Monday, May 28, 2007

Just the hilly bits left then...

Spent a while on the phone and t'interweb this morning with our Ned and Paul who are now in Scotland on the last few days of their Lands End to John o'Groats bike ride.

They spent last night in a cottage just outside Kilmarnock which is just below and to the left of Glasgow on the map above and is in Neds words last night when he rang "a shithole".

Thats the thing with Scotland - its mainly a place of outstanding natural beauty, mainly hilly, sometimes mountainous, often breathtakingly beautiful, a land where the mountains plunge thousands of feet down into deep lakes (lochs), a land of castles and historical conflict and a land that outside of it two main cities is still sparsely populated.

But its also got some shitty little towns where, true to stereotyping, the main occupation of its residents is getting drunk in the absence of anything else to do, such a shitty little one cow town is where they lay their heads last night in a cottage lent to them by a kindly old lady who insisted that she make them a cup of tea - she made them a huge urn of tea and waited until they'd drunk it all and then gave them the keys to the cottage and told them to come back to her house this morning where she'd make their breakfast - they assumed it was her cottage to lend and in any case didn't ask questions.

Today they head for Loch Lomond (marked on map) which is one of the aforementioned beautiful places, some would argue THE most beautiful place in Scotland if not the whole of the UK, a short leg of 45 miles today after yesterdays epic 91 miles whilst trying to find the least shit-iest town to stay in, they rang me with the name of a hotel that they wanted to stay in which is right on the loch itself, I found the telephone number on t'interweb and told them the overnight price, £130 per head, there was a long silence and then Ned asked me to search for some nearby Bed and Breakfast accomodation and text it to him instead, I guess they haven't been staying in the sort of accomodation that I would have chosen had I been mental enough to do the trip with them.

After Loch Lomond its the hilly bits, the bits that us Britons call the "mountains" although if I explained that the highest bit of those hilly bits is only 4400 feet above sea level then we'd hear the laughter from here from Canadians, mid-America and those Europeans for whom The Alps are a backdrop every time they draw back their curtains - final destination the last bit of mainland that you see on that map just above Wick in the top right corner.

They say they are enjoying the ride.

They are madder than I thought.

No comments: