Tuesday, August 18, 1981


We were off by nine fifteen, the weather fine once more. I was still stiff from yesterday, especially in my shins, but we made good progress in the shade along the road which wound through fields and copses of heavy, green trees passing the occasional farm or house. Gradually though we climbed in a long, gradual grind towards Lower Fivestones, from where we got our first views of Abbencaster, a paste of browns, whites and greys shimmering on the horizon. Encouraged we clumped on, my feet throbbing, and reached the outskirts of Abbencaster at twelve. We had several miles of pleasant suburban streets to wend through and bought fish and chips for dinner.

We were both struck by a great feeling of ‘backhomeness’; the urban sprawl, the ugly buildings spreading away on all sides, the cars racing by, all the people, the supermarkets, and the shops seemed so familiar. Easterby. The holiday’s really over now.

We passed time in a bookshop before aching the last mile or so to the hostel, which is big, clean, and modern. I started Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

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