Two: Bonnie Scotland (near Girvin to near Pebble). - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

June 5, 2013

Two: Bonnie Scotland (near Girvin to near Pebble).

When I looked, the place on the wooded hill where I'd camped had been a small gravel quarry once. Now overgrown in yellow gorse and tree saplings. But underneath the clover in the clearing where I'd placed my tent, it was pure gravel which made it difficult getting tent-pegs in. I bent one.

I squealed the brake down the steep track to the road. The watch showed 6.44 as I rode through the narrow gap at the side of the barrier and out on the asphalt where I suddenly found the granny-ring gear I'd used riding up the track the evening before ridiculous small, so changed up on the middle ring and progressed down the cassette as I continued along the tree shaded road.

The wooded slope on my left soon gave way to fields of sheep and I could hear the shuffle of a train passing as the little road Is on bridged the rail-lines, or was bridged, the road meandering either side of the straight line. Across a hawthorn hedge I saw five goats and a small number of lambs shattered on a hillock, making me wonder how my own goats which I found a new home for before coming away, were liking their new keeper. Without a doubt, Molly will have taken to whoever entered the field with a meal bag on the first day, and Daisy and the kids will've followed suit.

The goats suddenly took to a gallop, over to their field-shelter by the fence. Once there they began sparing, and I put the bike up on the verge and went in close to the fence to take a photograph.

Working Goats: now I know the meaning of Nanny Goat, as these goats are used to foster pet lambs.
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A farmer's pickup truck enclosed at the rear for carrying sheep slowed to a halt. "Hei ye doin" said the rosy cheeked young man behind the wheel. I said he'd a lot of goats. "They nay mine. They'r may bra-thers' enterpre-se. For fostering pet lambs" he said then pointed to two billy goats behind the fence in the field opposite, "they'r he-is too."

Billy Goats.
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The first town I reached was Maybole and Is back on the busy A road, so I turned left on the way out, on a road with "B741, Stratton 9 miles" on the signpost. This led through tranquil pastureland with rough grazing hilltops and pine-plantation on the right.

The B741.
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Stock pen and local opposition to wind-turbines.
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Free Range Eggs down a tree-shaded drive.
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The B741 climbs and crosses an open moor; looks much like northern Uruquay or extreme south of Brazil.
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Through Stratton, thence steeply up, then over a cattle-grid and out upon open brown moorland for miles ahead before descending down to green valley again; I'd reached New Cumnock. I couldn't resist passing a bakery. It was half ten the usual time for a break. The bakery was at the end of a terrace with a mural on the gable wall, and in the space was a kind of heritage park with benches were I sat. In the middle of this little park was a memorial statue of Robert Burns. I know he came from a little place south of Glasgow; Is thinking this is the place.

Memorial to Scotlands' national poet Robert Burns and wall mural in Cumnock.
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I'd a few miles riding south on a busy A road towards Dumfries, then I got off, turning onto a B road with the wonderfully named, Crawfordjohn, 13 miles on the sign.

Lucky it's Green.
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From leafy valley, the road climbed again towards a barrage of hills, but then descended steeply into a narrow valley, which I could see pass through the hills. A small river meandered through the flat sheep pasture on the right and there were near vertical grassy slopes either side. It was gradually up through the valley until crossing a crest, then a sweep down and a few miles more to Crawfordjohn in a wide bleak plain.

Sheep on the B740 towards Crawfordjohn.
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Crawfordjohn four miles.
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Crawfordjohn.
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I headed for Abington, which wasn't a town but a motorway services. I could see the straight line with trucks moving along in both directions a while before getting there. Is hungry again but resisted riding down to the big Shell shop at the roundabout, instead I turned towards Biggar, another A road with fast traffic through the Clyde Valley.

Overhead power lines.
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The motorway M77 cuts a swath through the Southern Uplands. Glasgow to the left: The South, right.
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In a Salnsburys Local in Biggar high Street, I spent a long time browsing, thinking what'll I buy. I still had pasta and sauce from the day before, so I bough some veg to go with it, croissants from the bakery and biscuits. Is tired and after the girl on the check-out scanned the items I wasn't listening when she said "have you a Sainsburys Club Card?"

Five thirty in Biggar.
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Onwards I soon got off the A road and onto a B road. Is looking for a forest to camp, but most were private woods, one even had two electrify strands topping a netting fence. But eventually I came to a government owned forest with an access road up through.

I say Plough, Americans say Plow.
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Final rest.
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Today's ride: 136 km (84 miles)
Total: 253 km (157 miles)

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