Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Day 4 Fri 7th May Tintern to Shrewsbury 90 miles

I didn't sleep that well but at least I'd finished my antibiotics and had a bit more energy than before. News of the election was that it was a hung parliament. The wind was still from the north but not too strong and the weather cool and showery. Mike decided to take some photos of Tintern Abbey after our stretching, so I stayed with him and set off at the back. We caught up Chris and Steve Huckle somehow and decided to call into Monmouth as Mike needed a new mobile and Steve some ibuprofen. Mike hadn't his wallet so I had to give him a loan. That took about half an hour and I phoned Jo to let her know of the delay. We cycled along fairly straight but hilly Roman roads in quite nice countryside and villages (pictured) up the Wye valley then across Herefordshire. We travelled through Hereford then had lunch the small village of Leintwardine.
Many of the group were still treating the challenge like a race or a test of personal endurance, which annoyed me a bit. There was however a small group at the back nicknamed 'The Three Degrees' as they were always singing, and they seemed to be having all the fun. (Ellen, Siobhan and Steve Hampshire). So I joined them for some of the day and did some backing vocals! I also cycled with Angela for a while - who was a but sore but in good spirits as ever!
Somehow after lunch I set off with Chris and we just about caught up with Nigel and co, then I lost them. Some stopped at Edward's sisters house, as Ed lived in Shrewsbury where he runs Wood's Brewery. I pressed on on my own not sure if I was on the right road, but following signs to Shrewsbury and came across the afternoon tea stop. Ed was supposed to be guiding the group into Shrewsbury and we all set off at a hairy pace through the outskirts of the town. I pedalled hard and shouted to Ed to slow down but I don't think he heard me. Anyway we all made it through the traffic to our two hotels. Mike and I were in one old hotel in the centre of town. Mike checked in gave me the key and sent me up some stairs with my heavy rucksack, whilst he sorted out his bike. I went up the stairs only to find that it was an empty hall so went back down the stairs to meet Ed who directed me up the correct stairs! Shall I go back to the cycle room first and tell Mike that his stairs are the wrong ones? Nah ... let him learn from his own mistakes I thought! He took the same detour ..oops. We were scheduled to eat at the other hotel and despite the fact we'd cycled around 90 miles Discover Adventure had booked taxis. I felt that walking would be better to loosen up, but got a lift with Ed's wife and son, who joined us for dinner.

After a good dinner and a drink or two people were talking about getting taxis back. I decided to walk - but everyone else seemed to be too tired, half crippled or scared of Friday night revellers.
Anyway I ended up in the Dun Cow pub which had an excellent band on called The Paul Parker Band, the main man being a white rasta who played a banjo like a lead guitar and a mixture of covers and their own stuff. I just had a pint and listened to their first set, talked to a local bloke about my ride and watch two stunning and rather drunk blondes dancing just in front of me! It took my mind off the cycling for a bit.

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