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Thursday 6th June

  • From: Okehampton
  • To: Bishop's Lydeard
  • LEJOG miles cycled: 60.67 (53 planned)
  • Miles cycled: 184.93
  • Map of the Journey

To Bishop’s Lydeard next we cycled on,
Along the towpath west of Tiverton,
We stayed with old friends, Hilary and Chris,
Before our rest day – far too good to miss!
No limericks today, just hill and dale,
Recalled in Chaucer’s verse: The Cyclist’s Tale.

Yesterday was very hard, as anticipated and we were both exhausted and dehydrated, waking up with headaches. Today was planned to be 53 miles and we hoped it would be slightly easier.

We reached Morchard Bishop for a delightful tea and cake in the village shop. A fabulous model for a rural store and one which the new proprietors in Bardon Mill’s village store, Michael and Dawn, are doing something very similar.

Just before Lapford we met the local Mr Grumpy.  “I wouldn’t go that way if I were you” he said, and without waiting for a response, “Enjoy the view while you can, it won’t be there much more when they cover the land in Wind Turbines”. He then promptly drove off with us none the wiser as which of the two forks in the road to take.

However, just east of Lapford we met Trish tending her garden – she had Bill and Ben the flowerpot men on the gate posts. She took one look at out pennants and then promptly went into the house to fetch a donation – wonderfully generous, as have been many total strangers we have met so far.

The weather remains fantastic, lucky us, and now we have moved into Devon the hills are a more rolling kind so no OFI hills today. However, we still got lost in the small back lanes once or twice where cycle route signs are overgrown or missing.

We used part of the Great Western Canal between Tiverton and Taunton today – you may remember it from the news recently when one of the banks gave way and drained part of the system. Along the way there were some lovely views, including the Elizabethan Aysh Chapel – slightly derelict but none the less magnificent.

Our final destination today was Bishop’s Lydeard, where friends of Robert's were kindly putting us up for a rest day on Friday – much welcomed. They also have two Border Collies with them (one visiting) so that also makes my day even better. Tomorrow we get to visit the famous SJS cycles who make Thorn touring bikes as Robert is thinking of his next bike – perhaps I may be tempted too?

Robert’s calculations were a bit amiss today – he had measured 53 miles but we ended up doing about 61! Some you win, some you lose – no scrap that – the ride was fantastic and every mile is a mile well rode. Lucky us.

Sorry for the late posting again – we have had no WIFI until Friday and poor bandwidth when we do have it. Hopefully we will get some better communications along the way. I am still managing to post photos to Facebook so visit there from time to time to get a more dynamic update.

Don't forget you can also see more, including photos, posted more promptly than the blog on my Facebook page.