Day Eleven: The A6 is quite a busy road!
Carlisle to Tebay. 43.41 miles. Total: 469.64 miles
A funny day with a full variety of weather and road types, as well as an hour of Izzy at her most imaginative / bonkers! The route from Carlisle (NCN 7) initially followed the River Caldew on a lovely tow path and then took us through rolling countryside towards Penrith. For the first time since Inverness we had rain, but it didn't last long and the sun was shining by the time that Heidi and Martha met us for coffee and cookies. Clearly the sugar had a galvanising effect on Izzy, who proceeded to entertain us for the best part of the next hour as Jamilla the Argentinian (don't ask for further details....just imagine an hour of Monty Python-esque silliness on a bike). Cycling through Penrith was OK but we then headed out on the A6 towards Shap. In planning this trip, I had done a lot of research about cycling certain A roads and despite some people suggesting the A6 is fine, I wouldn't recommend it. Too many lorries (which usually gave us a wide berth) and speeding white vans (which often didn't) meant that we were very pleased to turn off towards Orton after 8 miles. The final section of the day followed a moorland B road and was a welcome return to the roads we enjoy. Heidi and Martha are now heading off to enjoy some Spanish sun for a week, and Mum and Dad arrived to become our support crew. Tomorrow marks the midpoint of the trip in terms of days, which is very exciting.