Cycling in the UK and Scotland

10 days ago I embarked on my long and often talked about trip to Scotland. I started in Berlin, myself and my bicycle on the train to Rotterdam, then some 30km of cycling to the ferry port, Hoek van Holland and the overnight ferry to Harwich. Looking out on the sea from the ferry I was filled with feelings of joy and freedom.

The next morning in Harwich it rained and I decided to take the train to Cambridge. My first stop was Birmingham where I would meet Don, a cycling traveller I had met on a campsite in NZ. We had stayed in contact via email and around last Christmas decided to cycle the Outer Hebrides together.

From Cambridge I cycled west to a campsite in St. Neots. I had imagined to cycle for a few days towards Birmingham, however, studying the map in more detail, I did not find any good campsites on the map and encountered a feeling of intense lonelyness during my first night in St. Neots. I really could not feel any enjoyment in travelling by myself anymore, felt lost and a bit disoriented. I stayed another night on the same campsite to find my inner bearings again, but no relieve. Then I decided to call Don and check if I could come a few days earlier then planned. Yes, I could, so I started off the next day to cycle around 50 km to the next big town, Milton Keynes to take the train from there to Birmingham. On the way I got amazingly lost and it started raining so hard I could not use my phone anymore to find out where I was and where to go to. People I talked to sent me into weird directions. Inner lostness mirrored by outer lostness. But in the end I arrived at the station, very wet and very cold and arrived ok in Birmingham. In Birmingham Don and I had a few days to get to know each other. My system relaxed and we actually enjoyed a few beautiful sunny days, I learnt all about cricket watching a game and we went on a day trip to Liverpool.

Yesterday we finally boarded the train to go to Oban. From here we will take the ferry this morning to go to Barra, an island in the South of the Outer Hebrides. Then the plan is to cycle North hopefully with the wind. The forcast is for wind and storm for the next two days and then some calmer weather. Feeling lots of respect for the wind and possible cold. And we already found out that even campsites are booking fast, we called a few campsite places last night and only found a place for our two tents on the third site.

But feeling adventurous and loving the feeling of being in Scotland again. The trainride from Glasgow to Oban yesterday along the Loughs was wonderful.


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