The wind howled through the night, the noise of the wind in the trees sounding like a storm at sea. We were cosily wrapped up in our tent and it felt bizarrely comforting. However, with a forecast in the morning of 35 mile an hour WSW winds – a direction that would be dead against us – and 50 mile gusts that could knock us off our bikes, we reached the limits of even our madness. One phone call to a guardian angel and our great friend Pete came to pick us up from the campsite. Before that, we re-learnt how to brew up coffee on our little stove under the fly sheet to keep the flame away from the tent sides. We gradually packed ourselves up as our camping routine kicked back into action.
Our phones were running low on battery and as we wanted to make sure we kept in touch with Pete, David went to the reception to ask whether he could plug his phone charger in. This was met with a blanket ‘no’ for the reason that the campsite was not insured for it, and they could face a claim for £1000 if phones went missing! It felt like “jobsworth” on stilts, particularly as the campsite was virtually deserted and the phone in question was limping along after many years service. Serious were black marks against Hook Farm for lack of helpfulness as well as a total lack of understanding of the liability rules under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957. David thought about giving him the full law lecture about how insane this position was but decided life was too short. However, that approach explains the need for 20p for the showers – same mentality.
When Pete arrived, we managed to dismantle the bikes enough to fit them, ourselves and all our kit into the car and soon we were on our way. Watching the trees bending in the wind confirmed that we were not just being wimps!
We then had a lovely day off with Pete and Jane in their new home in Budleigh Salterton – although not so new as they have been there for 6 months but this was the first time we were able to see them and were privileged to be their first guests staying inside after the lockdown. It was great to see them in situ, and admire all the changes they have made to the house in the short time they have been there. Pete extended his driving kindness to taking Bernie’s bike for a 4th attempt to sort the gears out at a bike shop. Much musing resulted in the addition of a new bottom bracket, some improvement although David still had to do the last adjustments to get all the gears to work without the chain falling off).
We had a blowy walk along the estuary and the sea front, cream tea at home and a lovely evening meal – it will set us up for the next few days back on the road.