Bath Upon Avon to Cardiff, Wales we passed 3 castles today…ho hum. They are everywhere! Day one on my fixed bike was a good one. No troubles, just a little bit of head wind and more hills than I care to discuss!
We crossed over the Severn Bridge into Wales. It was a long 2 mile stretch of bridge with a terrific wide bike lane. While I was crossing an older lady (even older than me!) was riding her bike across. I greeted her as I always try to do to locals, she remarked “it’s a bit breezy to today!” No kidding! It was so “breezy” on top of that bridge, I almost dumped my bike.
The Brits sure have a way for saying things, lightly. CJ can attest to that, she was dumped her bike on gravel. At the hospital one of the nurses looked at her, all scraped and bloody and said, “I see you left your bike!” We all enjoyed that story.
My first stop in Wales resulted in a few experiences that I will always remember. Children are so much fun to talk to, on this Saturday, the kids were out of school and seeing us, they gathered at the local food place, where we all were stopping. Five young boys on dirt bikes kept us in stitches. They wanted to know where we were from and if we knew their Uncle so and so who lived in California. Most of all I loved listening to them talk and figuring out what the different expressions meant. We sat enjoying each other for quite awhile.
Before leaving I went to use the WC (restroom) only to find that it was broken. Since the line for it was long and there wasn’t any other place to go that we could see. I decided to try and fix it. With Jane’s help we took my water bottle and tried to get enough water in the tank so the toilet would flush. My water bottle wasn’t big enough, so Jane dumped the trash out of the trash can and we formed a “bucket brigade” until we could get enough water in the tank. It flushed. Success!
Odyssey not only eats it’s way , but as we go we leave a string of lost clothing and broken toilets! Not today or at least not after Jane and I were there!
Leaving the rest stop I rode directly to checkpoint. By the time I got there I was tired of riding on the quaint little lanes making a turn every .4 mile, so when I saw Ramona and Michael going on the main road I followed. I knew Michael would take the fast way to camp and I was ready to go a more direct route. We didn’t have a map, but we followed the signs pointing to Cardiff. We were doing pretty good until we got to Newport, a large city. Then we had to ask a local for directions.
We followed the directions and much to our surprise we merged with the Odyssey route at the Transporter bridge. It was a funny looking bridge. At first we all thought it was a bridge under construction. As we got closer to it, it was apparent that the bridge was not a bridge at all, but a unique way of ferrying vehicles and people across a river. The picture is worth a thousand words, fortunately I took a couple.