On our way out of Edinburgh, we stopped to do some much needed bicycle maintenance. I had neglected to clean or lube the chains since we started so I spent a good 15 minutes with each bike cleaning things up well before we took off.
We left the city with the intention of hitting our stride in this whole bicycle touring business. Im not sure if it was just our good spirits or if the trip is whipping us into shape but the hills didnt bother either of us one bit today.
We stopped often for snacks and photos while enjoying perfect weather all the way to Mussleburgh, the first point on our ride to North Berwick. About halfway there we lost the poorly-marked bicycle path. We asked a nice old Scottish man who was on his way to the post office if he knew where we could pick the trail back up. Unsure, he sent us down the block to his home to ask his wife who was sure to know the way. She quickly set us straight and we were on our way again.
Today was our first encounter with the ocean on our trip. As expected, it was beautiful! We followed the coastline on the John Muir bicycle path for several miles on our way to North Berwick. While taking pictures of the ocean a woman cycled past that weve seen three or four times since we left (I think anyway!). We stopped and chatted a bit; it turns out she lives in the area and has just been out joyriding. She commented on how she has wanted to do a trip like ours for a very long time but has never had anyone to do it with :(.
We weren't planning on seeing any castles but a few miles outside of North Berwick we passed one that looked from the road like it was in the middle of a farm. I pulled off and asked a young girl on the property, "Is that your castle?" She laughed and said no while pointing to the road that led to town and Dirleton Castle. We spent an hour running around the place, taking photos, and enjoying ourselves immensely.
About five miles outside our destination, I noticed Taras rear tire was looking very low. Hoping to fix it when we got into camp, I pumped her tire up quickly and we took off. It lasted about a mile before it needed attention again and this time around we stopped by the entrance of a golf course to fix it.
I pulled the tire off the rim and looked along the inner wall until I found a very small chunk of sharp rock or glass that needed to be plucked out. It was incredibly satisfying to find a clear reason for the flat and to fix it! Rather than using a new tube, I found the leak in her old one, patched it, and we were on our way again. Both of us commented as we left how we felt like we were finally getting the hang of things as nothing really fazed us.
We arrived early at a beautiful campsite near Bass Rock where we set up for the night to make dinner and do some journaling. If even half of our days are as wonderful as today, I think I could do this for a very long time.