Monday 4 August
Tony arrived back at my hotel on Sunday evening after his bus-man’s holiday walking weekend in the Dales with pizza in hand ( good boy ! ). Shame that it was a chicken pizza when a vegetarian one was asked for. Tony bravely removed the morcells of fibrous-ness from his portions and we both polished it off in no time.
I bid my oasis of comfort for the last 4 days and nights farewell, we clicked back into our default positions on our respective modes of transport ( feet and bike ) and headed off towards Ablain-Saint-Nazaire. It was a cloudy day to start with but soon became a blue sky hot sunny day - oh the familiarity. We were together for the whole of the route ie Tony did road walking for the full 20 miles, and he felt it. Today was the first time since leaving home ( over 600 miles ago today ) that I have seen him in discomfort, and almost refusing to go any further. The farm b&b that we had booked had better be worth it !
It most certainly was ! It was a working farm, that rents accommodation, has a farm shop on site and also has what looks like a very large cafe on site too. We were the only guests on site this evening so everything was quiet. Our hostess had offered to put some cold food items in the fridge for us for our evening meal, obviously knowing that there were no shops for us to do our own shopping and that we would be hungry upon arrival. And what a feast it was too - ham, pate, hard boiled eggs x 4, green beans with lovely herby dressing, bread, 2 x types of cheese, 4 x large vine tomatoes, a bottle of water, and 2 x pieces of gorgeous plum flan for afters. We would have been totally snookered without this food. And - we could make packed lunches with what we couldn't finish for tea = even better !
After tea I went to pump up my bike tyres which had felt decidedly bouncy this day. As I pumped I was aware that the farm family ( mum, dad and at least one twenty-something farm lad ) could see me from their kitchen window whilst they dined. I felt quite proud that I was being viewed as a female ( with rather a good tan at this point ) who was taking responsibility for her steed in the form of performing serious necessary maintenance, and who looked as though she knew what she was doing. Ignore the fact that it took me 3 pumping sessions of the front tyre to get it right ( it is just so hard to remove the pump from the inlet without letting all of the air out again ! ). The rear tyre pumping went to plan. I also covered the bike seat with a plastic bag as’ it was looking black over Bill’s mother’s ‘, as Tony would say. We both hoped that the forecasted rain stayed away.
Distance - 20 miles
Distance since Helmsley - 613.35 miles