Technical Stuff

The bike:  As usual, I replaced chainrings, chains, brake blocks, etc. At he outset, the tandem was making some pretty alarming clicks and creaks, but we had absolutely no problems whatsoever, and never missed a gear change.

I took a basic tool kit, but the only spares were inner tubes and a folding tyre. We had no punctures.

Computing: I wanted to try blogging our progress, and also have the facility to use emails and check weather reports/news. I decided to take my iPad. I knew that many B&Bs now offer free Wi-Fi, but for those locations I wanted to use my Vodafone 3G mobile broadband USB stick. But of course it won’t work directly with the iPad. So I bought a mobile router, the selected model being the TP-Link TL-MR3020. I chose this principally because it was cheap, and it operates as a WiFi range extender. So, how did it perform?

Well, firstly it’s easy to set up as a router. Interestingly it didn’t work with my new USB modem stick (a Vodafone branded Huawei K4505), but did with the older one. So it’s probably a good idea to check hardware. On the downside, out in the north west of Scotland, I could only get slower speeds (if any signal at all). This was OK for getting weather forecast data, but not for downloading new issues of The Guardian 🙁

All B&Bs bar two offered free WiFi (though one of those had a WiFi network not offered for guest use), though in one case, the WiFi didn’t reach all the rooms. In fact one had a netbook in the room for guests to use!