It’s 11pm and the sun is still setting in the Highlands of Scotland.
A few days ago I made it to Edinburgh after 3 days on my bike, for the first time ever. I’m stoked about my trip even though I have to confess, I cheated. After 80km on the second day through the Scottish hills, I was quite worn out. It was a real ‘learning by doing’ kind of feeling as I probably should have taken it easy the first days as the most challenging bit was waiting for me between Hawick and Edinburgh.
I woke up early and felt I was more keen for a hot chocolate in bed and a sleep in rather than a full
English Scottish breakfast. My body ached from biking but mostly from a cold I caught and I already knew it would be a tough day.
I head off in the morning, again on a hot sunny day. I was pretty much ready for anything to happen/go wrong except for one: sunny hot weather. It’s Scotland we’re talking about it. Thermals and goretex jacket remained nicely packed in their panniers though as it was sunny and 25+ degrees… I even got sunburn!
As expected, the first hill felt like a high altitude summit attempt. The first hour always is the toughest whether I hike, climb or bike, so I ignored the pain and convinced myself it would get better (at least tried). The ride in the countryside was so lovely that it made up for how exhausted I felt anyway.
But at some point I had to face reality, I didn’t have the energy for another 80km day. After 30km, I ended up jumping into a train to Edinburgh. That way, I’d be on time for l’apero as my friends that I hadn’t seen in 2+ years were waiting for me at the pub.
Some things just come first in life 🙂
How lovely is the Scottish countryside?
I am very happy about my first cycling trip and feel I’ve learnt a lot from it. I know a little more what to expect for the upcoming one.
1 – Plan at least a little bit (routes and where to sleep). I am ridiculously
adventurous unprepared, a bit more planning ahead would allow me to enjoy more the non riding time.
2 – Do not underestimate the saddle (new one on the way, hope the Brooks one will break in quickly!)
3 – Less weight, less weight, less weight…hard when you want to combine city visits, cycling, hiking, climbing, photographing, camping…haven’t found the solution yet, open for tips and ideas!
Edinburgh is a pleasant city though pretty touristy, interesting (free) museums and really nice to wander around. I haven’t any rainy day so far, how bizarre!
Coming up next: the Highlands and how good it feels to be in the North of the north again…
The Meadows in Edinburgh
Random street, Edinburgh
Street art, Edinburgh
Up Arthur’s Seat, old volcano overlooking Edinburgh
Would be cool to go climbing there next time!