Saturday 19 November 2016

No Hooded Duck so on towards Edinburgh,Than... Oh Forget It!!!

Friday 18th November Light SW

Cold and sunny, 2 to 4C

I await news on the hooded merganser. By 10:30 a.m. I decide that I need to move on and head off towards Edinburgh. It is wonderful to be cycling with alight breeze behind me and with the sun shining. Snow tops the hill a north of the Forth and everything feels good; better than things have felt since leaving Orkney.

Through Bouness and the first push of the day up a hill, a text from George Gay is quickly followed by one from The Oracle, Phil Andrews:
It's back!
A decision to make. Do I turn around and go for it?
I text Phil:
Forget it. I am half way to Edinburgh.
I know that for the first time in a week I am feeling OK, just. I say just because I know I am very close to the edge both physically and mentally. I am constantly tired and my head is feeling very tense. There is the thought that soon I will see my family again. My daughter, Rebecca lives in Newcastle, 160 miles away and I am heading that way.
There have been times in my life when things thrown at me have caused stress problems and my decision to continue towards Edinburgh relaxes me.

The ride from Bouness is beautiful with views along the Firth of Forth and a relatively easy road.
I am surprised when I reach Queensferry and I spend some time photographing the three fascinating bridges from the small quay. To the east is the rusty red rail bridge. To the west the old suspension bridge and beyond that the almost completed new road bridge.

Cycle paths, convoluted and with confusing signposts that have distance to city centre numbers that would provide physics students with motion parallax problems; 7 miles, 5 miles, 6 miles, 7 miles . . . . I have cycled two miles but I am still seven miles from the City Centre. This becomes funny and looking at all the signs one has the feeling that the people who put them up were having a laugh at cyclists' expense.

Great to be in a hostel in Edinburgh; in fact it is called The Hostel. Adam, the manager couldn't have been nicer or more helpful and Helen, also behind the reception counter, is a biologist with experience of butterfly surveying in Mexico. Both are wonderful characters and a pleasure to meet.
As are the French couple from Nice. With all emails, Facebook names and blogs are swopped for possible future meetings in Peru.

28.17 miles 1659 feet elevation up 1562 down

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are, very sensibly, being a bit kind to yourself Gary. If you ever had, you certainly have nothing left to prove this year. Also at a fiver a bird I could stand you resting on your laurels! Hope you have a safe journey to meet up with your daughter.


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