Not a phrase that is usually associated with cycling but apt to describe today’s events. We set off this morning in an Easterly direction; usually not a salient fact. But today, with “sustained winds of 30 – 50 mph, and gusts of between 55 and 65 mph coming from a North-Easterly direction”, and driving rain, extremely relevant… After 14 miles of head-winds sapping every ounce of energy, and side-winds buffeting us constantly, not to mention the torrential biting rain, we were overjoyed to reach the community of Harrellsville, and even more ecstatic to find a warm gas station with a food store.
We have been pleasantly surprised to date with the amazing reaction we have been getting by the folk we meet, and their supportive attitude. Today was no exception. We had a lovely chat with Tony, a customer, and Margaret, the wonderful lady running the store, who would not hear of us paying for anything.
Fed, watered, with Margaret's blessing and with significantly higher body temperatures, we hit the road again … in a Southerly direction…YAY! And this, our friends, is why it was a game of two halves. We had the wind behind us for most of the rest of the journey, save for some scary moments with cross winds as we crossed the long bridge into Plymouth, and arrived good and early at our hotel, complete with hot showers, and guest laundry facilities. Result.
Talking of hotels, a word about our hotel last night. Grim. That’s the word (although “bleak” or “grungy” would do equally well). We have been spoiled with the clean, well-equipped, welcoming hotels and motels that we have stayed at so far. Yesterday, we were greeted by a “no loitering” sign as we stood in the lobby waiting to check in. We’re not sure that the room was really that unclean but if someone told us that they had invited the local dogs from hell to lick every surface clean rather than wiping it down with a cloth, we would not have been surprised. Breakfast was complimentary…because there wasn’t any. No, that’s not entirely true. There was a bowl of soft, bruised apples, a plastic jug of Sunny Delight, and a plate of Nutrigrain bars, that looked like they had seen better days. And don’t even get us started on the meal we had last night. But our favourite, and what woke Kat up in the middle of the night laughing, was that the TV in our room was literally screwed down to the table. A nice touch we thought, and one to help you sleep safe in your bed at night.
Here’s looking forward to a good night’s sleep in a comfortable hotel, and optimistically hoping that it might not be raining tomorrow. Come on, Ida, gizza break…