I got up at 8.45 and Jade made me a coffee and some toast and gave me a menu so I can sign their guestbook when I get online next (www.theferrytavern.com). I took the Trans Pennine Trail to Sankey Bridges and followed an easy route east and north of Warrington up to Burtonwood. Easy cycling to Newton-le-Willows and north to Haydock.
I had trouble finding my way over the A580 but followed my nose and didn’t do too big a detour, going through Garswood Industrial Park and getting back on the map at Ashton Road and then all the way up to Up Holland climbing up Stoney Brow and stopping for a steak lunch at 1pm in the Old Fox at Roby Mill.
Pretty countryside with a climb out of Appley Bridge where it started to rain. I kept heading north to Eccleston where I was flagged down by a lovely eccentric chap called Roger who gave me 50p for a cup of tea and had so much to say whilst looking out for his bus and tapping his red shoes. He reminded me very much of Uncle Brian; I gave him my address as he wanted to write to me.
I stopped in a cafe at a garden nursery in Newtown to get out of the rain and managed some homemade chocolate cake and a cup of tea. The owner wouldn’t let me pay for it as Macmillan had looked after her mum.
I carried on north making my own way through Preston in rush hour and heavy rain. I got on the B5411 from the B6241 up to the B5269 then followed the Lancashire Cycle Path to Owd Nell’s Tavern which was part of a dodgy commercialised thatched hamlet. I had to get out of the heavy rain and stopped in for a coffee and to try and make a decision as to what to do next due to the inclement weather.
I couldn’t stand staying there so I decided to try for Garstang and although the road and route were kind I was tired, cold and very slow. No matter how I tried I couldn’t pick up my pace. I found a room in the Eagle and Child in Garstang which was a very rough and ready establishment and the room was really big and spooky!
I had a lovely warm shower and draped my wet stuff all over the room and went out for some food. When I got back I showed my face in the bar and had a glass of red wine. Everyone was very drunk and I managed to pull myself away at 11pm after listening to lots of cancer stories and long drawn out “last breath” stories which was very hard work after my long day out in the rain.
I wrote my journal but left everything else for the morning as I was too tired to deal with it now. I’m half way there and I’ve got a bite on my left earlobe which has swollen up three times it’s normal size!
36.0 mph MAX 9.3 mph AVE 5 hours 47 minutes 5 seconds 53.97 miles
525.8 miles total