Eating My Words

Trip Start May 22, 2009
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Trip End Feb 16, 2010


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Friday, August 21, 2009

Started out with a beautiful day of cycling.  It was hard to say goodbye to the cute old man who took such an interest in us and helped with route planning.  The other campers even came out to bid us off!

Decided to get off the main highways today and try taking the back roads through little towns.  This meant we had to zig zag back and forth according to the roads between all these towns (that are only a mile or two apart).  But since there are so many, we have to stop at each junction.  But the good thing, is that we were constantly changing direction so we never suffered the full brunt of the wind.  Plus, the hedgerows on either side of the road did a good job sheltering the wind as well. 

At one stop, Brian thought he’d seen a cherry tree and went back to check it out.  Instead, he found a lovely tee covered in bite-sized plums!  As we sat and gorged ourselves, we realized why we were so hungry - lunchtime!  So while Brian pulled out the food, I went back to the tree with a bag to fill up for later!

After lunch, it was a little game of ‘dodge the storm cells’…and…we lost.  Avoided one, and managed to get our jackets on before the 2nd, so we made a good show.  But the rain came down soo fast we were drenched in seconds, and it was soo cold, we could have sworn it was hail.  Thankfully it only lasted about 10 minutes and the sun was out again.  It also seemed to decrease the wind, so that was a bonus. 

Later in the afternoon we stopped for a little wild blackberry snack breaks along the side of the road.  It was all I could do not to keep stopping to pick them every time I saw them.  But then we would never get to our campsite, and blackberries don’t stuff so well into a pannier (but I still tried).  We’ve also seen a few cute villages and thatched cottages which serves as a great reminder of where we’re headed:  the Cotswolds!

Had a bit of difficulty finding the campground tonight (no big surprise).  We knew it was in this town, and prayed it wasn’t closed to tents.  Stopping to get directions from some construction workers, we got a little better idea of where to go.  Wheeling up the drive, I saw 2 beautiful 12 foot cast iron urns with flowers spilling out of them.  Progressing up the long laneway, there were 100’s for little scrubs carves into the shapes of different animals.  At the end of the drive was a huge mansion.  This can’t be the place for us!  However, there was a friendly reception and other cycle tourists already here!  I hadn’t thought that they existed in this country!

Brian had a great time chatting with one chap about bikes and oggling over his tricycle that he used.  Both of us got to take it for a little spin.  Brian was in love, but I don’t know if I could ever tour in something like that - comfortable as it was. 

Later we took a trip down to the pub for something to eat, and sat with the other cyclist at the campground.  It’s been great to finally talk to some similar-minded people and swap stories and get advice since we haven’t met many other than to wave passing on the road.  This man was particularly inspiring as I can only guess that he’s 65+ years and he cycled over 75miles that day!!!  If only we can do that at his age. 

I must take back what I said about how cycling England sucks (well, at least cycling the North does).  Talking to others, they say the rain we experienced is the norm, and that hills are outrageous - they just go straight over the top and a 25% grade is no big deal.  Thank goodness it’s not just me!  Plus, we’ve had great weather the last few days and I’m actually enjoying myself again.  I think my tan’s even improving!
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