|It was nice to get on a familiar route, to be almost home|
We finally made it home. After four weeks, four punctures, a broken chain and 1040km. The place smelt awful; damp and mouldy. Having escaped the floods around Gloucester and Tewkesbury there was no escaping the damage from an overflowing cistern. So what I imagined as a day of rest, relaxation and recuperation became a day of clearing up. And after just a few hours cleaning mildew off walls, tables and chairs I was ready to get back on my bike.
We always knew it would be strange coming home half way through. We even considered avoiding the place, taking a different route so we wouldn’t need to stop off or call in, fearing we might fall into bed and never get up again. But in the event, while it’s been nice to see the old place, it’s just as nice to think we’ve another three weeks on the road before we have to come back and face the thousand jobs that always need doing in an old property like ours. Like getting the boiler to work so we can have that hot bath we’d been so looking forward to.
Anway, putting the lack of bath aside it was great to lie-in in our own beds, read the paper over breakfast, let the kids veg in front of videos, cook a meal with more than one pan, pop down the local tearoom and say hi to a few friends. And now it’s time to hit the road again. Nice as it is, we can’t afford to hang around if we’re to make John O Groats.
|Leaving the village and heading North once more|
When we set off from Lands End, we figured reaching O Groats was possible in six to seven weeks if we could manage to ride 25 miles a day. I thought we’d know after a fortnight whether we could hack it, whether End to End was achievable in the time available. But while we’ve managed the distance and more, I still don’t know if we can top-out in time to get back in time for school.
|When we set off we didn’t know if we could make. Half way there, and we still don’t!|
We’ve got three weeks and while it’s still looking feasible, the far North of Scotland still looks far, far away, beyond the challenges of distilleries, deep fried mars bars, the Scottish Highlands and swarms of hungry midges. The whole journey still has an air of challenge and uncertainty about it without which life would be so much more boring. And so with the bagpipes are calling, it’s time to get back to what we hope will be the open road.
|Let’s hope the road ahead is open|
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