Le Petit Depart

A Decade to Down Under Episode 1. Bewdley to Ettington (neat Stratford)

Day 1. 27th July 2014.  (42 miles)

We set off on our first day of this new adventure in the aftermath of a wonderful family event. The previous day we had celebrated David’s Mum’s 80th birthday with a big bash. 60 family and friends came to celebrate Jeanette’s big day.

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We were blessed with fantastic weather so the pool was used by 8 month olds to 80 year olds, a delicious hog roast, music provided by the Jones family, speeches and an array of puddings that had eyes popping. So here we were. Everything cleared up and put away after a lunch of delicious left overs. Goodbyes said to our children and off we set with David’s brother and sister, Chris and Katie, who were joining us on our first leg to Harwich. For us it was a familiar route to Stratford through the back roads of Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

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The sun was shining and we were all enjoying being back on wheels, weaving through country roads and pretty villages. Just outside Hanbury, where we used to live, Chris ground to a halt with a puncture. We rested in the shade while Chris sweated in the sun changing the tube. Off we went but 2 miles later – flat again. 2 attempts later at repair (we had frustratingly left our bag with spare inner tubes behind so it was old fashioned patches) and off again. Up Astwood Bank and were just enjoying the cruise down the other side when no sign of Chris again. Flat.

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We had only managed about 5 mile in the last hour and half and no repairable tubes. We had already rung Sarah, who we were going to stay with to say we were running late so sheepishly rang her to ask for rescue. We had to leave poor Chris by the roadside to be picked up while the 3 of us cycled on. It was a beautiful ride through the evening sun (sorry Chris). Along the canal into stratford, past pretty locks and trying to make sure we didn’t end up in the water under narrow bridges. The final few miles along the road to Ettington, where we Sarah was back at home with Chris with hot showers and cold beers waiting! Wonderful! Sarah provided us with a feast and we had an extremely enjoyable laughter filled evening with Sarah and her boyfriend David.

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As midnight called we forced ourselves to bed – a rarity for me when cycling (and even when I am not) then I am usually tucked up exhausted by 10! It was good to be on the road again.

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