Return to Whittle Wanderer

Lockerbie, Eskdalemuir, Kirkhope, Innerleithen, Bonnyrigg, Edinburgh, Scotland.
(3Ĺ  day bike-pack)
Sat 15 Jun - Tue 18 Jun 2019

Sun 16 Jun 2019

Sat 15 Jun 2019
Sun 16 Jun 2019
Mon 17 Jun 2019
Tue 18 Jun 2019
After an unsettled night with rain it was calm first thing. The wind dropped and the tent was surrounded with midges. As I made breakfast the rain returned and was very heavy for a while but as it eased the wind increased with the bonus of keeping the midges away. When the rain stopped I had a wet tent to pack away and I was on the road around 8am to continue my journey north.
Today is Father's Day
Before long I reached the Samye Ling Tibetan Monastery on the right and wheeled my bike in to have a look. The main stupa had scaffolding on it the last time I was here. Today itís clear and looks splendid. I only saw one man as I wandered around. Back on the road I continued north with a tail wind to help.
Samye Ling

Samye Ling

Samye Ling
I had a flat section then reached the branch road to the Eskdalemuir Meteorological Station. I decided to ride up to the entrance gate even though I knew there was no public access. Back at the road I continued north and up the steady climb. Part way I stopped at the Seismological Station but nobody was there, presumably because it was Sunday morning.
Samye Ling

Meteorological Station

Seismological Station
I continued the steady climb in gear 4 and reached the summit with the 'Scottish Borders' sign. The weather was overcast and fine as I started my descent. The road was quiet and I'd ridden 10 miles before seeing the first vehicle and 12 miles for the second. At Ettrick I stopped briefly at the bridge and road junction before turning right to Tushielaw.
Scottish Borders

Kirkhope Pele Tower
The road was now flatter with gentle undulations but nothing difficult. In just over 20 miles I reached the left junction before Ettrickbridge. This is where I started the steady climb up the pass. My plan was to camp part way up but I wanted to check out the old Kirkhope Pele Tower first. The building is visible from the road and was extensively refurbished over 10 years ago. I left the road and cycled down the access track to Old Kirkhope farm.
Killhope Pele Tower
There were lots of dogs around which started barking. A lady came to the door and I asked if I could have a look at the tower. She said yes and I asked if it was occupied. It was empty and the last owner had died. It had now been sold. It was a steep rough track so I pushed my bike up. I had a look round then freewheeled back down to the farm buildings. Unfortunately I got a large thorn through my rear tyre and had to replace the inner tube.
Camp above Killhope
I spoke to the lady again to get some water from a tap round the rear of the buildings. She sounded Irish but said she was from Canada. After replacing my wheel I returned to the road and continued up the pass. I pushed my bike up an adjacent hill to a flat grassy area with good views including the tower and a mast where I got a good signal for my phone.
Father's Day evening meal with wee dram