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Sunday, July 11, 2010

England 2010: Part

You will see that this is not complete at press time.  From time to time I'll remove this post and replace it with an updated version.

Sunday, May 31, 2010


Overcast again today and my plan was to hang out at the library and just get my blog caught up however today is a holiday so it is closed. Back at the Old Kings Head Pub and hiding in a corner

Today I’m having porridge for breakfast this morning which was a first porridge, by the way, is Oatmeal. Quaker Oaks cartons are marked Quaker porridge.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010







Wednesday, June 02, 2010




Thursday, June 03, 2010


Story Teller



Friday, June 04, 2010

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Town Market

End of the Festival

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Ride to Wilcot:

Everything is loaded on the new bike and it’s ready for the first ride. This is a route that I’ve taken twice before and so I know what to expect and how I’ve managed in the past. So off I ride with great expectations that this will be much less difficult then in the past. Hills seem to be easier to get up which is what I paid for. There is one hill that I walk no matter what on this ride. It is very narrow and lots of speeding cars. At low speed creeping up the hill wobbling at times is not very safe. However this time I am able to ride half of it something new.

Taking a few rest stops I end up in Wilcot and have covered 29 miles in 4 hours or a little over 7 mph. That may not sound like a lot but the first time I did this I averages 3 mph. Last year Mark and I averaged about 2 mph. So I’m thinking not bad, not to darn bad. However, I have found an easier way to get to Wilcot. That the train to Pewsey and then ride 10 minutes to Wilcot. All in all the entire ride was very nice, not to hot, no rain, light traffic. Along the way I come up on a “Gypsy Wagon” complete with horse, woman driver, and “Hansel and Gretel” in the back waving out the window. Nothing along this route has changed much that I remember. I pass one area where construction of what appears to be a channel of some sort. That’s about all that’s new!

Arrived at Wilcot and my hang out The Golden Swan and was greeted by Peter the owner. We changed for awhile then I stated how I’m looking forward to some great food. Peter informed me that he had no chef so they were not serving food. No problem I’ve got enough in my “kitchen” to eat tonight. Sandra, who I met here last year have been corresponding all year she is to meet me here tomorrow. I’ll learn yet again that expectations are useless and can take the fun out of an event. After I’m finished eating it is time of Peter to open for business. He shows me a table near and outlet so I can plug in and blog. We talk a bit about the condition of the world and what we’ve been up to for the past year.

After spending some time with a beer and blog I retire having the camping field to myself.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Wilcot and Pewsey:

It has been raining most of the night and is still raining in the morning. No cooking today! I have to find away to carry some kind of cooking shelter for days like this. I ride into Pewsey and find a Pub that offers breakfast and free WiFi. The rain has stopped and I explore the area riding along the Kennek and Avon Canal where I find pill boxes decaying in the wood. This canal has pill boxes all along it and was to be a line of defense if Germany invaded from the South. It is a dark overcastted day with sprinkles of rain from time to time. I stop in at the Pewsey Co-Op food store to pick up a little lunch. While sitting outside eating I have a conversation with a gentleman who was “born and raised in Wilcot, spent my whole life there.” I find this amazing as Wilcot is a very small village of many 20 houses, no stores and one Pub.

I head back to the Swan to see if they will be cooking tonight and meet up with Sandra. Peter informs me that they still have no chef, but there is a nice pub down the road. I’ve not seen hid nor hair of Sandra, Peter tells me where she lives. I trot down there and knock on that door of three cottages receiving no answer. Back at the Pub Peter goes checks to see if he can find a telephone number for her; none listed. I look though my emails and find her number and we call. She informs we she is in bed already and will see me in the morning. It’s 8:30 pm??? So now I’ll have to ride back to Pewsey to get something to eat. At first Peter has told me I can order something on the phone then he run and get it. That offer seems to have disappeared so in the rain I ride back to Pewsey.

The Royal Oak in Pewsey is a very nice local Pub with ceiling so low I have to take my hat off to walk around. Walking up to the bar to order dinner the lady behind it is in a very animated conversation. Slowly I make out that her daughter has been in a car accident do to the slippery conditions on the roads. Her daughter is alright my dinner is ordered and served along with a nice local Ale. It is getting dark and I’m trying to worry about riding back to the Swan. It is now time to head back to the Swan in the rain, and semi darkness.

On the way my front light decides to die so I have to go very slow so as not to end up in a pot hole. Arriving back at the Swan safely I find a new camper and his wife at the bar. Bill and Sara come and sit with me so there will be not blogging tonight, but rather a very pleasant conversation with a lovely young couple from York. We talk about taking time to enjoy life and their kids now and let the future be. He is a mountain bike rider who wants to ride the Alps, not through them but on them. He is unsure if what he is doing, taking time off from work, a month, when his friends are working. Shouldn’t he be doing the same making money and saving for the future rather than riding around with his family for a mouth. I assure him that in my opinion he is on the right path.

Bill and Sara

The Royal Oak

The Swan

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Rain

The Train

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Thursday, June 10, 2010


Packed up my stuff and gave it over to the care of Wendy and Nigel at the campground. Road down to town to pick up a pair of pants at JK Maxx, the off to the Pub for a spot of breakfast before heading to the rail station.

Friday, June 11th to 17th 2010


A most unbelievable experience!

The flight from London to Graz was smooth as silk with cotton ball puffs of clouds so the views were incredible. There are some pictures of flying over the Alps whose tops are still covered with snow or maybe I was looking at a glacier. From the moment of setting foot in the airport till it was time to head back home was a wiral wind of new experiences and new people. Elfi, my Great Aunt’s daughter was waiting for me at the airport. The last time I saw her was when she was 1 ½ years old before leaving Canada with her family to return to Austria. She was with her friend Hans who was our driver for most of the time in Graz.

He spoke only German leaving Elfi to be our translator. Elfi speaks very good English having learned it in grade and high school. I very quickly became use to listening to conversations in German all around me. Of course trying to guess what they were saying while listening for the few words I now. Our first stop was a restaurant where we sat in the beer garden for lunch. The menu was in German so, except for the few words I could pick up, it had to be read to me. It was like being a kid again not understanding all the lines on a menu what Mon and Dad take you out to eat. I order salad and water, oops; nope Hans was having none of that, its beer time.

Arriving at Elfi’s house I’m shown to my room and given a quick tour of the house and grounds. Elfi explains that this was her parent’s house and she lived in with them. They both passed away and now she has the house. That seems to be the way of things here. Several house had a second house attached for the son or daughter to live in. Some are empty because the son or daughter did not want to live there. Houses are past down generation to generation, but some of the children do not want the house so it either sits empty or is sold. I met Andria who is a distance cousin and she now lives in the house that belonged to our Great-Great-Great- Grandfather. She proudly showed me the room he slept in which is now a kitchen.

We visited museums, restaurants, castles, and lots of relatives. I never knew there were so many of our family left in Austria, especially in the home town of GĻ‹ssing. The whole time I was there I did not spend a dime. Everything was paid for by my hosts. Questions were asked about what I liked to eat and there it was. I mentioned I’ve not eaten red meat in a long time and there was no red meat to be seen. We ate, drank, traveled to family members and ate and drank some more. Lots of homemade wine filled my glass and it was good stuff. It did bring back memories of my grandfather making wine, or eating and drinking again and again when we would visit relatives in Pennsylvania.

It was a wonderful time!!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Saturday, June 19, 2010


Today is my son Kevin’s Birthday.

I’ve decided to visit my relatives Ray and Pauline in Birkenhead via train and a canal ride. There is the Shopshirer Grand Canal which runs from Wolverhampton to Chester which is between Delamere and Birkenhead. Once I arrive in Chester I’ll jump on the train to the campground at Delamere then head in to meet my relatives for the first time. After studying the map for a while I work out a route that will take me there. It looks to be around 15 miles which I’ve ridden many times before. I head to the train station to pick up the necessary tickets and fine that the rail line is having work done on it so I can’t get to the town I’d like. Back to the Maps to see that my choices are take the train to Bristol then change to Manchester, then change to Delamere as I’ve done in the past or take the train to Wolverhampton and ride 30 miles of canal. I decided on the 30 mile ride figuring on reaching the campground by 7pm.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Salisbury to Wolverhamption:

This is a 4 hour train ride with three changes. Thankfully there are lifts or ramps at the stations the changes take place at. I’m able to type a bit while the train rushes up the county. I thing this year I’ve used the train more than any year past. I take to a biking person who

Canal and Back:

On to Shrewsbury


Monday, June 21, 2010

Shrewsbury to Delamere Forest

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Delamere Forest to Birkenhead to Morton

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Delamere to Shrewsbury to Wolverhamption to Salisbury

Thursday, June 24, 2010



Friday, June 25, 2010

Salisbury to Dorchester and Mr. Cornsby

Today was a day of expectations and of course you know what they can do. Took the train to Dochester to meet with Mr. Cornsby a British doctor who providers HIFU for his Prostate cancer patients. We talked a bit about my condition and he informed me there would need to be some tests run, but it look like I’d be a candidate for the procedure. The cost would be $12,000 to 13,000 pounds and would have to be done rather quickly as I don’t have much time left here in the u k. I had spoken to an American doctor who can only do this procedure in Cancun and his price was $23,000 payment plans available. He made me an appointment for next Tuesday at 5:00 pm to begin the tests. The hospital were Mr. Cornsby performs his treatment is a 36 bed facility not far from downtown Dorchester. It is a very quiet, clean and welcoming with a large pleasant waiting room complete with free coffee.

I arrived about two hours early for my appointment and was taken right in. Mr. Cornsby was a very pleasant, straight forward gentleman in a dark blue suit, power blue shirt and matching tie. We talked about what had been done so far in the U S and was surprised to hear that HIFU was not yet approved for us there. When I return on Tuesday I’d undergo two more tests which would finalize whether or not I qualified to have the procedure. I asked how much more the tests would add to the cost of the procedure to which he indicated they would only add about 200 pounds. I almost fell off my chair because I’d had these tests in the U S and know that they each cost over $4000. He walked me to the door and had the receptionist set up the appointment. He patted me on the shoulder and said he keep the cost down a mush as possible.

In town I found a Weatherspoon Pub, my favorite because they all have free WiFi, and logged in to see what the current exchange rate is. Today 13,000 pounds is equal to $19,850 quite a savings, but more then I had stashed away. I had dreams of just getting the thing done and going home cured, but that is not to be. I’m left with lest then desirable treatments that are approved and paid for by insurance. The FDA is about two years away from approving this treatment. I read a few things on the FDA website which really gives you food for thought. People are being cured from Prostate cancer around the world, but the before the clinical trials could start here the spent about two years finding an artificial blood and tissue to test first. Oh and by the way the FDA is also looking at this treatment for breast cancer. However, men in the U S continue to die, unless they have the money to go to Canada, Mexico, Japan, England, Europe, India and South America. If they don’t die they are left with incontinence and /or erectile dysfunction from the treatments currently offered. What’s wrong with this picture??

I wander around town at bid have some lunch then head for the train station for the trip back to Salisbury. Wondering where I can get enough money to have this done here. The more I wonder the more I think it is a waste of time just go home get what you can get then move on with your life. On the train now and with each station the train takes on more and more passengers as we’ve name them. I now occupy two seats and a table which may soon change. Right now I’m a passenger on a train not of my choosing, but I’m on it none the less. Now that I’m on it there are a few stations I can chose to get off on again none to my liking, but neither the less I can make some choices. Funny I use to teach this to my clients that there are always choices and times neither choice is what you’d like but a choice.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Today was a “work” day. Sat in the park working on my bike, eating lunch under a huge green shade tree, looking up at a power blue sky, not even working up a sweat do to the breeze that caressed me all day; this they call a heat wave? There was a little stream close by that from time to time I walk in which was so refreshing. Then I went to see Shrek in 3D at the local movie house. I keep asking if there are seats and getting strange looks from the ticket seller. The theater had two other people in it besides me and the thing just opened here. The same with Robin Hood and whatever Mark in I saw. In the U S there would be lines for days or you would have to sit in the seats under the screen.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Monday, June 28, 2010


Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Salisbury to Devizes

Up at 6:30 am show and pack up ready to leave by 8:30 am. I’ve done most of this ride what six times now. I’m heading up to Bristol where I’ll catch the train to Cardiff Central and from there back up to Morton. I’ll go back up to spent a little more time with the family I’ve found there and get some more background information. This will be my last ride this year, once I get back it will be time to go home. It will also be Time to make a decision, time to alter my body for the rest of my life. Spoke to Mr. Cornaby the doctor I saw here and explained about the money. He said I know where to find him if something changed. Like winning the lottery, or robbing a bank, or anything that will bring me enough money to have a treatment that does not change my life.

I arrived in Devizes at around 2 pm after a 30 mile not too bad a ride considering some of the traffic I ran into. I even had some flat riding today that is until I hit “The Hill” which had to be gone up to go down into Devizes. Then I should have been an easy ride down the canal to the campground. Almost to my oasis for the night I find the canal blocked, closed, not passable. What the hell! Well so much for the easy ride to my home for the evening. I find that there are two choices for me to get “home” for the evening. One is on a Dual Carriage way which is flat and direct according to the map, the other is back roads going up and down hills. I pull out a shiny octagon 50p coin and flip it, back road it is.

Rounding a corner a familiar sight greets me. There sits a pub that adjoins the campground and a few minutes later I’m being guided to my pitch. It is the same pitch Mark and I had last year after our harrowing canal ride. Only I had bypassed that part of the canal and about 2 hours of riding. Up goes the Tent, then take a short nap and it’s time for dinner at the pub. As I approach the Pub I attempt to remember if Mark and I had dinner here two years ago. Ah! Yes there we are at that table next to the wall yep we had dinner here. I order and am told that they can’t make it for some reason having to do with the refrigerator. For tonight Soup will do just soup will be fine and a Coke. Soup is thick and good but the Coke has not ice. They are very tight with their Ice over here. When you do get it, via request, there are about 3 or 4 floating in your drink. For a Pub that is out in the middle of nowhere it sure is busy in here. Some you can see are “campers” but most are locals stopping in for their pint.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Devizies to Bath:

Left Devizes at 8:00 am, arrived Bath 12:30 pm after a very nice ride. The tow path along the canal is smooth and wide, the weather was cool with lots of gray and white clouds blocking out the sun and sky. It was quite breezy with some gusts that hit you when you’re not expecting it which is a good way to end up in the Canal. So it is a tense ride until the breeze dies away about half way through. Last night during my many trips to England that no sleeping bag was needed. Usually I’m very cold here during the night but this year the combination of the air mattress I found and the sleeping bag Mark found I’ve been quite warm. My Big Agnes, Emerald Mountain tent is working as well as it has for the past three years. The GoLightly rain jacket has work well to keep in dry during the few rains experienced. I purchased a pair of Teva water shoes that are turning out to be quite comfortable walking shoes.

But, everything I purchased from Exped has failed. The first to go was the cover that goes over the air mattress so it can be turned into a chair or lounge. There are pole that stiffen the thing which poked right through the material, next was the pillow which sprung about six micro holes so it no long holds air and its inflation valve no longer blocks air from coming back out when you blow into it. Last was my air mat which did a great job of keeping me warm. First an outside seam parted making it difficult to use the built in air pump, then a seam in the middle let go causing a large bump to form when it is inflated. It manages to stay inflated during most of the night with the help of good old duct tape. I’m really sad that the Sleeping mattress has failed and because it has helped to keep me warm I’ll try a replacement.

As I ride the canal a young man rides up, asks a few questions then rides on as there is no way I’m going to keep up with him. I come around a bend and spy him standing in the road. I stop and ask if he’s O K and he tells me it was rude of him jus to ride on. So now I have a partner riding along side of me and we talk about his job, our bikes, and the canal. His name is Justin and he has a friend who is the designer of the bike I’m riding. He has been looking at possibly purchasing a bike like mine. It is very nice to have company for awhile and has he leaves I hand him my card so we can keep in touch.

Originally the plan was to ride the canal to Bristol then on to Cardiff then take the train north. However, it would be too late in the evening so I’d have to spend the night in Cardiff. I’m now on a train that will put me in Delamere again around 6 pm. This will give me time to do a few adjustments to my bike then head in to see the family. It is their anniversary this Saturday and that should be fun. I’ll head back down to Bath on Monday then ride the canal back to Devizes maybe a little further we’ll see. I should be back in Salisbury by the 6th and begin to get ready to head home. Arriving at Delamere campground and am told that they are booked up for the weekend do to a concert going on in the forest amphitheater. Luckily the manager comes in and finds a two night spot for me.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Delamere Forest to Chester:

After attempting to ride to Chester without a map it’s time to get on the train. My day is spent looking at maps as I’ll ride back to the campground, attempting to get hold of my relatives in Birkenhead, walking the only intact castle wall that use to protect the city, attempting to SKYPE my daughter, and sending emails. Toward the end of the day while hunkered down in a Pub I receive an email that a room awaits me in Morton. It is time to ride back to the campground and settle in for the night. Upon arriving back at Delamere Forest, which was not a bad ride, I can begin to hear the concert about ½ a mile away. The concert goes on well into the night and I’m happy that I’ll not have to be here tomorrow for the 2nd day. The music that is drifting through the wood is from the sixties and seventies so it is palatable.

Before heading back to the campground I stop in a Superdrug for some low dose aspirin that I take daily. The “powers” purchased when Mark and I were in France have run out. Not seeing them on the shelf I hunt down a clerk who takes me to the pharmacy counter. The lady pulls what I want from her stock and asks “You from Canada?” Now this is a question that has been asked a lot during my travels here in England. Must be the hat which is not my usual western head gear or the quiet way I talk. After telling her I’m from Flagstaff she informs me that she has been there many times and love’s it there. We talk about the Grand Canyon and some of the hotels she has stayed at in Flagstaff. A few she mentions leave me wondering as to why that place was chosen.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I’ve found a rail station much closer to the relative’s home that the one used in the past. It is a short ride on my bike, which is fully loaded, to the house from the station. I’m warmly greeted, shown to my room and after a chat I’ve been invited to a charming stay with Ray and Cathleen meeting relatives, cursing around Liverpool, Birkenhead, Rock Ferry, and Morton. I’m shown the places and told about people that would have been part of my grandfather Cooke’s life. After crossing the Mersey while the song plays in the background we arrive in Liverpool and stand on what is left of the pier that the S S Caroline sailed from bringing my family to America. We talk about how difficult it must have been to pack up everything you own in some steamer trunks, wave good bye to your family, and then watch your homeland dwindle in the distance. I know my grandfather never returned to his homeland and I wonder now if he ever wanted to.

We look at old photo’s identifying relatives both in England and the U S. We attempt to put dates in place for births, even connect with a new arm of the family back in the U S. Memories are shared of my grandfather’s brother Arthur who stayed watching his brother’s and sister’s sailed off to the land of milk and honey. He did come over for awhile, but decided to return to England to marry and begin the part of the family I’m currently with. These are my Second and Third Cousins with their children and wives who are currently taking very good care of me. I get to attend a Cricket match for 4th of July which lasts for seven hours having no idea what is going on, but enjoying the time with this new family. Looking in their faces I see vantages of my grandfather, sometimes my dad, and sometime my aunts in all.

Ray, Pauline and I talk continuously, at times well into the night, as if we have known each other all our lives. It is easy to talk to all including the children who are quite sociable. I’ve been here for seven days and sadly it is time to leave tomorrow. I’ll miss them and hope that next year will bring me back for another visit.

July 9, 2010

Friday, Morton to Bath:

We say are goodbyes after Ray oils my bike making sure all is well while Pauline has made me some sandwiches for the journey. I’m hoping to make it back to Devizes today, but this is a long train trip and I’m doubtful. I’m on the train at Morton by 11:03 am and will have to change trains four times which is a real pain. I’ll reach Bath at 6:10 pm and it is a two hour ride back to Devizes. I may hold up in Bath for the night and then ride most of tomorrow to get back to Salisbury or just take the train. I’ll decide once I reach Bath.

Only a few days left to this most eventful trip as I’ll be spending the 11th and 12th in Salisbury at the YHA. On the 13th, after securing my bike, I’ll train to Heathrow arriving by noon then leaving at 2:30 pm. After spending two hours in Detroit it will be home to Phoenix arriving there around 10 pm. Mark will pick me up at the airport and take me up to Stacey’s. I finally get to see my new granddaughter Rebecca, I’ll have to take Luke and Caden to get their delayed birthday presents, and maybe take my daughter and son-in-law out for an anniversary dinner. Then it will be time to make a decision about what to do for my cancer and am sad that the newer therapies were not available to me.

There is a fellow I’ve been watching on the train who seems to be in a great rush to get somewhere. After getting my bike ready to get off at the next station he comes to stand in the vestibule looking at his watch. I’ve found a way to back my bike into the space where the train cans connect and am standing there. He begins to talk to me about my bike, how long have I been in England, where have I been, and if I’m retired. I tell him that I work more now that I’ve retired then I probably did when I was working. He asks what I teach and after telling him he tells me of this study he has just completed. We now talk all the way to the station about outcomes, and different instrument used in the U S, and how people just do not understand the concept of constructs. He tells me he’ll email me a copy of the instrument they came up with and keep in touch. We are now walking down the Bristol station, he heading home, and me heading for my next train. I mention I’ve been thinking about putting together a one week group tour and he tells me he loves biking and would love to help me. Looking forward to his email.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bath to Woodbridge Inn:

Breakfast at the YMCA, pack the bike and hit the road by 9:30 pm well not the road the canal. I’ve ridden this part of the canal three times finding the hardest part getting out of bath with its many bridges to go under and over. It is overcast but warm as England is having a heat wave so it should be about 80 today. There was no forecast of rain last night so we’ll see if that rings true. The weather forecasts here have be spot on as they say. Speaking of the weather I’ve not had this kind of weather since my first trip five years ago. It has been just beautiful with little rain, mostly at night, warm breezy days and cool evenings just right for sleeping.

The canal is very busy as is the canal tow path. The path has quite a few bike riders whizzing both ways, older couples, dressed in their walking clothes taking time to stop and smell the flowers or at least admire them, and runners with the necessary ear phones attached. Those canal boats that are docked have fishing poles hanging off them, dogs lie in the shade barely opening their eyes as I ride by. There is a low put-put from the ones leisurely moving on the river. No matter where they are or what the people on board are doing there is always time for a “Good Morning” or a nod of the head with a smile. I’m moving along at a very fast clip so there has been no time for chats. Occasionally there is a “That quite a load your bikes got” I agree with a smile as I ride by.

I find myself riding the canal at a much faster clip then in the past. I now rarely get off the bike to go under bridges that have a narrow tow path underneath. The reason is that in the back of my head is the thought of riding all the way to Salisbury today. Wondering why it could not be done while riding along. On prior trips staying focused on the road has been paramount. This year my head is drifting all over the place, or just more in touch with the surroundings that the road. My mind rarely drifts to work or heath issues although when they do decisions seem to have been make which give me a start as to how they were arrived at. Reaching Devises at 12:40 pm it’s time for lunch and then I’ll decide if Salisbury is doable. It is 2 pm by the time lunch has been wolfed down along with several glasses of water. It is time to decide between riding the canal, for another two hours, or riding to a campground whose location I’m not real sure of which will put me closer to Salisbury.

Sorry Sandra no getting together this year because I pick the unsure of ride. The road is a fairly busy “A” road which I’ve ridden a lot in England. I keep looking at my speedometer and can’t believe how fast I’m going. I attempt to slow down as I have plenty of time to get to the area the campground may be. I’m going to have to chalk it up the new bike as my average speed has risen from 5 and 6 miles an hour to 10. I’ve now come to the conclusion that focusing on the road has become automatic. After 12 miles and a couple of good guesses the Pub I’m hoping to find looms up ahead. A very bubbly, attractive lady outside has just put up the dinner sign and assures me that there is space in the campground. This is a wonderful campground in the middle of not much. It is one of those campgrounds that you go do just to get away from the hustle and bustle. My tent is pitched by 3:00 pm on lush green grass next to a silently flowing stream. I want to stay here for several days but I have to be in Salisbury no later than tomorrow to get everything ready to head home.

I’m seating at a table in the pub next to an open door which allows a gentle breeze to flow over me. I’ve had dinner and now it’s time to sit by the stream before turning in. In this solitude I hope I wake up tomorrow!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Woodbridge Inn to Salisbury:

Worried about getting up did I say? Up at 6:00 am and on the road by 6:30 am with a new route back to Salisbury to follow. I’ve known this route to be there but, have chosen not to try it because of the traffic it carries. From time to time you can see and hear it from the usual route. However, it is early, and Sunday so I’ll chance it. I can always return to the old way if it gets to hairy. It was not to bad a ride for the two hours with only a few busses and Lorries going by. This ride, taking the back roads, takes us 5 to 6 hours. I’m stunned that it has only taken 1 ½ hours to reach Amesbury. This part of the trip on the old route usually takes 4 hours. I ride along and find myself pulling up to the Starbucks, in the middle of Salisbury by 9:30 and I’ve covered 38 Km in 3 hours. Wait till I tell Mark about this. We made the ride to Devises from Salisbury and it took us 12 hours. I made the ride, using lest taxing routes in 6 hours.

My bike is naked, my bags are packed, all unnecessary items have been discarded, I’ve checked with the airline and all is well. There will be a few things to do tomorrow, but for the most part I’m ready to return home. I’m at the YHA and Liz and I have talked about my trip and her upcoming wedding with a possible move to New Zealand. Had a nice dinner at the Cathedral Hotel and now back at the Y for a quick internet check and then off to sleep.