No flower photo today as there is a gallery instead.
We had a leisurely breakfast that morphed into elevenses and then I made a quick trip to the High Street to buy spare inner tubes after yesterday’s puncture. Armed with one of these, a few tools and a snack, we put the bikes in the Kangoo and drove to Dumfries. There we parked in the Dock Park car park alongside the River Nith at the upper limit of the tidal part of the river.
We set off through the park and along the river bank on a very well made cycle path down to Kingholm Quay where we struck off inland up towards the top of the hill which stretches along the estuary. Climbing up from the river, we passed the farm that used to be part of the Crichton Hospital. This was a very advanced hospital for the care of the mentally ill which was well ahead of its time when founded. We climbed over the ridge and cycled down a gently sloping road with fine views across the Lochar Moss and down towards the Solway. After 8 miles or so we turned off to cycle the mile and a half to the WWT reserve at Caerlaverock where there is a very pleasant Fairtrade cafe. Here we had toasted teacakes and a couple of lattes. (I enquired before ordering these to see if they had a kettle but as they didn’t, I left the tea alone.)
There is a large screen in the cafe showing a live feed from the local osprey nest. However, since the ospreys seem to have left home, the pictures were more soporific and relaxing that interesting.
We left the cafe and cycled on, catching a glimpse of Caerlaverock Castle over a hedge as we went down towards the Nith estuary and our road home. We had been well sheltered from the westerly wind by the hills on our right as we cycled out and now, as we cycled back, the trees lining the road sheltered us on our return but gave us ample opportunities to admire the beauty of the river as we went. We stopped at Glencaple for a photo opportunity but soon found ourselves back at Dumfries, returning by the excellent cycle path back through the Dock Park. The distance was just under 21 miles but it had been a painless ride because of the generally flat tearrain, the nice cafe stop and the beautiful views.
On the way home, we stopped at a garden centre and purchased four large bags of farmyard manure. Mrs Tootlepedal’s day was now perfect.