Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Long Way Round

Eagle-eyed followers will glean from the small number of photos for today that it was a time of much pedalling and little dallying. Well, when you’re going to cycle 81 miles for a journey that really ought to be about 35 miles, you don’t really have time to hang around…

We set off early into what was a grey, drizzly day – a BLD (back light day) i.e. we had to keep our back lights on for the whole day for visibility. Our route took us South from Moncks Corner and then skirted round to the West and then the South of Charleston, rather than taking a direct route in from the North. The Gamines were totally confused, bless the old dears, and had several panic attacks on the way. Still, as a couple of flappers, they were looking forward to Charleston (groan). Rather alarmingly, they told us at the beginning of the ride that the route was 120 miles long (and dug their ‘kitten’ heels in on that one until very near the finish).

Early into the ride, we had the usual loose dog issue; this time, an aggressive little Jack Russell. However, our new technique of slowing down and facing up to the little mutts is serving us well. After tearing out of its porch at full pelt, yapping its head off, it saw us face up…eek, and screeched to a halt. Checking its proverbial fingernails, and looking around with faux nonchalance, it adopted the “anyway, as I was saying” retreat, much to our amusement. Especially for TWH, who needs to know precise details of all dogs mentioned in the blog, we’ve included a photo…enjoy.

Still, it was a great ride: flat, fast and with some lovely scenery. The roads were generally quite good, though with shoulders narrower than Kate Moss in her waif era (and in some places, non-existent). Due to the ditzy Gamines, the route line approaching Charleston city centre itself looked like a child had scribbled on the screen … However, we arrived safely, and excited about the prospect of 2 whole rest days in a row.

Kat was overjoyed to see a Starbucks on the route to the hotel - her last skinny latte was weeks ago in Baltimore courtesy of Caribou Coffee (slogan “Life’s short, so stay awake for it!”). And so many wonderful bars and restaurants to choose from…yippee – no burger/fries/pizzas for us, at least for a few days.

We were so excited, that we ventured out early evening bound for a decent looking French restaurant. However, as we loitered outside a different French restaurant en route, we were “approached” by Billy, whose family owned the steak restaurant next door. Even Anthony, the best salesman Kat has ever witnessed, has to admit that he was outmanoeuvred on this occasion. We were inside the steak restaurant drinking complimentary Bombay Sapphire cocktails, and eating delicious food quicker than you can say “aged strip steak” (Anthony denies that it had anything to do with the scantily clad “Sapphire” girls parading around inside). With our usual restraint, our “just one after-dinner drink” turned into more than one, and…well, you know the rest. But, it was worth it, having had a great fun evening with our new friends: Sheri, Tim, Billy and Billy’s Dad (Bill).

Now, we just need to get ourselves out of the door to see a bit of Charleston… pass the Advil will you, dahling….

Us x

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