Day 117: Edinburgh, Scotland, Monday August 14th

So, the Monday in the middle of the Edinburgh Fringe is, it turns out, the day a lot of shows don’t run. The four of us got together in the students’ lounge then walked up to the Summerhall venue, where there were several shows that interested us. It wasn’t really a surprise that much was sold out, but because there were fewer shows than usual, it seemed like everything was sold out. Deb finally asked where we might find something we could see and we were directed to the Canada Hub, of all places.

We purchased tickets for something called Mouthpiece, then checked out the pub tucked in behind the venue. It had some good local beer. I really enjoyed the show, and thought the two performers were fabulous. Yay, Canada.

The show got out a bit late, and we had to practically sprint to get to our next show: a cabaret. We were maybe a minute or two late, but we got seats at the back while the MC was still singing his opening song. The acts were a mixed bag. The two standup comics were good, particularly Christopher Macarthur-Boyd. but the burlesque dancer was a bit cringey.

We agreed on Indian for dinner, and we found the very nice, Dishoom. It’s always fun getting a bunch of dishes and bowls of rice to share. The food was excellent.

Aron is fan of Ian Rankin’s Detective Rebus, and he was interested Rebus’ favourite pub, the Oxford Bar. We tracked it down, and found that it was a perfect place for the hard boiled crimefighter: small, with no music, and lots of locals. Aron even got retweeted by Rankin when he posted during our visit.

We made one more stop on the way back to Beaverbank, at the Cumberland bar. Unfortunately, while we were there, the rain returned. We got totally drenched on our walk back to our rooms.


Day 94: Lerwick, July 22nd

I didn’t sleep very well in my “pod”. I know I slept some because I had a dream, but the dream was about a flight attendant (cruise attendant?) who walked around the room waking people up to prevent snoring. Deb was more successful.

Our Airbnb hosts said it would be fine for us to check in as soon as we arrived, so it wasn’t long before we were getting comfortable in our digs for the next three nights. I’m writing this in the dining room with a fridge, microwave and a TV that we have all to ourselves. There are five cats. We get amazing breakfasts. It’s stretching our budget, but not destroying it. We were lucky to get this place, Deb hunted the web for days trying to get us accommodations. As it is, we have to move across town for our last night before we catch the ferry to the Orkneys.

Low on energy, but feeling much better after a shower and some porridge our host whipped up, Deb and I walked into Lerwick. We went to the Visitor Centre, which was a bit of a bust, but we met some very helpful locals at a bar. They offered lots of advice on what to see and how to see it.

We also saw a guy walking his goat.

Distance: 3 km (from ferry to Airbnb)



Day 3: The Return

Pearl Lake to Port Elgin (65km)

Basically we rode the reverse of day 2, but we took mostly different roads, leaving at about 11:15 on another beautiful day.Free Range Chickens

We skirted Chesley and rode through a couple of pioneer village sites—Gillies Hill and Lockerby. Gillies Hill has a cairn and a single, lonely tree providing a small amount of welcome shade. Lockerby had a dam but it has been removed to improve water quality and allow the fish to migrate.

Momo at Lockerby Dam site

We stopped at the bakery in Paisley for a repeat treat, then tackled the hill out of town.

Despite this being our third day in a row of riding, Deb and I were feeling good. We’re ready to start the real journey, after a long weekend with my family in Port Elgin.A farmer loading hay onto a flatbed with a tractor