Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sheila

I woke up dreaming that it might just have been our destiny to stay in Taynuilt, and for time to stand still. As the blue skies became yesterdays history, we awoke in the same village but with different tones. Breakfast was sluggish in service but generous in portion, which made for a sluggish start to the days cycling. After sweating through two early climbs, and buoyed on by workmen's cheers, we found momentum. The morning saw us skirting alongside two beautiful lochs, winding around ruined castles, passing through gentle villages such as Inverary, and all the time gliding (for the majority) downhill on smooth surfaces. Life was good and the pit-stops were textbook. Granola and chocolate slice, shared.

The post coffee stop, but pre-lunch route followed pretty much the same pattern. Although less fellow cyclists were spotted, it was a serene joy to not spot much at all. Quiet b-roads finally lived up to their name, and we found ourselves hypnotised by the hum of tyre on tarmac, water lapping at loch edge, and ticking off mental kilometres. A few lunch stops came and went with this rhythm, which is a good thing because if we'd have been 100% focused upon finding a good lunch stop, we'd never have found the gem of a diner that we did. Located shortly after a sweeping curve on the A815, Sheila's Diner is a beautiful mix of 1980's USA tribute combined with traditional British cafes which only seem to exist in storybooks, or my imagination. Em had a starter portion of chicken nuggets, and although it was far too late in the day, I couldn't resist a sausage sandwich. Thanks, Sheila, you were just the ticket.

Of course, the beautiful thing about a late lunch, is that it's no time at all till dinner. Plus, we'd chalked off the majority of the days designated kilometres, and, the majority of those which remained would be completed by ferry. The A815 took us a little further along the coast, and the Hunters Quay to McCllroys Point car ferry took us across the water to Ayrshire. Waiting in Ayrshire, Skelmorlie to be precise, were Helen and Ed. Our first experience of booking with Air BnB, and by coincidence, two expert bike tourers. Que dinner, wine, and a blissful evening hearing of bike travel in Thailand, China, India, Burma, and other far-flung, captivating destinations. Our destination tomorrow: Kilmarnock.



The fourth day in numbers...


Kilometres ridden: 118.6 (493 total so far)
Hours moving: 5:20
Meters climbed: 1489
Calories burned: 3272
Ferrys boarded: 1
Cake portions devoured: 3
Emily flashing her bottom: 1
Evening hours talking to Helen and Ed: 3


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