Monday, August 29, 2011

Cycling - Hawkshead to Thirn

Day 4 of cycling ~ 72 mile day, 253 total.

Today was another longer mileage day.  Starting in Hawkshead we took the ferry across Lake Windermere  and headed straight east for the Yorkshire Dales.  The hills coming out of the Lake District were about as large as any I'd want to ride on a bike.  I thought to myself, "if the hills in the Yorkshire Dales are anything like this...I'm in trouble," because I knew we were destined to go through the Dales in a single day.  Fortunately they weren't anything near as hard as the ones coming out of the Lake District.

Ferry across Lake Windermere

The Yorkshire Dales

Lots of narrow bridges

First blue sky we've seen all trip!!!

These sheep seemed to think we were going to feed them and came flying across the field bleating at us. They stopped about this far away when they realised we weren't the farmers they thought we were.

Classic telephone booth.

Pretty bridge for railroad tracks.  

Coming out of the Yorkshire Dales we must have hit some sort of tailwind or something because we started making great time.  Most of the day seemed to take a while, and we took a couple wrong turns off of cycle routes, but nothing disastrous (at least in hindsight).  We had thought we were going to arrive late in Thirn, but ended up getting there about when we had originally planned, even after some detours. Lots of 17 to 20% gradients through the course of the day, but the east end of the Yorkshire Dales was flat in comparison.  The countryside near Thirn was a walk in the park compared to what we had been doing.

Family we stayed with in Thirn.

So here's the story with the family we stayed with in Thirn.  Another contact through couchsurfers.  This time the chap who set us up was actually in somewhere in South America.  I think Montevideo, Uruguay.  But he still offers up his mom's backyard for us.  His mom didn't know we were coming until we knocked on the door - hadn't checked her email yet.  At least his sister had seen the email before we arrived, just hadn't relayed the message to her.  Still very happy to lend us their yard, as well as a huge portion of lasagne, chips, strawberries and cream, and tea.  Their main business was breeding labradors for grouse hunting.  Nice family & quality breeders... not some puppy mill, but people who really cared about the dogs they raised and who they ended up going to.  Met a very sweet blind lab who they had kept.  Lots of friendly dogs on this trip.

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