Wednesday 25 September 2013

Bourton Blatt

I had decided not to do this run, but a No. of folk dropping out & a worsening situation at work left me wanting some respite & I changed my mind. Having said that I nearly changed it back when I realised I'd have to be at Newlands at 06:00.

There was no point taking a photo at the start point - it was pitch dark, with only one other car in the isolated car park when I arrived - a Fiesta 1/2 way along, with "people" in, but no lights on - Hmmm.

Everyone except Crunchie arrived, so today's Leader sent him a text we hit the road. We quickly lost "Captain Moderate" (the former "Captain Slow" - he's made some improvements to his car), this is normal as he prefers a more gentlemanly pace, but it wasn't until we stopped to answer a call of nature & to check for messages from Crunchie that we thought maybe it wasn't just his right foot delaying him.

But I'm getting ahead of myself - the route took us through Basingstoke, usually we'd avoid towns if possible, but the early start & the town layout being mostly dual carriageways & roundabouts made the blatting of a more urban environment possible & it was quite a nice change.

Just after the wee stop, we ran into some drizzle - fortunately it quickly cleared to blue skys meaning we rolled into Bourton-on-the-Water in bright sunshine. Bourton's a very pretty town with a wide, shallow river - the romantically named "Windrush" flowing through it, we crossed the river & pulled into our breakfast stop, a hotel that I never did catch the name of. There was however, no room at the inn, for parking at least, so we found some spaces in the high street.

Breakfast was some time coming. In fact by the time it was served Crunchie, who had loused up his diary & arrived at Newlands at 07:00 had turned up & Captain Moderate walked in as we were eating with a tale of woe about changing his fuel pump at the road-side, which took 3/4 hour. This made us feel guilty - whenever there is a break-down, it's a fair bet that he'll be along in ten minutes with a car full of tools & spares. Inevitably when he broke down, everyone was in front of him & didn't know.

Breakfast eaten & tales told, we headed for the next stop. This would be Chipping Norton, only five miles away as the crow flies, but we'd be doing 70 miles to get there, & in some ways these 70 miles were some of the best of the trip, with sparse traffic & smooth roads, but all too soon we were at the lunch stop, wishing we'd had less breakfast.

Parking in Chipping Norton was an issue, but we all found spaces by fair means or foul - Mattijs boxed my car in so when a "proper" space was vacated, only one of us was ever going to get it - then having lunched it was time to head home. Here our leader waved Crunchie & myself past & adopted a more leisurely pace with Mattijs, though they were soon to be separated. Crunchie & myself had a spirited trip back as far as Basingstoke where we went our separate ways. I arrived home at about 16:00 having had ten hours concentrating on what I was doing too hard to think about problems with work or family. Very nice

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