Our final day of this year's tour was our longest day yet, albeit on relatively flat ground. After an amazing night's sleep courtesy of Couchsurfer friends Nick and Rachel, we were treated to a brief breakfast and were on our bikes at the bright and early time of 8:15am. This was all so our hosts to get to work on time! What a fantastic couple.
Despite there not being a cloud in the sky, the cold, damp air rose from the trees and fields of the countryside giving us a quick wake-up as we descended into Bridgwater which was 8km north-east. A quick stop for a croissant and we were making quick progress towards our first station of the day- Burnham-on-Sea.
|Nick outside Burnham-on-Sea RNLI station. I like to think of this as his 'first day of school' pose.|
It was, like many of the seaside towns we have visited on this trip, a town filled with Victorian architecture that had rather sadly suffered from the neglect brought on by the explosion of foreign holidays in the last 100 years. The residents we met were friendly and willingly directed us towards the RNLI station which was rather oddly located around the back of a Morrisson's supermarket. It was winning no awards with us- you could not even go up to the building because the whole area was gated off. We got our photo with help from an old man who commented on the fact I hadn't shaved in a few days... he somehow managed to make me feel rather ashamed of my appearance despte the fact I had, until that point, been operating under the impression that some stubble made me look a bit more like I cycled around the country full-time. Oh well.
Good quality, flat roads delivered us to Weston Super Mare more quickly than we had expected. It may sound boring to most but road condition and gradient become important topics of conversation that never seem to grow old. We could probably tell you the exact point at which we crossed from Cornwall into Devon without the aid of signs, based purely on the type of tarmac used and investment made in the infrastructure for road users. If you're interested, Cornwall roads were better than Devon's... but I suspect you're not.
|On our way into Weston Super Mare|
|Rad in front of the Clifton Suspension Bridge|
|Rad on the Severn Bridge|
Our welcome into Wales wasn't quite as I had expected. The slip road off the bridge was scattered with broken glass, burnt out tyres and empty beer cans. After carrying our bikes over the worst of it we got onto the trunk road that winded it's way to Newport- where our return train to London was departing from.
We boarded the train and as we sunk into our seats the satisfaction of a week of hard cycling, good views and great people finally sunk in. We bought a couple of beers from the buffet car and let our legs have a well earned rest.
|Waiting for the train|
It's been a fantastic week and we are so greatful for all the support, both via financial donations to our fundraising page and via the numerous good deeds people have done along the way. I'm sure there'll be a couple of post before next year's trip which will hopefully take us around the whole of Wales but on the whole expect this blog to be a lot quieter than the past week.
All the best, Rad