Thursday, 14 June 2007

Day 5 - Criss-crossing the border - Monmouth to Wentnor

Through the quiet lanes of Hereford and Shropshire, you never quite know when you're in Wales or in England. On the major routes, there are huge signs welcoming you to one country or another. On these smaller roads, the change is only signalled by an occasional Araf painted below the Slow signs.

After the deluge in Bristol yesterday, it seemed that we had seen the worst of the weather, and leaving Monmouth was unseasonably sunny ... for this geography. So the initial country lanes were a pleasant start to the day. Free from the major hills of yesterday afternoon, my knees seem to be recovering from the aches. But by mid-way the weather is threatening, and warm wet gear becomes the new order of the day.

After crossing the Wye, the day becomes a real test in motivation - my first fight to continue as I am getting more wet and miserable. In he afternoon, I meet up with another group of cyclists which is great for motivation. In this terrible rain, even they are slow and I can keep up with them to the campsite. Arriving wet and cold, we are enormously grateful for those simple English comforts - hot tea and cakes.

The Long Mynd Swans on the Wye Lunch stop
The Long Mynd Swans on the Wye Pembridge

After a long day's riding, there's little time to get to the B&B, change and get top the pub for dinner. A lift is hastily arranged, and gratefully accepted, so that I can get food before the pub stops serving - this becomes a common problem when we are staying in more remote parts. As I'm heading for the B&B, the last stragglers are heading to camp, literally getting an occasional push along from the support team!

Dinner at the Inn on the Green in Wentnor with the whole of the tour party - 45 cyclists and the support team from Bike Adventures. Dinner with Len, Ian & Louise, and not forgetting the two Dawns. Full of pasta and beer, another lift is arranged to get us back to the B&B and I'm ready for bed. But the hosts at Shuttocks Wood have other ideas, and I while away a couple of hours with Howard over a beer or two putting the world to rights. A fine end to a wet and weary day.

John, Ian & Keith Len, Louise, Dawn, Dawn and Ian Phil, Stuart, Matt and James
Dave, Walter, Abi and Richard Joerg, Tim, Carl and Caroline Kim, Kevin, Elaine, Louise, Ant and Adrian
Dinner at the Inn on the Green

Map from Google maps
Tour summary: 70 miles planned, 71 miles actual, 348 miles total so far.

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