We had planned for this to be our day of rest but because we do not want to stiffen up we like to put a few miles on the clock. So I decided that I should have the full English fry up as it was our day off. As always it was fantastic and cooked to perfection.
We were chatting to a sports therapist over breakfast who was surprised that we had cycled all this way and that we are not cyclist she was impressed to say the least which was quite nice to hear.
We needed to go to a bike shop and get some more arse cream as there was no way in hell I was going to get blisters on my nuts let alone my arse. We found a local bike shop and he seemed ok and the cream was bloody expensive at £17 but still not a hesitation on my part. I also made the decision that we were to buy a new tyre for Jane as I was now fed up of repairing the punctures from when she hit glass and now she had the nail through I thought the tyre had seen better days.
Another £30 later and I was sat in the street swearing at this tyre as it had obviously been stored for a while as it was a little out of shape. It resembled more of a square tyre than a round one however I persevered as I never get beaten by anything.
The tyre is fitted and now all we had to do was get to Merthyr. Jane as always was trying to shave of miles and avoid hills where I was trying to find the steep bits and add miles on as I actually enjoy cycling and the challenge of the hills is what makes me tick. So a few moments of “strong” conversation and I was on my way to the longer way to Merthyr and Jane was tagging a little way behind….. Thankfully just out of earshot as I can take a guess that the language was quite strong in the background.
We were pushing along at a nice pace and the roads were very nice although there were some hills but the momentum got us through them which made a very nice change. We stopped off at a reservoir and took a few photos and looked at the tourist boards and generally took some time out to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
We saw a sign in the distance and we just sank…. It was a 20% and it was not in the direction we wanted however me being me I pushed on and I was encouraged by some writing on the road which was things like “no walking” and “keep going” and “500 metres to go” which were pretty damn motivating.
I as always left Jane behind as I pushed on to the top and even I struggled as the road was a little rough and full of potholes so it was a little more strenuous than any normal 20%. It took a long time to get to the top but when we did it was very satisfying. Jane looked exhausted and we saw a rambler and we chatted to him about our trip and he was very interested and gave us lots of encouragement which is always nice.
So we were at the top of the hill and at the best bit which only means one way to go and that is downnnnnnnn…. We were bombing through the lanes and nearly took out a couple of sheep and at the bottom of the hill was a Tea Shop that was called the old barn and it looked like a nice place to stop for a while and get a drink and of course some cake.
We got chatting to the family next to us and they were really nice and generally just took in the surroundings and played with the many dogs that were passing through.
We were only a little way from Merthyr and once again it was all down hill to our Travelodge accommodation and we hammered through the town which was a very run down poor community and we were not really too interested in stopping we just wanted sleep and food.
We checked into the hotel and discovered that we had a family room and so that meant we had a bath which can only be described as EPIC!! We had not yet actually had a bath and so this was the first thing we did and get that water raging hot and simply soaked in it till the water went cold.
We headed across the retail park to a Chinese buffet food place and it was ok, not fantastic but we ate our monies worth and then just went back to the hotel to sleep as we were both exhausted.