Riding into History.

After a great sleep at Shore Gate House, Allan and Teresa plied us with coffee, juice, porridge, toast and preserves. We had a delightful conversation with other guests and then prepared for a ride in the rain. We were warned an English drizzle can seem like nothing but will soak you through to the skin.

We have all the gear for rain and expected it to be put to the test but after a few miles (yes, we are measuring in miles here) we were still dry and doing fine. Villages come and go with endless quaint images but soon are difficult to remember differentiating features. The most memorable ones are when we come across a local walking along and engage in a short conversation. As we were exploring the local history in Burgh by Sands a fellow came along and was happy to tell us a condensed version of his life in the Canadian Navy and his life here in Burgh by Sands (Brrroowfbysands spoken quickly with a Scottish flare).

One of our main objectives for the morning was to find a bike shop and have my back tire changed to try and avoid more flat tires. Approaching Carlisle where Scotby Cycles is located I heard a funny sound coming from Cathy’s bike and realized that she now had a flat tire as well. I pumped it up five times as we limped our way into town and shouted a big hallelujah when we saw the cycle shop.

Cathy was not in her ‘happy spot’ so we called Ian (our Pedal Power guy) and he agreed to replace both back tires.

With an hour to kill we did the obvious and went for hot cross buns and coffee. On the way we saw a famous Carlisle institution known all over the world for serving Carr’s Biscuits as well as this sign with the incongruous notion of a Temperance Hall on Church St.

Now we are back in the pedaling business with spanking new tires, renewed energy and miles to go before we sleep. An agricultural view has us perplexed and curious as to the abundant cultivation and use of plastic covered rows. A short distance later we chat with a local farming couple about this sight. They explain that the crop is maize, which will grow up through the biodegradable cover and be used by a local farmer. He has invested over £2 million in a digester which uses the maize as biomass to fuel an electrical power plant.

Our next encounter was with a horse rider who chatted about her life in the area and her horse, Millie.

She recommended a coffee shop just down the road in Brampton. Scones with Cornish clotted cream and jam seemed too good to pass up so with the internal justification that we had pedaled hard today we scarfed them down.

Leaving the town of Brampton puts us for the first time on the actual location of Hadrian’s Wall. The history goes back to 122 AD when Hadrian had the notion he would prevent those Barbaric Scots from ruining the Roman Empire. There was lots to see and lots to read about the history of this area.

Our afternoon ended at the Samson Inn with another delicious pub meal.

We will be steeped in it again tomorrow so here is a gallery of more pictures and plaques with information if anyone cares to dig deeper.

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