We did manage to sleep a little and morning came early, if not terribly bright. We experienced a new kind of Scottish rain, a heavy drizzle that completely soaks you in a matter of minutes. Joshua made tea and we had a passable breakfast of oatcakes and cheese.
As we made our way back down the coast we did see the "campsite" from the night before. No tent space at all, no tents to be seen, we're guessing no showers either. We boo'd them as we passed.
Just after the path crossed through Stevenson, it entered a really lovely park and the path improved significantly. We spent the morning making pretty good time towards Paisley and Glasgow, unsure of where we would stay that night. Sections of the path went through parks, other sections were on very small roads, and some of the nicest stretches were in a fairly narrow and very green canal of some kind.
It stayed wet, we saw some sights.
We stopped to fix a flat and eat lunch by a bridge. Ramona did some emergency wheel truing for my rear wheel, which was making some ominous noises.
I have wet feet.
Then we are back on the road.
And in Paisley, or just past the town, we decided we were ready to find a spot to camp. We ended up at the edge of a field, behind a fallen tree. More "wild" camping. We got in bed early, as we were pretty exhausted, and heard families and dog walkers passing on the path.
An improvement, but still not ideal. Here's a shot from the following morning, our tent had been just behind that branch.
And it was sunny!
What a difference good weather can make. As we approached Glasgow we managed to get super lost. Missed some sign somewhere when we passed through a lovely estate and ended up about an hour off-course.
But we got to see some interesting riverside paths. The utility poles that are actually inside the bike lane made me think of the Compton Creek bike path and one of my favorite people, Alex Kenefick. This photo is for you Alex.
We finally stopped at a cafe and had bagels and tea. Not sure what to do next, we asked someone how to find the River Clyde. We needed to cross the Clyde and find a connector cycleway along the River Kelvin, which would then take us to the Forth and Clyde canal. I can't remember which one of us realized that we were sitting directly across the street from a library. That was fruitful. The ladies behind the counter let us use the internet, and we figured out where we had gone wrong and decided to backtrack.
Eventually we found our route signs again and the bridge over the Clyde. We got confused again looking for the Kelvin Connector because it's not marked as such. But we guessed correctly that it was the route towards the university, followed the waterway, and ended up on a lovely path along the Kelvin.
Navigating turns out to be difficult in Glasgow.
Perfect time for a break at a riverside cafe.
From the Kelvin it was easy to find the Forth and Clyde canal, as it was well marked. But once on the canal we almost ended up going the wrong way for a third time that day. The canal splits, and the route east goes under the canals after an illogical right turn. And the signs say the near towns, but not Edinburgh, which is pretty much all we knew to head towards.
As we cruised along, a Dutch gentleman, sitting upright on his bike with a couple of Ortliebs on the back and a map on his handlebars came towards us from the opposite direction, flagged us down, and asked where we were heading. We figured out that we were all trying to get to Edinburgh, but that he'd just come from downtown Glasgow somehow and he was quite frustrated. The three of us headed back to the fork, and sure enough there was the sign and the little tunnel under to get us on the right part of the canal.
Arie. Who saved us from going the wrong way and getting frustrated. We rode with him for a bit, and then he said he'd go a little slower and we charged on. But he wasn't that much slower, because when we stopped for a drink a little later that afternoon he was not far behind. We bought him a beer and we had a really nice conversation about choices of more social leaning vs. more business friendly leaning governments. Arie headed back on the road before us, and we didn't see him for the rest of the day. However we knew he would be stopping soon at a B&B, while we rode for at least another couple of hours.
As we got tired we decided to camp right by the path along the canal. Again, not so stealth wild camping. But there was a picnic table and a fairly level spot to put the tent.
This was breakfast.
We saw these swan fledgelings soon after starting out.
- rolling post