Thursday, 22 July 2010

Day 11 - Chepstow -> Tiverton

Knitwits Yarns

Woke up to SUN and 2 flat tyres on G's bike!! I can't tell you how the atmosphere in the van improves when the sun is out and, OK, there were 2 flats to deal with but it was so much easier without the rain pouring down. There they go:

And of course the first excitement for the day was the Severn Bridge:

The bridge is such a physical and psychological landmark that they took a whole load of pictures:

So different to the lashing rain on the Forth Bridge!

Somebody else snuck a lift in FB's bag. She said she hadn't come all the way from the north of Scotland to miss out on the Severn Bridge:

She says she's enormously impressed by the scale of the bridge and the extraordinary engineering feat these huge structures are. She's actually quite opinionated on a number of things but doesn't like to discuss politics and, specifically, the furore between Scotland and the USA at the moment - she doesn't think it's her position to comment at this moment in time.

This sign on the bridge amused FB no end:

It basically lists all the Acts and Laws you will be breaking if you decide to climb on the bridge and/or jump off. As FB said, presumably if you're thinking of jumping off you're not particularly worried about which laws you'll be breaking.

This was the view from the bridge:

Whilst on the bridge the boys finally met up with a good friend, Jason, who had driven down from Cirencester to spend a day cycling with them. Jason actually gave FB the bike he's been riding for this trip and I don't suppose he ever imagined what it would be used for. Meeting on the bridge wasn't quite as simple as you'd imagine. The phone calls went a bit like this:
J: "I'm on the bridge, mate - where are you?"
FB: "We're half way along the bridge, taking photos"
J: "OK, I'll see you there"
Five minutes later:
J: "Mate, I've cycled all the way to Chepstow and you're not on the bridge"
FB: "Yes, we are - we're half way along"
Five minutes later:
J: "I'm back on the Bristol side - where the *&%$£ are you?"
FB: "Jase, there's a cycle path on each side of the bridge - we're on the left hand one as you come from Chepstow. Which side are you on?"
J: "*&^%*&^%$&%£@%&*(*^%$"!!!!!

This is Jason under the Clifton Suspension Bridge:

and the boys:

and, obviously, Nessie - who had started a long involved reasoning as to why she thought that Brunel chappy was a jolly clever bloke before she was unceremoniously bunged back in her box:

After Bristol the boys met up with another friend - John - who had only returned from Egypt at 2am that morning (which is, presumably, why he's looking so much browner than the rest of us). The entire group then cycled down to Tiverton together. This is the group photograph at Taunton:

From left to right: T, G, FB (breathing in), Jason and John.

Together they crossed into Somerset:

and then Devon:

It was a lovely run and the flattest cycling our boys had had for pretty much the entire trip. John then caught the train back to Bristol and Jason spent the night with his brother who lives down here.

At Tiverton Services the boys met a couple from the British Forces Broadcasting Service in Cyprus. They were, obviously, very supportive and the lads had a good chat - it really is amazing who you meet on these journeys!

We spent last night at the Minnows Touring Park at Sampford Peverall, just off the M5 and A361. It's a great site, within walking distance of a pub along the Great Western Canal but even FB was too knackered to consider walking there - which gives you a really good indicator of how tired they now are! Once again, the wonderful owner didn't charge us to stay here and he obviously gets a lot of "End to Enders" staying. The generosity of people is always overwhelming and we've been especially struck by it the further west we've come - maybe it's because there are more camps and bases down this way but H4H certainly resonates with everyone here.

The chaffing is getting very bad. Sudocrem seems to be helping - reminds me of when they were babies - except I now get them to apply it themselves!

The knitting is now getting critical. Measured the sleeves last night and I have 5" to go. To non-knitters that may not sound much but, trust me - 81 stitches per sleeve, 5" is at least 25 rows - in moss stitch - that's a heck of a lot of knitting. And then I have to sew it up and knit the collar and knit the Scottish twist which Tina so kindly gave me. A dear customer, sadly no longer with us, who was the most perfect and beautiful knitter used to say that when you've knitted the pieces you're half way there. If that's true then I'm doomed. Doomed, I say.

In view of the knitting crisis there will be no cleaning of the campervan today - I realise this is a difficult committment to make but one I'm prepared to, under these exceptional circumstances.

Mileage today - 82
Total mileage - 815

Today - barring disasters - Cornwall!

PS: It's raining


  1. Keep going boys, you're nearly home!

  2. Welcome to Cornwall, just so you feel at home it is RAINING

    Peggy x

  3. wow you will soon be home!!! well done all of you!!

  4. well done guys very proud of your effort,and yes having just looked at the taunton photos sergent major is defo breathing in!!good on him.
    whats the eta for lands end then julia,would love to be able to get down to see you all arrive.
    Coach Russell