The Epic London-Wales Journey: Day 3

Day 3 is characterized by hours of travel along what must be the loveliest and definitely the steepest roads in western Britain. This is what my thighs tell me, and obviously they would know. I laughed quite a long time when we came across this sign:

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It all started with an opera singer wakeup in our cute and quaint litttle B&B in South marston, just east of the vast conglomeration of industrial estates that is the town of Swindon. The bed was amazing, but the real exciting part was the latter B: another full English breakfast.

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in our own little nook…

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and then off we pedaled, past the lovely back garden that would have been nice for lounging in.

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But we had places to be!

Spectacularly green country roads…

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awkward motorway intersections where we wandered off-road to stay off the truck-heavy and death-likely M4…

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and, somewhere in the grey areas on the map between the major roads, we found beautiful plateaus at the top of tall hills, rich with green corn stalks or golden wheat sheaves or other unknown plants.

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These are the tiles of saturated color you see out the windows of planes amd wonder how the ground can look like a golden chessboard.

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We passed lots of little villages we had never heard of, some on downhill journeys that we zoomed past in a literal blink-of-the-eye.

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Lunch, because we’re eating like athletes, was a cheeseburger with fried onions, onion rings, and chips (the English kind). Oh, and Leo’s chips.

The most notable aspect of Chippenham, our lunch location, was the exit.

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The afternoon consisted of riding ridinh riding and stretching…

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stretching…

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stretching…

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and more stretching…

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as well as moments of amusement amidst the hard work.

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Also moments of celebration for still being alive and in one piece.

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We finally hit the outer limits of Bristol in the late afternoon and popped into a bike shop to pump our tires

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and check out the baby bike gang.

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The ascent into the city limits was long and grueling, along a stretch of road alternately named ‘Hill Street’, ‘Two Mile Hill Road’, ‘Bell Hill Road’ and ‘Clouds Hill Road’. Hilarious.

This photo makes the stretch of desolate pedestrian walkway look a little more romantic than abandoned.

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By that point, having not eaten a candy bar for at least an hour and pedaled up several mountains since lunch, I was verging on exhaustion. We were in the middle of the city and supposed to be sleeping at a farm. We must have had miles to go before getting back to the countryside!

but that’s the beauty of England – a short ride from the city centre later and we were again surrounded by lush fields of green.

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And then we turned into the gravelly drive of Colliters Brook farm, without question the loveliest B&B around, run by the loveliest man around.

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Rich hooked us up with a massive suite to store our bikes in the old farmhouse.

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We looked out the window at the charming view…

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then promptly ate an entire pizza each and fell asleep. 55 miles down, only a few more to go.

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