Friday, 10 July 2015

Day 8 & 9 - 10th - 11th July - A7 - (Scottish Border) Holy Island to Aberlady (Edingburgh) stayed at Bill and Jazzys

MAP TITLE: A7 - (Berwick) Holy Island to Aberlady

START: Field just outside Berwick literally yards over the border
FINISH:  Pushed on to Edingburgh
DATE: 10th

I woke up in early in the morning very very stiff, it was very warm the night previous and I had thought about just putting my mat out and sleeping under the stars, however the weather has been very changeable alternating between amazing sunny days and equally wet and windy stormy days so I had compromised and only put the sking of my tent up and left the innards packed away.

Because I had woken up so early I decided not to try and go beack to bed instead I packed everything away had a banana for breakfast and washed it down with a litre of water to make sure I was hydrated.

I set off waving a fond farewell to Britain on the other side of the invisible border, the sat nav had directed me onto an A road, however this was to be a mistake!  Although quiet at this time of the morning I had covered some distance when I noticed a van on the other side of the carriageway driving towards was flashing it's lights and bibbing it's horn.  I paid no attention because I was used to idiots who give you a hard time when on major roads.

I then started a long climb and just put my head down pushing on, as I crested the hill and started to roll down hill the van passed me again bibbing it's horn and pulling into a layby the drivers arm beckoned me to pull over and he had his hazards on.  I was caught between wondering if this was some sort of cycle hunting murderer or someone who had found something that had dropped off my bike (I looked back my panniers were still in tact)  As I drew closer I noticed a very small police symbol and wondered what they had pulled me over for.

An officer got out and asked me if I knew that it was illegal to travel on an A road, I said when did that become law, I have travelled on lots of A roads.  He said not all A roads just those with motorway designation had I not see the sign.

I explained that I hadn't seen the sign and that my bike sat nav had plotted this, he was very understanding and said that he was more concerned to make sure I was ok and that my safety was the most important thing.  I should say at this point that the officer was really nice and had a superb attitude, he put my bike in the back and then dropped me off a mile down the road at the nearest exit and island.   He then went on to explain the best and most scenic route as an alternative.

He also explained that they had sent a squad car as they wanted a chat with me, I feared the worse and thought does this mean a visit to the station, a fine??  It was starting to feel very bad as I would never have knowingly cycled there it was a genuine mistake!

The other car arrived behind us and he asked me to wait and went to have a word with them, when I got out they too were really brilliant about it and satisfied themselves that it was just a very geniune mistake.   The younger of the officers took my name and address, to confirm who I was and to record that the incident had been dealt with etc.  There was no mention of me being in trouble and they were both really nice about the whole thing.  I was more angry that I had put them to so much trouble...

They asked me what I was doing and wished me all the best and safe riding, you can see one of them in the picture below smiling away, which they all were.  I am sure that they could have given me a fine as I probably broke several rules however they knew it was not on purpose so they did the best thing and made sure I was safe and educated me!  I have to say I went on my way smiling and it turned out to be a good start to the day.

The rozzers :-)
Notice the M designation?
this means that it has motorway designation and no bicycles

Passing by Aberlady it was still early so I decided to push on
so that I would have an easy day when I left Jazzy and Bills.

My beard is starting to grow, I don't know how long I will
keep the challenge of not shaving..

Smithys Snack Van
(Head cook and bottle washer)

By the time I had passed Aberlady the sun was out and I was warming up.  I stopped at a roadside snack bar and was served by a man called Smithy.   I ordered a coffee and we chatted for a while about the area, my trip.  I found out that he had worked in the mines all his life and when they closed he had started this business.

He talked about local fishing and I got to meet two of his friends who had driven out to meet him.  He refused to allow me to pay for the coffee and handed me a bottle of water as well.  He wanted to give me a donation for my charity but I asked him to donate online so they would get the gift aid.

Feeling good

The uniform houses at station row

For some reason this street reminded me of the Prisoner, I
am not a number I am a human being

views on the climb out

Entering Musselburgh

Outside Mussleburgh Racecourse
I had spotted two lads walking up the road, one of them was wearing a rab wollen hat and some good wet weather gear.  I asked them to take a photo, and one of them with a ginger beard long hair and piercings was more than happy to oblige.   His friend walked on into the distance then just stopped and watched.   I chatted to my photographer who was in his early twenties, he was an adventure instructor (freelance) and had not long returned from sky, he gave me some useful tips.

The tide out but a beautiful bay at Port Seaton
I caught the attention of some locals sitting at the entrance and
we had a chat before I rode to the end of the port and back

Portabello Beach "Edingburgh's beach"

I believe this is Inchkieth

The Proud owner of BG Cycles below
he cleaned my derailler and did a gear check then
wouldn't accept a penny as it was only a "minor" job.

I arrived in Edingburgh and cycled around for a bit, taking in the atmosphere and the sunny day!  I phoned Jazzy and Bill and arraned for a time for Bill to pick me up.

Add caption
When I arrived at Bills, the most amazing thing happened! I used to play a game online with friends, where I had met Bill and Jazzy.  During this time a young lad joined us after his dad asked us to keep an eye on him.   The lad Daniel was a ferocious player and we soon all became attached to him.  We kept in contact as he grew up but we had never actually met him,  I had spoken to him about my trip and when we arrived he stepped out of the door.

It was the most amazing thing to finally see him, he had flown over to see me off around my trip and meet up with Bill and Jazzy!  I picked him up and threw him over my shoulder and ran round with him (he is as light as a feather and a racing snake).  I couldn't have asked for a better end to the day, I was among friends and finally got to meet the young man we had first got to know as a young lad.

From Left to Right:
Bill, Jazzy, Me, Daniel
 For those that knew him the little lad Daniel was known as "blindman" despite being only a young lad he built an amazing little teuton army that was big enough to make a hit on a WW 13/01/2010 BlindMan (DHL) attacks Khnum (Kataki).   This was an amazingly fun time, never to be repeated and we have remained friends ever since!
 All our old members here:

It brought back some fond memories, the battle for whitefish and our vendettas with Kataki and enemies such as OZ and Billy the fish (your army still sucks Bill :-), three accounts and you never managed to take one village of mine hehe.  The night of the long knives where after weeks of planning we decimated the Kataki enemies who had betrayed us within our own ranks, something the mighty Kataki alliance never lived down!

Daniel is off to collge soon to study Law, and we are all immensely proud of him and the great young man he has become!  I am going to be staying with him and finally meeting his family in ireland so something special to look forward too.

On Saturday the plan was a trip to halfords for some bits and bobs and to timpsons to get my cycling sandals repaired, for some reason one of the sides had snapped, I think it was because I had slipped sideways in it on a mudbank but very disapointed that it had broken.

Saturday Photos:

Jazzy preparing her amazing scottish breakfast

One of the many mime artists in Edingburgh

I couldn't resist the birds of prey, a falcon here

This really was a big fellow, he was amazingly tame

I couldn't believe how he leant in so that I would
tickle him more.

A very tiny owl
Looking at this photo I make the owl and the girl
look so small.

He wanted to move over and sit on my finger

 I got very close to this little one, and the lady jokingly said, it would be funny if he attacked my face, I laughed and said he wouldn't even be a mouthful.  She was very friendly and explained how he was a very friendly bird.
All over Edingburgh there are lots of locked up bikes
wherever there is a spare piece of railing, it really is a
bike city

Some views of the castle

Daniel at the battlements (the irish are coming)

Presents for the family

Please don't fire the cannon Daniel

Mon's meg used to smash up castles
a seriously big lady

don't push the wheel, visions of Mons Meg rolling
down the ramparts squishing tourists for
one last time

The chapel

I could do this

Sir Haig and Horse

Don't move Newt... Ive got him
he won't even see me coming

What can I say I love stained glass windows

More to come:
Walk around the park
Daniels method of eating an icecream
Searching for a bike shop
Searching for a haggis
Telling Daniel about the hill climbing mc haggis

journey home
recollections of Edingburgh
Evening Meal
leaving phone behind
Daniel riding the bike

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ren - looks like you are going well, mate! - cheers,