Friday, August 5, 2011

England So Far

On Wednesday we took the ferry to Weymouth and here is our last view of the castle in the harbor of Jersey.

Weymouth is one of the southcoast beach scenes and reminded us of Santa Cruz. There were all sorts of amusements, ice cream parlors, a merry go round, and games, along the beach. The picture below is from the beachfront in Weymouth.

We got a room in a guesthouse along the strand (beach), The Gloucester House run by Geoff and Chris, who treated us very well.

Thursday morning we awoke to rain, but we loaded up the bikes and were praised by the other guests as being very intrepid. It was a new country for us and each country has required a period of time to learn the type of roads that work best for cycling, the typical business hours, and work out a daily general plan for our trip. This adjustment period has not been pleasant for any of the countries we have entered. When we went from Greece to Italy we felt like going back to Greece, but then we caught on to how things worked and began to enjoy ourselves. Similarly, when we entered France, for a few days we said to one another "let's go back to Italy". In the end France spoiled us with great cycling. We now are in this adjustment period in England. We hope we don't get too whiney, BUT, the roads suck, the traffic sucks, and the weather sucks! However the scenery has been gorgeous, and the beer and the pubs have been fun, so there's hope.

Later in the day on Thursday as the rain let up and the sky lightened, we got this photo looking back the way we came.

The riding has been very difficult since the English roads don't have any switchbacks. The area southwest of Weymouth is called the Jurassic Coast from the geological time that formed the land. The area has many small steep hills and the English roads just go straight up to the top. From Weymouth we rode to Seaton on Thursday and here are some of the hills.

On Friday we left Seaton and climbed out of the town on a road with a 10%+ grade. That was just a warmup for two hills later in the day, one a climb and one a descent, with grades of 20%. We adjusted our mileage expectation for the day and, with cow pies in our tire tread, we parked our bikes in a hotel room in Exeter. We'll rework a plan for tomorrow.


Brenda and Ray said...

And 20% grade sucks, too. And you simply don't want my views on British colonialism, either. May the sun shine upon you and the wind be at your backs and the road no longer rise up before you but go flatter into the future. Here's hoping, dear very intrepid travelers.

Daniel said...

looks like hobbit country!

Dave and Belinda said...

Hey Brenda and Ray, well today the sun shined, then it rained, more sun, more rain... Off and on all day. The constant things in our day were; a head wind, hills, beauty. The Dartmouth Moor is something to see! Our host tonight tells us we were lucky the mist didn't descend, for then you can't see anything.

Hi Daniel, it does look a little like the Shire, only if you remember, we found Hobbiton (Alberobello) in Italy.

Dave and Belinda said...

A correction, it os Dartmoor, not Dartmouth!

Dave and Belinda said...

Damn typos!