Sunday, October 21, 2007

Day Four, 10-21-07

Woke at 6:30 after falling to sleep after England lost the World Cup in Rugby. I Listened to it on the radio I brought with headphones. Very exciting. They lost to South Africa. They said on the BBC news that the whole country was going crazy. Green is the teams color and every thing has been green for the past week. They said the Newspaper was printed on green paper and the milk bottle tops were green as well. That's Passion! Today is truly beautiful out. Very sunny and very clear. I can see by breath when I put my head out of the window. I just returned from my standard breakfast of black coffee, yogurt, and two eggs, soft boiled that I eat in the shell. I'm getting quite good at taking off the tops and spooning out the liquid yoke with spilling a drop. I never realized how difficult it was until I started my new love for fresh eggs. I hope there as good for you as people have told me. Today I will go down town and take some stereo slides and check my email. I need to check my flight times again so I can make plans for the departure on the 31st. There's no rush on that, but it would be nice to get it over and done with. Afterwards, Head out for a ride south to the water. I was quite surprised how close things are in relation to how far they looked on the map. I found that 2" equals 1 mile. So it now looks like I can spend more time away from Totnes then planned. I just don't want to get stuck out and have to come back in the dark until I get a little more use to riding on the narrow,hilly roads. I finished with emails and headed off for my ride to find that the map wasn't quite right. After getting turned around for a bit, I asked a young gal if she knew if I was on the right road, according to the map. She said her Dad would be of more help and called for him. He told me that the way I wanted to go was the route I had done a couple of days before. Fine, very beautiful. I headed off and he came out and reminded me of a pub I had stopped at. I thanked him and told him I had been there.

12 miles into my ride and many hills, I came into a town that was another I had to stop at. I found the Pub, and asked If I could have a pint on the bench outside. Her answer was "Well of course you can!" I told her that back in the states it wasn't permitted. And never an "of course!!": she laughed. I looked at the menu and saw first on the list, Beer Battered Haddock. Well of course!! I love being here. Its so wonderful to have such a wonderful place to use my old Raleigh. I found out last night my the Michelin Green Guide for Britain that Sir Walter Raleigh was from Devon. And now really appropriate. As I type, a fellow just now asked me to hold his Dog, Sydney, while he went in to get a pint. I asked him if he was coming back out and he said, Yes. So as I write this I have a dog leash around my wrist. The first group of folks to come up looked at me quite strangely. Please disregard anything I might have said earlier about the Fish and Chips over here. I just had the Best I have ever had. Its so nice out right now. I cant imagine it ever being nicer then this. Foods great, People kind and the scenery to die for. I was told by the guy with the Dog that this whole aria was occupied by the Americans during WW2. Everyone was asked to evacuate and only the American solders were allowed.. He also said that I could find out more about Sir Walter Raleigh in the next town over. Dartmouth. The mouth of the Dart!

Time to finish my pint and move on. Hill after hill, I actually walked up one. It was so steep,it hurt. Some of down hills are so steep and so walled with the hedge on the sides it laughable. You just have to let it go and hope no one is coming the other way. Every once in a while, someone does. You need to either stop or get way over to let them go by. Cars, when the meet, need to back up to a pull over so they can pass. It always works out fine. Its really funny how narrow the roads are. I made it to the ocean at Slapton Sands. I still stayed with the "national cycle route" that turned me around and back to Totnes. I'm now back at the Royal Seven Star, enjoying a pint of Princeton Brewery's, Jail Ale. after what was one of the toughest 50 mile rides I have ever done. Today Was incredible. I'm starting to feel more confidant with the down hills. I love riding here as difficult as it is. I hurt all over. My whole upper body has been used more in the last 3 days of riding then I ever expected. The hills are so steep that if you let go of the brake levers for 30 seconds, you would be up to 30 mph in no time. The feeling of knowing the road and having done a section before is the best. I'm so glad I have the 22 tooth cog on. Its as low as what's made for the hub making the hill climbing as easy as possible, but for the most part still high. The problem with a 3 speed is the lower you make the low gear you take away from the high. Not too much of a problem when right after a back breaking hill climb your faced with a super fast down hill. My hands hurt from riding the brakes. Muscle strengthening that just doesn't happen back in Boston. I Love It. All in All, Another Great Day!

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