Sunday 5th May
Bradford on Avon to Faringdon
I was awake early the sun was shining, my room had a balcony and a view of the canal. A Japanese couple were also staying and the young boys were running around by the canal. I walked out to the canal myself and was amused by a giant swan who was patrolling right by the gate of the B and B obviously waiting for breakfast throw away, Graeme Brass is staying here thereíll be no breakfast left today!
We chatted to the Japanese couple over breakfast only problem† the man spoke English and his wife was talking Japanese with husband translating.
They were visiting Cotswolds and Wookey Hole.
Nice breakfast Bikes loaded bills paid and onto the canal tow path back to the town.
We then had a tough climb out of the Avon valley.† We were now following the Wiltshire cycle way which was well signed.
We cycled through the old town of Bradford around 9:30 am and climbed up onto a plateau where we enjoyed rolling countryside through some quiet lanes. The wind was in our faces and was to remain so for the rest of the ride. So much for cycling with the prevailing winds. We had a Northerly and Easterly all week.
Cycled through Corsham a pleasant town and through picture book villages like Biddestone with its stone houses and duck pond. Past Grantleigh manor and the Army cadets who were doing Traffic duty for the National trust. Crossing the M4. Everything was fine apart from a squeak which turned out to be my extra weight. It didnít do it when Colin rode my bike. One extra turn on the seat pole fastener solved the problem.
We followed the Wiltshire rolling countryside under dark grey skies. Lunch time we arrived at the Ancient town of Malmesbury very olde worlde. We stopped and had a good cafe lunch at the Med cafe, just off the town square. Had a toilet stop which was amusing I was outside guarding the bikes when two couples walked by one of them stopped and looked at our Colinís bike sitting on its stand and remarked what on earth is that doing there? Must have thought it should have been in a circus! It does attract many looks and comments† Colinís French Bike.
We left Malmesbury after a good lunch and a great pot of tea. Yes tea we are becoming serious cyclists, and cycled towards the Swindon Area as we neared a place called Queens Street the houses and the area changed dramatically, Gypsy caravans and rubbish on the side of the roads. As we came down to one junction just outside of Purton their was a Guy on an Old Motor cycle with side car facing away from us, his passenger looking at a map ,as we got to the junction he just did a complete turnaround in front of us, an approaching car, and drove down the road we had just cycled. He has never seen us yet even though he was inches from our front wheels.
We cycled towards Purton and up Lower Paven Hill, Graeme said, Know doubt weíll be cycling up Upper Paven Hill and we did. Purton is twinned with Annan Scotland for our places cycled through that you wish you didnít have too. It was a long straggling fraying at the edges town.
As we left the Swindon area cycled through Highworth which had a lot of Royalist History and then onto Faringdon. Via Coleshill on the Oxfordshire Border, which was a fair hill climb? We rested for a drink at the bottom of the hill and watched a gang of walkers who had a Philipino lady with them trying to get a pushchair and baby under a fence. Graeme decided they must be Londoners!!
We climbed Coleshill and then were rewarded by plugging into the Oxfordshire cycle way plus a climb over Budbury Hill.
Eventually down into Faringdon and down to the market Square and our hotel, which was closed!. Had I checked my voicemail there was a message from Jane to say the people were out and would be back at 6 pm it was 5 20pm. However they returned early and we all had great baths and good rooms. I slept in a Mouseman bed very comfortable.
We all ate next door at the Old Coaching Inn good Sunday Dinner plus Ruddles smooth Bitter nice pint. We then had a tour of the town a nice old town steeped in Civil War history. We enjoyed a couple of beers and then sleep.
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