We woke up to a lovely, but dewy morning, in the construction site where we made our camp just a 1/4 mile from the Poolgooth Inn – that’s where we had our evening meal in last night. It was nice food and good company.
As usual we set off in the morning in the wrong way, but this was soon rectified!
Settled in to the very very steep climbs and technical descents in wooded areas with the sunlight breaking through. Absolutely stunning countryside. Rode to a breakfast stop just outside Liskeard full English. What can be better. We all reconvened and set of again heading for the Cornish / Devon border. The climbing did not relent on some very long climbs which we over course compensated by long decents. We all got together in a pub in Launceston for refreshments as we were still full from the breakfast. The lovely barmaid washed our waterbottles and filled them with ice and water.
After that we crossed the bridge into Devon. I got a little lost looking for a little track to the side of Blacksmiths Arms. I got distracted and spent 15 minutes going around in circles. Eventually I found it, and finally caught up with Stubbsy – spent the afternoon riding together. We had a bite to eat in a farmhouse at Lydford and checked the maps headed for the Granite trail. Here met a father and daughter doing a jog and had a bit of a photo shoot. It’s stunning scenery on this trail and beautiful scenery as we rode into Okehampton. We got a pindrop from the guys and all met together in Whitton Down. Unfortunately the place had no food.
So we back tracked slightly to the King’s Arms in South Zeal, which is a lovely thatched pub. They let us camp in the back garden and kindly arranged for a full breakfast in the morning. It had been a great but tough ride with a few beers to finish off the day.
Last night we camped in a field just outside Taunton after riding through the town last night where we went past Somerset cricket ground the famous ground where Botham and Viv Richards graced the square many years ago.
It was a fantastic great rolling ride in the morning with some steep vicious climbs but breautiful riding through Devon into Tiverton where we stopped for something to eat at the local shop.
The hills got steeper and longer on our ride to Barnstaple. We had a bit of problem here as the bridge over the river was closed. Nothing can go wrong! We regrouped in the Red Lion and re-routed after a few beers and carried on. It did not get any flatter as we rode up and up towards Bradworthy. We got there before the the Inn opened so it was a good job Stubbsy was a bit late. The pub opened by the time he arrived. We had a massive meal then headed onto the moors. Beware of the Hounds of Baskervilles!
We found ourselves a camp at Laucells on the road to Bude.
Woke up on a lovely little lane, no traffic, just deer striding majesticly across the Hungerford plains.
Unbelievablely we had no issues this morning from Glen, so we rode on through the towpaths up to the Crofton Steam engine. This is the the oldest beam engine still working in the UK. It was not open but it was good to read the information.
After that we carried on riding through the lanes onto the Mendip hills; good and tough riding. Then we stopped for lunch just outside Shepton Manor at ‘The Thached Inn’. We had a few ciders and beer then off again towards the oasis of Glastonbury. It was great to ride down the High Street with the vibrant colour atmosphere. The Hari Krishna people we dancing down the street – excellent.
We spent the afternoon singing the festival anthems all the way to Bridgewater riding still on great country lanes. Then we joined the towpath on the Bridgewater to Taunton canal. Once again lovely ride as we met some great people on the canal side.
We stopped for dinner at the HQ of the Somerset boat centre – just burger and chips and a few beers. After a cheery good-bye and gold fish bag full of water we set for the last few miles aim with the aim to get through Taunton then find a camp for the night.
Unfortunately the bag got a hole in so only managed to get half of it back. We rode 99 miles in all. Stubbsy was not happy and so he rode around the block to get to the 100 mark!