We arrived home from Australia at the end of May, six weeks of relaxation stretched before me until we'd be off on our next adventure. Relaxation, I use the word sparingly, our time back in the UK would be in constant demand.
After the initial sorting of bikes and kit before Naomi headed back to Dudley, I was booked in to run the local 10k run. It's the Run the Rocks second year and is a tough cross country course and as it's local I like to support the event when I'm back. Sadly my performance was dreadful but hardly a surprise as I've not run since the last one !!
Fortunately I was soon on a flight to Kusadashi in Turkey, my sister is married to a Turk and now lives there, not only that but my mum was on holiday visiting them so it was a great opportunity to catch up with my family 😉
Kusadashi isn't my favorite Turkish resort but it certainly isn't bad by any means, and the surrounding area isn't to bad either…
On my return from Turkey there was just time to repack my kit, grab my touring bike and catch a train to Dudley. I was going to meet up with Naomi, the idea being to leave my bike at her mums ready for our trip to Yorkshire, but first a small matter of Glastonbury. Naomi has been going for about 20 years now and works with the recycling crew. Last year I was lucky enough to be invited by her to help out and as I enjoyed it I was invited back.
We arrived on the Tuesday and spent the day putting up the tent and sorting ourselves out ready for the crews to begin work on Thursday. Despite a few small issues things went well and when Naomi's friend Kathy arrived to help out we were able to take some time to see some bands. I think Dolly Parton was the highlight for me despite not being comfortable in the huge crowd I still enjoyed the occasion !!
The weather behaved itself most of the time although we did have one day of heavy rain which turned the paths and fields into mudbaths very quickly….
All in all a great few days but no sooner had we left and driven back to High Wycombe, it was time to repack and drive to Dudley. We had a little free time here and Naomi and her mum drove me out to Bridgnorth, a beautiful town full of history and interest. It's unusual in that there is also a funicular railway to get between the towns two distinct levels. Great gardens, beautiful architecture, flowing river and a sunny day made this a fantastic day out….
Well no rest for the wicked and with that we were away the following morning. Our bikes loaded we set out for Macclesfield, this would be our halfway stop on our way to Harewood House in Yorkshire. Thanks to Naomi's organisation we were due to meet several friends and spend the weekend camping, cycling and watching the Tour de France, especially the Grand D'epart from Harewood !!
I think the highlight of the weekend though was cycling to Knaresborough for the second day and watching them come past a fairly tight left hand bend, we thought it might slow them down but we were wrong and in a matter of seconds they'd gone !! We consoled ourselves with beer in the local pub and with lunch and fantastic cakes at the church hall, we couldn't believe how cheap they were, not to mention the quality !!
A great weekend but sadly all to soon it was over, our friends all headed home, Naomi cycled off to Harogate and I was lucky enough to get a lift with my friends Jude and Brian, back to Wycombe.
Our busy schedule still wasn't over, I took another train up to Dudley and yet again joined Naomi at her mums, from there we drove to Bristol to meet a small group of friends that were cycling from Lands End to John O'Groats. Alan, Bridget, Alex and Vince were all on the Cairo to Capetown trip we did in 2013 and thanks to the internet we've been lucky enough to keep in touch. It was great to see them all again and despite the long round trip it was certainly worth the effort !!
Well as you can see my relaxing summer was a non stop whirlwind, I'm not complaining, I quite enjoyed being busy and even when I did have a few days at home I was still out on my bike visiting friends in the local area.
Friday 18th July, today I'll be cycling in the direction of Colchester, I aim to cycle up to 100km and find a B&B or cheap hotel before carrying on the following day. I'll meet Naomi in Colchester and we'll stay the night before catching a ferry from Harwich on Sunday morning. We land on Monday and we'll take a couple of days to cycle to Bording where we'll be going to a wedding 😉
From Bording we cycle to Copenhagen where we'll enjoy a few days exploring the city with a couple of friends before packing the bikes and flying to Trabzon in Northern Turkey. From there we'll cycle home, not a direct route by any means !! We aim to come through Eastern Europe and Europe and return through Rotterdam and into Harwich in mid December.
I hope you'll all continue to follow our adventure on this final trip and that you enjoy the blogs and photos that I'll post on a regular basis 😉