had not paid for the room and we had very little intention in reminding them about our unsettled tab especially as I was so annoyed about the room and the price of it and my head was still hurting. Or that could have just been a headache from Jane reminding me about the hills that lay ahead of us.
On a side note for the day, I don’t actually mind the hills as there tends to be nothing bad at the top of any hill as at the very least you get a nice long and normally fast run down the other side along with stunning scenery so I get quite excited about the prospect of what lies ahead. Where as Jane just moans about them which is one of the reasons why I storm off on the hills so i don’t have to listen to her question why someone would put a hill in front of her…..
We headed up to our prison cell to get our things together and we discussed whether we should pay, if it was a private individual then there would be no question about it but seeing as it was a big company that clearly didn’t care we decided to not remind them.
We left Kielder Forest Youth Hostel and pushed on up and down the hills and we came across the Kielder Bird of Prey centre and I was well up for checking it out but when we got there we were about an hour early before it opened and we just couldn’t justify losing a couple of hours of our day.
The plan for the day was to get to Penrith as this was about as near to the Lake District as we could get without getting stuck with the tourist bits and was hopefully going to get some of our ever increasing costs down.
By 13:00 we had managed to get a solid three hours in the saddle and that is not too bad going as I normally have to fix one of Jane’s many punctures as she seems to be attracted to broken glass. We got to Haydon Bridge and decided to stop for lunch in a nice little pub right by the river and with an outside decking which was right in the sunshine especially as the skies were blue and the river was rumbling through nicely.
Jane went in and ordered food and a couple of cokes, I sat outside and put my feet up (naturally) and when Jane finally decided to make an appearance she then wanted to sit inside in a dark and gloomy pub with some of the random locals. I wasn’t to keen on this but anything for a quiet easy life. I got up and somehow I managed to knock over a pint of coke… Jane just yelled and stormed off into the pub to get some fantastic advice on how we should get to Penrith.
We ate our lunch and a couple of the locals told us that the route we were going to take to Penrith was going to be very hilly and that we should go round the outside and stick to the main roads as this would save our legs but it would add ona little bit of miles but it will be easier.
We discussed this while finishing off our drinks and Jane like the idea of not having any hills to climb and so the route was set and we went outside to get our bikes and start peddling again.
Would you believe it that Jane had managed to somehow managed to get another bloody puncture. We were now a couple of hours behind schedule and with the puncture fixed and after yet more advice on how to fix them from locals and how to avoid getting them altogether we were back on our way.
The photo above is a river we stopped by and chatted to a local fisherman who was after salmon
The first problem we had was that the route that the locals said was not the one the sat nav wanted to us to take and this should have rang alarm bells especially when my sat nav said turn left and Jane insisted it was right that we needed to go. We headed up the road which I have to say was still pretty hilly and very boring so I thought I would catch up on my reading.
I opened up an app on my phone and started reading a book that I was already half way through and with one eye on the white line and one on Jane’s bum I was able to read for a long time and get a few chapters under my belt. I was quite relaxed and almost forgot about my aching bum when Jane spotted a cycle path and seeing as a change is as good as a holiday we decided to jump on that and see where it goes.
Well this is where the disaster really started to set in, this cycle path pretty much zig zagged along the bypass that we had been on previously and where the by-pass simply cut through the hills the cycle went up and down them so once again Jane got vocal about the amount of hills.
We got back on the bypass and I once again started reading my book. We were now quite sure that the route the locals had told us was a wind up as we seemed to be making very little progress and Penrith was getting further away. We just had to push on and try and make some ground up.
At last were were only 20 miles away and we decided to phone our friends Pete and Ju for them to start looking for somewhere for us to stay in Penrith and what with Ju leaving to go to Dubai she sounded a little stressed but Ju managed as always to do a cracking job at finding us a nice B&B.
We now had a postcode as to where were going and I estimated we would arrive in about 3 hours time which would bring the time to around 19:00 which wasn’t too late and in time to get some food.
We went through more towns and villages and the hills just kept on coming and I have to say that I was starting to agree with Jane as they never seemed to go down hill and of they did it would be for a split second before you would have to peddle hard again to get up the other side.
We peddled and peddled for hours and and it was 21:30 and we were still over 10 miles away and Jane was getting very annoyed now and was just pretty much moaning and getting frustrated by the amount of miles that not only we had left to do but how many were still left to go.
Our 60 mile day was now slowly approaching 90 miles and we were exhausted.
I decided to phone ahead and tell the lady that owned the B&B that we were running late and that we had know idea how long these last 10 miles were going to take. She was very pleasant and told us to not panic and that just to take our time and be safe. She asked us if we wanted her to order in a Chinese that we could heat up when we got in. I said no as I hate anything that has been reheated.
By now the sun was setting and we were running out not only water but also energy and every few minutes Jane would ask me how far to go. I had to start lying a little to her just so that she felt like she was getting somewhere…. but I then had to start reclaiming the miles back again…lol
Jane was getting very upset and crying about how she couldn’t carry on any further but there was nowhere else for us to stay and the next town was the town we were staying in a few times she litteraly said that she was not going any further and started googling Taxi companies to see of they would pick her up.
I for one was not going to get in a taxi and Jane knew that and we pushed on.
We were now getting very hungry and we had already eaten everything that we carried and all that we had left was a jumbo box of Tic-Tacs and so we had some of freshest breath for cyclist that had cycled near 90 miles however this was not helping the hunger but it kept me busy.
We saw sign for Penrith and we literally jumped for joy and we got a second wind, I decided to take off my sponsored T shirt and get a Hi-vis jacket on as it was now getting dark, we put on our strobe lights and pushed on.
Luckily Penrith was at the bottom of a hill and so at last we started to see why we had been climbing the hill for so long. Our speeds increased and we were belting through Penrith and it made for some exciting cycling and some of the looks of the locals as we nipped past was quite amusing.
I had already realised that our B&B was a bit out of town but I didn’t have teh heart to tell Jane just yet that actually we still had about 4 miles and it was most likely going to be up hill.
We finally arrived at our B&B at 23:00 and we went straight into the pub which by a stroke of luck was part of the B&B and so we didnt stop to look at our room and just walked straight to the bar and got on the beers. Hell did we need that.
The Landlady and B&B owner were the same person so she asked if we wanted food and I pretty much snapped her hand off when she offered a huge bowl of chips…. WIN!!!! We got chatting to the locals and we were soon told that the route we took was stupid at that the way the sat nav said would have been a lot easier and also quicker… perfect.
We decided to carry on drinking and discussed our plans for the following day which I thought would not but a whole lot of cycling.