United Kingdom

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    • Day 91

      Friday 21st July, Hadrian's wall

      July 21 in England ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      Today was a rest day, decided on being aware of my hands and legs complaining!! I have met Els, a lovely GP from Holland who has been living in Scotland for the past 6 months wanting to make it her permanent home, but Brexit has counted that out for her. She and I have a lot in common and shared stories of our travels, originally supposed to leave yesterday she has decided to stay here but commute up to Scotland today (back tonight) to begin clearing out her house up there. Who am I to judge but I think she is asking a lot of herself at 72! hehe I said who am I to judge eh!??

      So I have come in to Haltwhistle to do some admin on a computer as the hostel has no computers (unusual) and again to make sure I move at least a little today. Just as we were starting out the rain just peltered doon!! Glad I had my trusty poncho!! When I get back to the hostel and have fed myself, I may just go on a small walk to the start of Hadrian's wall today. I'm excited to do it.
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    • Day 11


      May 23 in England ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      Gekleidet als echte Gentlemen hatten wir die Ehre, die Siegerehrung und Abschiedsparty an Bord der Fähre zu beschallen. Als DJs muss man natürlich bis zum Schluss durchhalten. Aber nach der Runde Rudern mit einer verrückten Holländertruppe waren auch die tapferen Zylinderköpfe platt und reif für die Koje. Gute Nacht 😴

      PS: Aufs Treppchen haben wir es leider nicht geschafft, aber eine geniale Rallye war es allemal 😉👍🏼
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    • Day 15

      Sunderland and Around

      September 19 in England ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      We were treated to a private viewing and meeting with Ian from the Sunderland Maritime Heritage. Such a committed group who are preserving the rich ship building and merchant sailing heritage of Sunderland. They have built numerous replica boats. They have restored others. They were hoping to restore the clipper City of Adelaide, but a group from Adelaide pinched it. Importantly have a very extensive library. There were several references to ships of the Elders fleet, Torrens particularly and the Sanderson name appears at times.

      We dropped by the The Saltgrass Inn, I'd be confident by great grandfather's generation had a drink here. He was born here. He went to sea doing eleven return voyages between various english ports and Adelaide as skipper of the Collingrove for what was to become Elders. Three of his brothers also held master's tickets.

      Another Vera stop at Seaham with lunch at the Black Truffle cafe.
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    • Day 15

      Real Pub - Real Ale

      August 7, 2017 in England ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Having watched TV shows where people buy treasures at a market or car boot sale and then sell them at auction for a profit, we thought we would see what it was like. The Murton car boot sale had about 200 sellers in a large farm paddock and, judging by the car park about 2000 people looking for bargains. I was surprised at the old and worn out things that people were buying, traders were having a good day. Luckily, Mary only bought one thing, a small magnifying glass - happy me.

      Time for lunch and an afternoon drink or two at a local pub. We went to the Smiths Arms, a beaut little pub in a country laneway. They have Sunday roasts, Pork, Beef or Lamb with seven types of vegetables and Yorkshire pudding. A hearty meal indeed. This is where we caught up with Bill and Marie';s son Scott who was dog walking.

      We tried a couple of real ales, first a Mole Catcher then the Urban Fox. I liked the Urban Fox and so tasted a few more. You can't order half pints, people look down on you, so pint after pint it was. The bar also allowed dogs - so we had dogs all around us - Mary, though not fully comfortable, didn't mind so much.

      Home then for a night in, watching bit of TV, Mary even got to see the last episode of Poldark - happy days.

      Tomorrow we have a big drive up the east coast to near Aberdeen in Scotland. A good test of my driving and Mary's navigating.

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    • Day 12

      On the road again ....

      August 4, 2017 in England ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      Today we start our road trip around the UK. First challenge is to get the train to Kings Cross and then to Russell Square to pick up the car. The train station platform at Shepherds Bush is on top of a mountainous staircase. Mary said we would be alright. Well I had it planned, like crossing the New River Lagoon in Tassie's South West where you use two boats an cross several times - I had a system ready. When we reached the bottom of the stairs, people [well young men] grabbed our suitcases and carried them up the stairs. Luckily they didn't make off with them - just kind hearted.

      We got to Hertz and their computers were down. American tourists were waiting and getting crabby. Anyway, after almost an hour we were upgraded to a larger vehicle with a sat nav [I had already paid $100 for UK maps on my own Garmin]. Still it this bigger car will hold all our bags nicely.

      Mary & I were most worried about getting out of London [BTW we had to pay £11.50 congestion tax] through the traffic. As it turned out, the road beside Russell Square ends up on the M1 ... too easy. Our drive to Durham was going to be 4.5 hours but ended up near to 5.5 hours because of road works.

      I like driving on the big freeways - in some ways its like a waltz. Cars need to change lanes all the time to keep things moving. You just have to watch your rear view mirrors almost as much as you look forward. It was a good drive.

      Arrived at Marie and Bill's (our friends for 34 years) to be welcomed by a magnificent dinner and then we sat down to watch the Women's Soccer - unfortunately England lost. I did mention that Australia won their soccer competition in the USA?

      Tomorrow Mary will go hunting for Sea Glass ...

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    • Day 13

      Finding Sea Glass

      August 5, 2017 in England ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

      After travelling for a couple of weeks, its time for a good long walk [not shopping], especially for Mary who is in the habit of a 10km walk almost every day. Today we went for a walk with Bill and a dog called Bow, a black Labrador - well behaved.

      We started at the beach - was a bit windy but not cold. As you walk along this beach you can find small pieces of tumbled glass [called, not surprisingly "Sea Glass"] that was orginally thrown from a glass factory that used to make the small medicine bottles. Mary is determined to find these little gems - so not much walking happened.

      We them drove to the cliff tops and walked through the fields. This would be an 8.5km walk. The views and the history made this a very pleasant and interesting walk. We dropped down to the beach at the end, under the viaduct that is still used by the speeding trains and onto another beach with sea glass. While we sat there a baby seal came up on the beach to sun him/herself.

      Friday night is pub night. Bill and I went out to the Hetton Lyons cricket club to watch the first soccer game of the year between his club Sunderland and Derby. Sunderland has been relegated to division two and expectations were low. However, they did play well and a draw of "one all" was a fitting and somewhat pleasing result. Bill and his drinking mates have this agreement - they have one "round" of drinks, in this case we had a shout of four, then you buy your own. So I had four pints of John Smith Ale while we watched the game. Not sure I understood every word spoken as the night went on, especially trying to understand their very strong geordie accent in the excitement of a football game - but they were lovely blokes and we had a lot of fun.

      After the game we went to the Tavern. A tiny pub, full of people and a karaoke machine/operator. I didn't sing - thank goodness. It gave me a fascinating view into the local lifestyle and community friendship built up over decades of knowing each other. Another couple of pints here and then Bill's wife came down to pick us up.

      A good day of exercise and pub culture. Tomorrow we go to York for the day.

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    • Day 27

      Reaching the East Coast

      July 7, 2014 in England ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

      Today we completed the final 21 km of the ride from Coast to Coast. It was easy riding, largely downhill for much of the way. It was a great way to celebrate the hard riding we had done over the first four days.

      Tomorrow marks the official end of this cycling adventure. I will be travelling to London with Paul Coutts. We will be spending a few days there, before catching the Eurostar to Paris. What a marvelous place to complete another amazing trip.
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    • Day 21

      At rest in Cholera City

      August 4 in England ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      One of the lesser known facts about Sunderland is that it is the port where cholera first entered Britain. We are wsshing our hands very frequently! And only drinking gin.

      First greeting was from a friendly seagull.

      Stopping outside our hotel a man walked past. 'I wouldn't leave those there' he said, looking at our bikes. Imaginations ran riot. Calmed by the delicious Italian food we were served.

      We have reached the East coast and are now going to work our way up to Edinburgh.

      On the way we met Deryl from West Viginia on his recumbent doing LEJOG then the Velodysee to Santander. And saw more mushrooms than you could shake a frying pan at.

      So 30 odd miles of trail riding is complete. Harder work than anticipated!
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    • Day 93

      Chesters Roman Fort from the Sill

      July 23 in England ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

      Today, again, the weather was inclement, rain and some humidity. I was in two minds about going out after my big walk yesterday, but realizing I only had this day left, Chesters Roman Fort called out to me.

      I set off alone in the bus to take me to Chesters about forty minutes by bus, not many people out today. Decided to have a cup of tea before going further and enjoyed this with a vegan bakewell tart!! (you don't find many of those, a lot of sugar tho')...but as I was walking I felt ok about it.

      This fort was excavated by
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Sunderland, SND

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