Just after New Year, Geoff wrote out their training schedule, and now they were ready. Ready to cycle across Britain – from Whitehaven in the Lakes to Sunderland in the north east – over the course of 5 days. The doggies and I were going to be mobile B&B back up in our van for His Lordship, and Hamish’s wife Kim, their daughter Lois and their doggy Effy, would be back up in their van, for Hamish. And amazingly, the weather was looking good.
Day One – Whitehaven to Keswick
It was a bit grey and drizzly when they set off mind, but thankfully not really raining.
Having never been to Whitehaven before (that I can remember, anyway) I was quite surprised at just how large and busy it was. We had a bit of a trek through the centre to get back to the vans, stopping at a large pet shop for a bit of a nosy, and I was absolutely amazed to see that they sold special anti-fox poo shampoo for those smelly dogs in your life! I was nearly tempted……
Anyway, the road beckoned, and the doggies and I were soon bowling along on our own little road trip.
We didn’t have far to go today, just to a caravan site in Borrowdale. I chose the route over Whinlatter Pass and apparently the guys did spot me in the distance as their route approached the summit, but I didn’t notice them. The doggies and I were having too much fun listening to, and singing along to, Suzanne Vega.
Having been such a long time since I’d been to Keswick, I did give in and go on a bit of a gear shop fix. All I could find to buy though, was a new Buff. An indication of how much gear I already have, perhaps?
On arriving at the said site, Kim and Lois were already there. Lois was on a mission, too. She’d decided to bake something tasty for everyone each afternoon and was in the middle of producing some delicious choc chip cookies.
Tilly and I had a very short wander (she’s still convalescing after her slipped disc remember) and Dixie and I had a bit of a longer wander around the lake.
The warriors turned up late afternoon and were soon supping a post-ride beer.
Day two – Keswick to Lazonby
Much better weather today. Bright, warm and sunny.
As soon as the pair of them had set off, I was on the road too. I liked to get going and make sure I was at the next stop by early afternoon and then I could relax and have a bit of a walk myself, knowing that the van was already in the right place for the night.
The doggies and I were really starting to relax into our road trip now. And today we mostly listened to, and sang along to, Bellowhead. (One of Dixie’s favourites.)
Tonight’s spot was a delightful little community campsite right next to the River Eden, in the village of Lazonby.
With plenty of country side for a couple of doggy wanders.
And Lois’ culinary offering for all this afternoon, was a gorgeous Victoria sponge.
Unfortunately we only got one piece each, as when no one was looking, their dog Effy jumped onto the table and ate the half that was left. I think she enjoyed it, though.
Day three – Lazonby to Nenthead
Today was a bit of a highlight for all the roadies.
Absolutely beautiful weather and a wonderful drive over Hartside Pass.
Being lunchtime, we had to call in for a bite to eat and were just tucking in to fried egg and bacon sandwiches, when who else should turn up thinking of their stomachs?
And the fun driving continued after lunch, down the far side of the Pass and on to the village of Nenthead, where we decided to wild van camp for the night.
Today, the doggies and I were mostly listening to, and humming along to, Kathryn Tickell. (One of Tilly’s favourites.)
There was a track from where we camping, that led past some old lead mines and up on to the moors. Just perfect for Dixie and I to blow some of the cobwebs away in the afternoon.
And what did Lois magically produce for us this afternoon? Fresh scones with cream and jam.
Day four – Nenthead to the Waskerley Way
Another gorgeous day. And another spot for a wild van camp, high on the County Durham moors.
Once again we drove straight there and had plenty of time for a good wander along the old railway track, before the wandering cyclists turned up.
Which they did, just in time for Lois’ magnificent cup cakes.
And today, the doggies and I were mostly listening to, and singing along to, Mumford and Sons. (Everybody’s favourite.)
Day five – Waskerley Way to Sunderland
And so to the last day of the ride.
Yet another warm and sunny day, and great excitement as they were finally going to make it to the east coast.
Not so much fun for the roadies today, mind. Navigating through and around Sunderland and the outer edges of Newcastle proved to be slightly stressy. Thank goodness for sat navs, is all I can say!
And today, the doggies and I were mostly listening to, and humming along to, Kathryn Tickell again. (We needed something calming.)
We made it though, and positioned our selves at the official finish, waiting eagerly.
Still going strong,
And still friends!
And the final home-cooked offering from Lois? Chocolate fudge cake…..
21 thoughts on “Geoff And Hamish Cycle C2C”
That was good going to do this in 5 days. Still I think they needed those 5 days of cycling to burn off all the calories in those cakes 🙂
They decided 5 days was a good compromise – a decent length’s ride each day, but still ‘slow’ enough to actually appreciate the countryside and stop for lunches in cafes….. 🙂 Unfortunately I wasn’t really doing enough exercise that week for all those cakes, but I still ate them anyway – they were too delicious not too!
Please can I book a camping holiday with Lois (and no dogs ‘cos I want to scoff the rest of the cake! 😉 ) I can’t imagine anyone baking in a camping van but she looks to be turning out superb food!
The guys made good time on their cycle. I’ve never heard of the Cycling C2C before? Is it a set route or did they think of it?
Love Suzanne Vega – which is amazing when you consider I also love thrash metal 😉
I hadn’t listened to Suzanne Vega for a while and had forgotten how good she is!
As a non-baker, the cakes that Lois produced in the van were nothing short of a miracle to me. I think every trip should have a ‘Lois’ attached to it 🙂
The C2C is a set route, with a couple of alternative start and end points. Although of course you can make your own up if you want. With the last day’s driving, I was just relieved they decided to finish in Sunderland and not Newcastle!
I’ve never been to Sunderland – I quite like Newcastle but that isn’t to say I’d like to drive into it (or any big city) though…
Wonderful trip, photos, videos and what yummy treats too. I’m thinking about getting a small camping van similar to yours and think it would be a great way for Wyatt Earp the Boxer and me to travel. Delightful post as always Chrissie! Great big virtual hug and lots of chop kisses and jumbones for Dixie and Tilly. :^)
Thanks Karen. Our van has been an absolutely life changing experience for us and the dogs love it! I’m sure Wyatt Earp is just waiting for you to get one….. 🙂
We need Lois, too! super clever girl, cakes look a.m.a.z.i.n.g. (sorry riders. and crew ;))
Different cake each day too – it was so exciting, you never knew what was coming!
I like the way that they start the trip by pushing their bikes up a slight incline……
I thought you’d appreciate that magnificent display of manly fitness……
I’ve always fancied a van like yours. Now that I know that they are equipped with a cake baking whizz, I just have to have one! (That is how it works, right?). Interesting trip that, but I’ll stick to walking I think.
You have to make sure you choose your van carefully, Mark, as they don’t all come with a cake baking whizz. Kim’s and Hamish’s obviously did, but it wasn’t even an optional extra on ours, I’m afraid. 😀
I think every hiking trip should come with Lois support. Freshly baked cakes are so much nicer than cereal bars 🙂
I agree. I was backpacking the week after their trip and the quality of the food definitely took a downhill turn when I was on my own. 😦
Hard to bake cakes on a Trangia or JetBoil I find 🙂
Mind you I rarely go backpacking without a pack of Mr Kipling Rhubarb and custard pies. You need a pudding when in the wilds
Maybe I need to check out Mr Kipling before my next trip!
Well done to everyone. Cracking photos, sunshine too, things are looking up! Mouth watering cakes as well, that is wonderful. Having two dogs with such fine tastes in music must be a real bonus.
They’re very switched on musically, Dawn and have introduced us to lots of groups we hadn’t previously come across 🙂
I must compliment the hounds on their excellent musical taste !
Thanks, Alex. They know what they like, but are still receptive to trying out new artists when appropriate 🙂