Saturday, 17 July 2010

Day 6 - Catrine -> Gretna

Knitwits Yarns

Before I start the journey blog I've got a couple of housekeeping notes (I feel a bit like a vicar - "and on flower arranging duty next week we have ...............").

Firstly, for knitters out there reading this, we've had a huge Stylecraft delivery in the shop which Tracey and Marie have battled through, so if you're needing any Life or Pure Merino or 400g Arans then check out the site or the shop itself.

Secondly, the Knit Wits website is now up and running properly and receiving orders as before. The Cornish Organic website is still down but you can, as always, order through the shop on (01736) 367069. Several hundred sites were affected by the idiot hacking into the server and it's caused them an absolute nightmare - makes you wonder what kind of perverse thrill they get trying to ruin innocent people's livelihoods.

Thirdly, for anyone in the Penzance area: Adrian on our farm has just had 4 beef animals killed so has beef ready for the freezer. Available in either freezer packs (c£50) or by 1/4 of a beast. If you're interested, give him a ring on 07889 641152. You haven't tasted beef until you've tasted Boswarthen beef!

Here endeth the public service announcements.

The campsite in Catrine was an absolute hoot - pretty much a farmer's backyard with electric hook-ups. The shower was in the barn and smelt uncannily like our hen house. But it was there when we needed it and the shower was hot and we slept well.

Funnily enough, it was still pretty damp when the boys set off in the morning and first stop was Drumlanrig Castle. The boys had a tail wind (for the first time on this trip) so were bombing along and got there before me - they were a bit cheesed off with me!:

Drumlanrig Castle is home to the Duke of Buccleuch and is quite an impressive home:

(Mind you, imagine the dusting and I bet it's got draughts and probably a couple of ghosts and think of the heating bills)

Very good friends of ours (or so we thought) - Mark and Sally Coombs - live at Drumlanrig where Mark is something very important; so we thought we'd drop in for a cup of tea. As soon as they heard we were coming "up north" though, Mark and Sally decided they needed an urgent holiday in Devon. By the time we reach Devon, they will have returned home - we're beginning to wonder if they're trying to tell us something. Fortunately, we met up with Harvey Thomas instead. Harvey's Dad farms at Cape Cornwall so he's a local boy (to us) and he used to captain the Pirates' Colts and he kindly looked after us and agreed to a photograph:

or two:

and someone else made a surprising appearance at Drumlanrig too:

This is Drumlanrig's drive!:

(I bet they've got some pretty impressive lawn mowers)

Harvey kindly let us into Mark and Sally's house where we enjoyed hot showers, made use of the washing machine and tumble dryer, made ourselves a quick lunch and helped ourselves to a few tots from Mark's impressive whisky collection (FB, not me - obviously, I'm driving and I don't like whisky anyway). Mark and Sally can now spend the rest of this week panicking about which parts/s of that paragraph are true and which are not!

From Drumlanrig we moved on to Dumfries:

T looking slightly anxious by the size of that lorry - and then on to Gretna along a beautiful B road via Annan. Sadly, although supposedly a tourist route there were no layby's so no photos - we could see the Solway Firth though - which was quite exciting and very brown.

The tail wind stayed with them pretty much all the way to Gretna and he sun came out so they averaged 15mph and had a fantastic afternoon's cycling bombing along and got to Gretna for 4 o'clock - the first really enjoyable cycling since Glen Coe. We then decided to take the unanimous decision to stop and have a very early night. Found a Chinese takeaway within walking distance of the camp site so had that for a treat and everyone was in bed by 9pm. A lovely evening but it started raining again at 5am!

Mileage for the day - 78
Total miles - 409

Tomorrow - England!


  1. Dear Julia
    No way would I let Keith fiddle with MY flower rota!!!
    Thank goodness for tail winds, friend's houses and Chinese take-aways. Sounds as if you had a great day. Love the write ups re the campsites I think we have stayed on a few just like the Farmyard you mention lol.
    Love Ceri x x x

  2. Hi. This is fascinating stuff - - I'm an American, a knitter, and a hiker, having hiked four long-distance walks in Scotland. Most recent was West Highland Way, during which we spent about 6 hours walking across Rannoch Moor - far longer than your boys (oops, you MEN) did. I do most seriously admire what you and your menfolk are doing, and wish you all the best.