We woke at Dunbar after a rather broken night's sleep on the floor, having found that I had another puncture in my roll at meaning that I needed to get up to inflate it every 2-3 hours!!
Sadly, the Met Office forecasters were spot on...
Whatever plans we made, we were going to get soaked, however with the wind turning from a cross head direction to cross tail during the course of the morning we opted for a slightly leisurely start, including breakfast (bought the night before) at Dunbar RNLI Station.
The good news was that we each had a waterproof jacket this year, having learnt our lesson the hard way last year (8/9 days of heavy rain and strong wind, wearing bin bags...!)
Not only was the weather shocking, but again we were up against some rather dubious route planning by Rad, in additon to some reasonable hills.
As we climbed higher, not only was the rain getting heavier and the wind stronger, but we soon entered the cloud and visibility was down to c. 50m...
In the belting rain we passed a couple heading the other way (down hill) at speed. As we passed them they shouted to ask if we had a bike pump, as they had a slow puncture. We immediately pulled up, and Rad dug out the pump and gave them a helping hand. Having told them what we were doing, we were soon in our way again. Later, once we had returned to London we were sent a very generous donation by the couple towards our RNLI fundraising efforts. Just one of many heart warming moments from the tour.
A brief stop at St Abbs RNLI Station which sadly was due for closure later in the year due to rationalisation, and the small population of the town.
As we climbed out of St Abbs, Rob Martin (an old friend of ours from Rowing at Canford, who is living in the Borders) joined us for a stint of the ride. Our first tag along so far on the tour.... It was great to see Rob and catch up a bit as we cycled through the rain. A short while later we pulled up at Eyemouth RNLI. Absolutely soaked and a little chilled, we had a quick chat with the crew who were doing repairs to the boat, took a photo, and we're off again.
Further south, we pulled into Berwick Upon Tweed for a bite to eat with Rob. A pub had been recommended to us, which (following something of a mishap with a powercut and being unable to cook!) managed to somehow produce a few drinks and some Macaroni to fill us up (a big thanks to Rob for covering this) before we parted from Rob and headed on, in the rain...
Berwick RNLI was just across the estuary, and seemed to be a favourite spot with the local fishermen (presumably as it has deep water / trying to get away from their wives), as despite the weather there were quite a few!
Rad's planned route ahead, was again somewhat dubious... But we made good progress through what on any ordinary day would have been beautiful countryside!
Soon, a rather momentous but somewhat underwhelming moment as we crossed the border from Scotland, back into England... Had you been heading north you certainly could not have missed the fact that you were entering Scotland with all the signs, flags and wot not. Heading south however and we were unable to even find a sign or flag saying Welcome to England which we could take a photo by!
We ploughed on through more dubious off road routes by Rad including s couple of boggy cow fields (I am not joking!)
We arrived at Greymare Farm, where we receied a warm welcome from my godmother Georgie, and her husband Chris. a wonderful shower, cuppa tea, cake and bundling all our wet kit into the washing machine and we felt like different people.
Before dinner, Georgie took Rad and I up to see their wood chipping business, followed by a trip up the hill to their amazing cabbin, perched on the side of their lake.
On return, we helped Georgie pick a few veg from their incredible veg patch, before a very well received drink, delicious dinner and catch up. All of this, before falling into wonderfully comfortable beds... we thought we might be in heaven!