Sampford Peverell to Cheddar

The bLog displays seem to miss out the first line when viewed on our hand held devices, hence long hmmmmm at outset. 

An average at best overnight stop at The Waterloo Cross last night saw us on the road at 8.45, determined to ‘get on’ and avoid any chance of a repetition of  Saturday’s fiasco.  It strikes me as I lie in bed now (at 8.45 pm, a full 4 hours at least earlier than  normal, but hey, seize the day, or night) that if I had seen the plaque on the bed room wall tonight, on Friday, I would have added regret it. 

It states ‘see it, dream it, do it’. 

It is said that to the queen the whole world smells of new paint. For me today the whole world has smelt of honeysuckle and roses, and has sounded of birdsong. There were shadows of dragonflies fluttering along the lanes before me and butterflies everywhere amongst the honeysuckle and dog roses in the hedge rows. 

I’m losing weight and paradoxically carrying too much (on the bike) so two changes were made today: 

XS baggage left at hotel: 

I’m becoming a DoE student and have left deodorant, shampoo, perfume and loose coppers, none of which individually weigh much but it all adds up. 

And to maintain my weight I’m shovelling down much more in the way of bananas,orange juice and fruit and nuts, using my knowledge from the London to Paris ride in 2011. 

The cycle was not easy today- and a full 1 mile climb (we pushed our bikes) led me to turn into one of those people I despair of.  It goes thus:  we have paper turn by turn instructions that we use along side the satnav guide. As I wear a pair of rather becoming reflective cycle goggles (hide the tears) I struggle to make out all the instructions without resorting to finding reading specs, which I rarely do, so make out the gist – for example, pass the C”@&&£)(d Manor then climb the one mile steep hill. The C@&&£)d word looked close enough to ‘catheterised’ to think of the manor in such terms as I ground up the hill, swearing at the weight of the bike, pausing only to try to recreate yesterday’s banana skin trick on Keith (I failed).

Bad news. The Pines Cafe, our anticipated reward, was closed. Good news, a hostelry, the Travellers    Rest was open.  Like stepping back into time, an inn full of knick knacks, inglenook fireplaces and stuffed cockerels selling knickerbocker glory and banana splits with a rather wizened older man behind the bar, I launched into one of those top of the voice hail fellow well met voices claiming: now this IS a sight for sore eyes. No reply. 

We’re so thirsty. That is a big hill. 

No reply. 

We’ve come up such a big hill. It’s a mile. 

He says: it’s a mile whichever way you come. We’re at the top of the hill. 

Then: where’ve you come from? 

Of course the only place name I could think of was Catheterised Manor. 

……. may I have a ham sandwich please? 

Of course with the climb came some rapid and exciting descents to the Somerset Levels, 

And opportunity to stop and admire the countryside and top up on peanuts: and on to Cheddar, a village by the gorge. A beautiful ancient settlement with an historic market cross: and a stylish and pleasant lodging, with a swimming pool no less- how these southerners can live in their warmer climate! Miles: 46.5 (cumulative 173.5)

Ascent: 2900 feet 

Pints:1 cakes:0

Tantrums: 0 

Mechanical issues:1

A good day. 

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