Yesterday was our travel day, first driving to Chester services to hand the dogs over to Kyla’s folks for their holiday away from us. Then we drove onto the narrow waist of Britain, at Whitehaven to leave our car for safe keeping.
Now we were dependent on our bikes and our muscles. We cycled to our starting point in Workington, found our hotel and scouted our starting point for tomorrow.
The ride from Whitehaven to Workington was lovely, a paved bike route (#72) – it was a real luxury not to be minding out for cars all the time. We got a bit lost at one point and a taxi driver shouted to us to follow him and he led us back to our route. Really kind! Although part of the route paralleled the main road, it was green and sheltered from the traffic noise. We got lost again as we navigated the streets of Workington. Again a taxi driver offered help and directed us on to our hotel.
After checking into the Waverley Hotel, we wandered back through the quite shuttered centre of town before finding Britain’s first purpose-built covered bus station (1926).
Not far from that was the Henry Bessemer, a Wetherspoon’s pub, for a reliable if un-glamorous dinner.
In the otherwise boring town centre, we found a set of benches made of Shap granite, a granite with strikingly large pink plagioclase feldspar crystals (and one of Kyla’s favourite rocks!). It comes from a quarry about 50 miles away on the other side of the Lake District at Shap. These benches did what they were supposed to do – provide beauty and inspiration and respite for tired shoppers (and cyclists!).
After breakfast we start the real work with a 24 mile ride to Keswick.