Monday April 27, 2014. Day 15

Carlisle to Moffat: 68km

It was -1 this morning. Since Lands End, we have experienced swings in temperature from 28C to 7C , back to 23C and now down to freezing! Today, we cycled in most of our layers.

Our departure from Carlisle was straightforward and we joined the National Cycle Network Route 7 high above the Eden River. The trail followed along side the motorway for much of the day, at times on the site of an old Roman road.

At Gretna, we crossed the border into Scotland. When Paul was young he heard stories of young couples eloping to Gretna. In Scotland, marriage is legal at the age of 16 without the parents’ consent. Previously, the age in England was 21 and it is now 18. Gretna is still a popular place to get married as it is steeped in a history of solemnization carried out by blacksmiths or “anvil priests”. We stopped for coffee (unfortunately awful) and Paul got some of the history from a piper who was playing the bagpipes for tourists and posing for pictures.

The B7076 and NCN Route 7/74, took us past Lockerbie and through Ecclefechan, the birth place of Thomas Carlye. He is one of the people that we think that we should know more about. Our path was generally flat and had a bicycle lane for most of the way. While the quality of the surface varied, it was welcome nonetheless and allowed us to put on our music. This was needed to distract us from the nearby motorway sounds and the cold wind from the west which continued to buffet us. We were caught in a rain shower, but apparently avoided another hailstorm. Shortly after arriving in Moffat, wet snow began to fall!

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