Day 6 - Thursday 16th August – Glastonbury to Tetbury
Daily Distance = 71 miles (expected = 53.5)
Total Distance = 315 miles (expected = 274.5)
Weather: Sunny to start but then heavy rain. SE wind.
Contour: Flat to Priddy, then up-up-up over Mendips, and down-down-down to Chew Stoke. Then flattish, before a big climb, (we then dropped down the wrong side and had to climb back up again), then gradual down to Tetbury.
Another good breakfast, although continental this morning. We left Glastonbury and made fairly good progress to Wells. Following the NCN route we went through Wells cathedral before realising we had taken a wrong turn. From Wells we got to Priddy after passing through Wookey Hole, and then quickly met the Mendip Hills. This was a hard, long climb over the hills. We eventually got to the top and stopped at Mendip Heights for a drink. John shouted at a bunch of young boys who were climbing over the walls, tables and bikes.
We purchased tuna and sweetcorn sandwiches in Chew Stoke (where we were given a postcard to send back to the lady in the shop), and then stopped in Pensford to eat our lunch. While eating we heard a voice ask if we wanted a cup of tea. A lady living above the monument appeared and gave us tea. She later came back with £5 for the charity.
We cycled along the Bristol and Bath railway, which has been converted to a cycle track. The wind was against us, and the railway is very high up, so gave quite a lot of wind resistance. John had his first puncture just after leaving the railway. We tried to pump it back up, but had to stop only a few yards further on, when it had gone down again. While we mended it, two old ladies stopped and gave us £2 for the charities. There was also a ‘hard’ looking dog, which refused to go past us, and sat starring in disbelief.
The afternoon cycle was a nightmare. We climbed up a very steep and long hill near Doynton, and joined the B road. We turned left and dropped back down the hill for about 6 miles, only to realise we had gone the wrong way. We then turned and climbed back up the hill. It started to chuck it down with rain. Once we had returned to our original starting point we started to get a bit quicker. The wind helped, and the road seemed to be a gradual decline towards Tetbury. We were depressed, and couldn’t get across the A46. It was nearly 5pm, and the traffic was solid in both directions. We eventually got into the central reservation, and then John screamed at a motorist to let us cross. I think he’s getting a little stressed.
We arrived at Tetbury at 6.30pm, soaked through. We had cycled 71 miles, rather than the 53.5 expected, partly because the original miles were to get to Over, and also because of the mistakes we made. Emma and Mary had just arrived and were there to meet us. Unfortunately they were just starting to worry since I’d told Emma we were only 8 miles away at about 3.30pm.
The B&B ‘No 65’ was very pleasant. The rooms were doubles, with private bathrooms. £22 per person. Bikes were kept in the back yard, but got very wet in the rain. We had a lovely (but expensive) meal in the restaurant of fritters, duck and meringue.
1 puncture (John), but no other breakdowns apart from my headset is coming loose and rocks when descending hills. It seemed to tighten itself during the day.