Friday, October 19, 2007

Day Two, 10-19-07

I am starting my day after showering and breakfast at the keyboard and watching the TV for the news and weather. After breakfast I will build the bike and get the cameras ready for today's ride and photo soot. I'm not exactly where I will be going but for some reason I think it will seem mostly up hill. I do want to find a cyber cafe to write home, but those back there understand that it is hard. The bike is now built and I'm getting ready to head out for the day. I have the stereo camera loaded and a new set up where the lens cap is tied with a tether. This will make things quicker and cleaner for getting shortly without too much fuss. Breakfast was great, Two soft boiled eggs, to order, Yogurt and black coffee. Just right. My plan is to go down town to the department of tourism and get some Ideas and then find a phone card to call home. Today will be a round town type of thing with hopefully fish and chips for lunch. More later,,, Down town now, just came from a cyber cafe and wrote home, again, just like San Francisco. Coffee was very good. And now being 12:00 the fish and chips spot has just opened so here I sit. My surprise. You can have a choice of what kind of fish you want! I chose Cod because the gal behind the counter said it was first on her list of 3. My first "Fish and Chips" The Kodak Stereo Camera The Golden Arrow and the Palm Pilot Everyone is so nice! Its starting to cloud over a bit making it a little nicer to see. The town is packed with tourists. And there is a open market set up down the street with live music. The Fish is here now. I'm missing the people I love, but its so very nice to be alone right now. I am on this really beautiful bike trail and have found a fence post to set up my keyboard and add to this.Im about 150 feet above a river overlooking a huge field with a stone wall break with another pasture on the other side that goes to the river. There about 30 cows in the field, golden brown. There is a large tour boat heading back to where I started. Blue and white with about 150 passengers dressed for cool weather. There too far away for them to see me. I really can't imagine having this much fun with other riders , this is a real vacation! The sign below says "all cyclists please walk through the woods" Due to the steepness of the hill. I think I will obey! When American tourists tell you that the roads are only 8' wide they were right for the most part. Some are 6.5, What they don't tell you is that the edge of the road is a solid wall of vine that has a stinging thorn and when you get scraped, it stings and itches. I just came out of the woods and on to a down hill that has brought me to the town of Ashsprington. There is a pub across the street from the bench I'm writing from, and its 2:10, I think I will see if there open. The bench here has a plaque on it that says " To commemorate the Coronation of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II ,June 1953. Hell, I bet you would never see that in the USA! Nice Pint, nice place. Very tidy as the Brit's would say. I love the homey feeling that you get when you go to a eatery that the staff are happy to be working and are happy to have and meet new people. It seems as if at this time in the trip that there will be no shortage of that! Nice ride afterwards, Out and back. It was getting late and Having no lights I didn't want to get stuck out. I think I did about 30 miles today. All very hilly and still strange to be riding on the left hand side of the road. I returned to Totnes center and am now at the Royal Seven Star for a pint of Cask. Jail House Ale. Very smooth and very nice. My gearing The narrow roads with thorns on the side Totnes Center Next, on a recommendation of a close friend back home, steak and kidney pie. It was OK, The vegetables were great and cooked perfectly. Tiny new potato's, broccoli, cauliflower and Carrots. Perfect! I bought this map today at the department of tourism. Its huge. Its one of those maps that , heaven forbid you ever have your front seat passenger while driving open it up all the way.It would surly cover the whole inside of the windshield and totally block the view. The detail is so fine that even with reading glasses its hard to read. Watering eyes and runny nose, forget about it. I made the mistake of opining it in the wind. Holy shit! This is what you would call a nosey map! I tried to find where I was on it but it doesn't seem that they use street signs and names on the streets here. Did Napoleon ever come here in that France has it down. I laughed out loud while folding it as it got hung up on by brake lever on the bike and almost tore. I thought of the classic frustrated traveler that just cant fold a map. I would have loved to see me in the state of full, map sheet to the wind. Funny. All day long I have been worrying about the fact that I haven't found my key to the house and the room. I never lock my room, maybe too trusting, but I don't keep anything in it that I cant loose. I came home and straight up, I could tell Janet had been worrying about the missing key all day long. I went through everything again and found it in a bag that just didn't make sense, When I went down stairs she was talking to her son and heard me walk up with the key on my finger to show her. She slowly turned around and well if it isn't Mr Jingles! Were starting to like each other. The gearing on the bike is just right. I'm so glad I took the 22t cog. My average speed is way down but the pain in my hands on the pars and levers is much less. The hills are so steep that downhill speeds are as fast as you would ever want to go. It will be nice to have the hill training under my belt from riding around here. I have never seen riding conditions like this and so many nice pubs to stop at. Its like a very good dream.

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