Wednesday 31st May 


A fine morning, with clear views across to the Farne Islands. We had heard over breakfast that no boat trips were running due to the strong seas.A decent breakfast, then up boys and at em!. A day in the saddle is a great feeling. First stop is Seahouses Harbour for photos and to take in the atmosphere of the working port 
Seahouses is a pleasant town.

View from our bedroom window

Fishing trip booking booths

Harbour and Town

Harbour and Sea entrance

Harbour Views Seahouses

Restocked with provisions or Bait as we say in Durham then a nice steady pedal out of Seahouses, flat and sunny.

Beadnell we couldn’t find the route marked so headed inland and down through the quiet lanes. Colin was in the habit of racing on ahead then racing back to us, all part of his training he said, I wonder how many extra miles he did? He came back through Beadnell with a ballon he had found tied to his handlebars, said it was his weather balloon. We were well inland for a while but soon dropped down to the coast, cycled down lanes past golf courses to Dunstanburgh Castle. Impressive.

Dunstanburgh Castle & Colin’s Weather Balloon.

The Weather Balloon and  Castle
(Would that be a good name for a pub?)

Dunstanburgh Castle coast line

We were off road a couple of miles round Dunstanburgh castle gave us a chance to see how wild the coastline is. The track was all loose shale and stones, bouncing our bikes and panniers about. A lady and her son ask why Colin has a balloon tied to his handlebars, he replies it’s a weather balloon as we don’t trust the TV forecast!
They wander away bemused

We cycled around the base of the castle and then across a mile or so of grassland 

Nice easy picturesque riding

Great riding to Craster, a small village with a pretty harbour, it had to be a stop and it was a good point to stop and have a morning, well lunch break. Or was it? We sat on the seat of a small village green overlooking the harbour. Didn’t have time to get the camera out, when this old guy walked towards us looking very determined. Graeme thought we were going to be moved on, but he walked up to us and said in an authoritative voice “A word of warning lads, if you are going to leave your bikes make sure you lock them or don’t leave them unattended we had a bike stolen from the village 5 years ago and it was chained to a pole”””””””””””””””” I ask you. 5 years ago, last night or this morning Yes... but 5 years ago. He then marched off having done his good deed for the day, but read on it gets better.
It gave us something to laugh about as we cycled uphill out of Craster and followed the winding lanes to Alnmouth, we avoided the coastal path as it said it was a poor surface. Down past R.A.F. Boulmer the Coastguard Station and helicopter rescue place. Boulmer village is very pretty we cycle through and up then as we descended from the hill overlooking Alnmouth we saw a couple who were reading a map. They had it fully wide open. Stood at the top of a hill on their bikes and facing into the wind.. One of Graeme’s pet hates is people standing with maps wide open, they could get wet, blow away etc etc etc always keep your map folded in a weatherproof cover. He is right. Also a wide open map is a sign you don’t know where you are on the map and that is how to get lost and waste loads of time and energy.

Alnmouth, a pretty town, we decided to have our lunch there and hope for peace and quiet. Did we get it? No, we found a bench, looking out over the bay and the sandunes. Got out our bait and thought we would have 5 minutes, 

Peace and quite
but not for long

A peaceful Lunch in Alnmouth? 

Then he arrived.

We have met some characters Spicy Pete, Mike at the Crask Inn, but this guy was up there with them Number one for nuisance value.
He appeared from nowhere beard white cycle helmet, wide khaki shorts and with Tarquin (named by Graeme) his son standing there with a map bag around his neck. "Is this some sort of expedition" he asked seeing our bikes and panniers. He then proceeded to tell us they were on a day ride, (Did we care?) all we wanted was 5 minutes peace and there he was wanting to know all about who we were, where we going. Do I have TALK TO ME tattooed on my forehead?
Graeme just ignores these people, Colin does the same, so I am left to make pleasantries.

After he took off with Tarquin we could not stop laughing. Craster and the old busy body, then in less than an hour Tarquin and Dad. Are we the only normal people on holiday today?
We had lunch, then onto Amble via a cycle path and then a real rough track through a caravan site to Warkworth another pretty village and castle.

Warkworth Bridge and Castle

Warkworth and River Coquet

Through Warkworth then to Amble what a contrast in a couple of miles, Amble is a working port that has seen better days. We also had to go through the town as the route went pear shaped. We dropped down onto the harbour and another puncture, Graeme again. 
Ah well Colin soon had it fixed and we were on our way. Amble is not a pretty place. But we followed a great path by the coast flat and quiet. 

An amazing coast line

Entering Druridge Bay

Another puncture repair

Druridge Bay then another puncture, this time Colin. My goodness I was getting away Scott free but I wasn’t was I. 
We followed a lovely straight quiet road south to Embleton, then we left the route and followed relatively quiet roads, trying to avoid Ashington on our way to Morpeth. We did it but it was undulating. I was feeling tired but did not realise it was something worse coming on.
Downhill into Morpeth a guy on a racing bike rode with us a short while he was interested in what we up too and gave us a tip for a good pub in Morpeth. before taking off, (as usual Colin had to give chase, nearly colliding with the other bikes rear wheel he got that close)
Found the digs eventually. To be told abruptly we had been put in his other guest house. The Riverside, still never saw the river. I was disappointed with the digs; the rooms were not as described.
We showered ,changed and I felt fine, as we strolled into town a couple of pints I felt fine in fact it was good pint, down to a Chinese Restaurant still felt fine, then It hit me, lets leave it at that, I was not well, A dreadful night, I felt very ill and was very sick.

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