Day Six: Rained most of the night, getting the chill factor well below what my sleeping bag is rated. Woke up this morning to blustery winds and 40 degrees. No breakfast at the campground this morning. Currently at the King's Head yet again. Really nice day yesterday weather-wise. Reached all the way up to 69. A regular heat wave here. Was able to make breakfast at the campsite. First time since arriving. Had lunch in the park with a nice salad from Poundland. There is a small lake in the park, and the kids were having a grand time splashing around in it. My legs are protesting riding the bike to and fro the campground. I don't think they would be very happy about getting a fully loaded bike, about 80 pounds, not including me, up hills at abound here. Reminding me of the first year I can here and purchased my first bike in 2006. Almost packed in after a short, hilly ride. Funny how the brain tells you it's possible to do things without a problem done 30 or more years ago. Have to get over to the library and put my grades in. Still contemplating whether to do a long ride or not. Later!
Day Nine: Weather has improved a bit; however, the nights are brutal. In my planning, I only carried with me a lightweight sleeping bag which is just about cutting it. By morning no body heat left. A friend here is going to lend me a heavier one for a bit. Hard to believe only ten more days here in Salisbury than off to Copenhagen. Had several rides in my head, but none were done. Mostly because I have had to get my grades in and need to get my online class ready by June 5th. So have spent a good deal of time at the King's Head or the Library where I am today again. Meeting my friends Paul and Sue for lunch, which I'm looking forward to. Sun is finally out kind of, as from time to time, it is a bit overcast, like this morning. The wind has been doing some heavy and light blowing. Was able to cook a couple of breakfasts at the campground and one dinner so far. Spent a good bit of yesterday afternoon hunting up a jacket potato. Could always get one at the King's Head, but they had an electrical problem and were closed down. Really became aware of how much I depend on the inexpensive food there. When into several other pubs and restaurants but passed them by due to the prices and lack of variety. Finally found a jacket potato at Reeves the Baker, which hit the spot. Oh, and today the public computers at the library are not working.
So have some decisions to make about what to do after Copenhagen. I'm sending all my camping stuff back to the U.S. with my daughter, so after that, it will be hostels and hiking only. Think I've got it figured out will have to look at bookings now. Just might work. Later
Day Fifteen: Warning up finally. Had a very nice trip down to Hengistbury Head Beach with my friends Paul and Sue. As always lots of good conversation during the trip. Did a six-mile hike around the head a bit blowy at times but very nice day. On the way, home drove through New Forest and stopped in for a pint. Really is a beautiful ride, along the way, we passed a field with wild horses hanging out. We will be heading down to Christchurch tomorrow for another day out. Four more days at the campground, then back to Sarum Colleg before heading to Stanstead for my flight to Copenhagen. Most people here still walking around with winter coats on. This has been one of the laziest trips to England I've ever allowed. Most of the time it's get up pack up and ride then do it all over again. Maybe spending a day or two in any one spot. The other campers have asked me when I'm going to get an eBike to which I answer "never." If I could find a 1500 pound eBike it would cost me $1800! I'll pass if push come to shove I'll just start doing a walk about. Time to get to work. Have a bit more to do to finish my online course coming up.
Day Nineteen: Here in the King's Head, again for breakfast. Tomorrow I'll move back to Sarum College and get ready to travel to Stanstead, then off to Copenhagen. Been a nice week traveling around with my friends Paul and Sue. Interesting visit to Christchurch and another peaceful ride through New Forest. I think I nodded off, sorry, Paul and Suem, during the ride as it was so serene. They sure do know this part of England as we kept popping into these out-of-the-way pubs with wonderful gardens. I can't believe I've spent nineteen days here just hanging out. No hard rides here and there. Down to one online class, which is O.K. puts a little money in the coffers. No earth-shattering revelations have come my way so far; still waiting. It always takes me aback watching people down beer after beer with breakfast or just beer. It's freaking 7 am, and they are chucking beer down like water. I've been here most mornings a 7 am, and this bloke sits across from me every morning with five Carlsberg pints in front of him. Always leaves one about a quarter full on his was out. Young, old, men or women don't matter. However, more men than women. I sit by the same widow and daily see the same people pass by with more walking than plopping their asses in cars for a five-minute trip. Five to ten buses pass by, mostly full or at least half full. I'll have to take a morning train to London, and it will be packed. One station I'll go through has 80 trains an hour in the morning. Today is market day, and I'm planning to get a haircut at a little tent. It appears that the water here is what is called soft, so my hair spends the day looking like I just put my finger in an electric socket. Going to see if I can shorten it up a bit. Later!
The train to London was packed most of the time, standing room only. Arrived at London Waterloo and headed for the Underground. Two changes later, I arrived at the rail station for the Stanstead Express. The station was packed, jammed full of people, mostly heading to the airport. The train arrived in a few, and it was packed, so I opted to wait for the next train. By the time it came, the platform was packed again standing room only. I basically stood all the way from Salisbury to Stanstead. Arrived at Stanstead Airport at 2:30 pm. Had to pay for the shuttle to get to Holiday Inn Express. I've had one bad experience with Holiday Inn Express, and that was in Phoenix. Well, this is number two. Fellow at the desk said he could not find my reservation. So I had to unpack my computer, get online to Booking.com and show him the reservation. Other people were walking up to the desk being checked in with no problem. But Mr. Trainee just couldn't get it together. No food until 6 pm with a very limited menu. Ask him to print out my boarding pass, which took him over an hour to do. Later I when down for dinner and ordered a vegan burger with a glass of seltzer water, soda water, or whatever you call it. The waitress says that will be 9.75. I asked how much is the burger, which I knew, 8 pounds. What's the extra 1.75 for? The soda water, she says. Usually, I get soda water for nothing or, at the most, 25 pence. I say you are charging me 1.75 for a class of water with some fizz in it. She nods her head yes I shake my head no. Back to the guy at the front desk after dinner. I ask for a walk-up call. We don't do wake-up calls, he tells me. You can set the phone in the room to wake you up or the T.V. Of course, the phone in the room is not connected. So I set my phone and start looking for another place to stay when I arrive back in the U.K. I'm done with Holiday Inn Express. They are not cheap, and I expect better than this for what I'm paying. Huff and Puff. Later.