Keep Calm and Carry On

When I imagined this trip with its “civilised” mileage averaging just over 50 miles/day, I thought we would have heaps of time to stop at cute little cafes, enjoy cream teas (tea+scones+jam+thickly spread buttery cream) and roll into our quaint B&Bs in mid-afternoon with time to stroll through the village. Not on your life. So far we are averaging less than 10 miles per hour, with as much time standing with our bikes leaning on farm gates, wondering if we go left or right at the horse, sheep, or cow. The good news of this slow pace, is that it is easy to soak in the landscape.

Turn right at the sheep with the green markings; left at the blue!

Each morning, we leave right after our English breakfast (or bowls of yogurt after one too many fat sausage, thick slab of bacon, pile of baked beans, fried toast, tomato, and egg). We determine which way is north, and begin to hunt and peck our way, cycling on lanes that most often are the width of a small car that doesn’t mind scratch marks.

Too much of a good thing, Kathy?!
Heading to Cheddar from Stamford Peverell.
Who knew right after this bucolic scene we would need to cross a train track with a train barreling toward us!
This little fellow must have fallen out of one of the hedges!
What a lovely tradition. Every home has a name… usually something like Rose Cottage, Highview Farm, or Ivy Manor.
This house can’t decide!
Reminds me of a friendly argument I overheard yesterday in the grocery store in Wales between eight-year old identical twin boys. The first, “Mummy, are we Welsh? The other, “Mummy, are we British?” Mummy, “Youare Welsh AND British.” She didn’t mention that others have asked before and lost their heads over it! So yes, it is possible to be Welsh and British and to be a manor, a farm, and a cottage!

We feel victorious when we arrive at our evening accommodation in 10 hours. Some inns are lovely, while others offer local color like the one in Wales literally located across from “booze corner” (Welsh for pub)?!

As advertised!
Onward to England and the tiny Tudor village of Weobly where we are staying in this 450 year-old house.
Our lovely B&B host, Sian, with an equally lovely Welsh name, (pronounced Shawn) introduced me to her favorite breakfast sauce, packaged in honor of my heroine, Her Majesty, for the Jubilee!
The nearby St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church recently celebrated its 900-year anniversary!
A one-of -a-kind building, with the end frame cut from one huge split tree.
A different one-of-a-kind reminder that the sun will always shine.


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