We ended last nights blog saying we hoped the 62 miles to Vitre wouldn’t be too bad after our night of scavenging, alas it was that bad. It’s safe to say after 5 days of cycling our bodies are starting to feel the strain (thats before mentioning the strain our bikes are feeling). We’re not going to bore you all telling you about the roads but its safe to say we have found the A34’s evil French cousin, or as Nikki christened it, “The big dipper from hell”. If we had only been on this for a short while, we could have coped, but it was 32 miles of the day. Once again, like every other day, it was dark when we arrived at our end location! We are now on the countdown for Sunday when it is all over, and thankfully, on that day, it will be daylight when we finish.
When we said above that our bodies were feeling it, we were not kidding, every muscle in our bodies aches, even muscles we didn’t know we had. Our back barely stand up straight, our shoulders are in need of a good massage, our hands ache from gripping the handlebars, and our legs have taken a severe beating. Speaking of our legs, they seem to have become a mass of purple bruises. Where all these bruises are coming from we’re not sure, but every night we find more. We are also finding that our knees have become very painful, and by the end of a day cycling up a hill can be akin to torture! Actually no, scratch that, torture would be more preferable! We have christened this whole body achiness as “Bikers Body”. I think the worst thing Nikki has to face though, is what her feet are looking like! Her trainers have developed a taste for human flesh!
However, there have been occasions that have reminded us just why we are doing this. Those occasions usually come in the form of supportive messages from all you readers. The texts we have been getting, and messages on Facebook and Twitter really do keep us going. But it is not just from you readers that we have found kindness, Even general people who pass us by have been so supportive, but then again, we do kinda stand out in our bright green matching t-shirts! As you can imagine, we also look slightly like tourists (some of the looks we’ve been getting all day are confirming that!). I think what gives it away is when we stop to pull the giant map from Nikki’s basket. She does amuse me that she has to twist the map round to the way we are facing as the lefts and rights in her brain don’t seem to work very well! Prime example is when asking which way we’re going, I get the reply of “That way!” and have to look at which way she is pointing. I should point out, I’m generally leading! We we’re particularly impressed with how kind the southerners were, as clearly, being raised as a northern lass and lad, you are brought up to believe that all southerners are snobby. We would like to state for the record that that is so far from the truth, in fact, people have got nicer the further south we go! For example In Benson the manager at the MacDonald’s there gave us two free meals. And we all thought MacDonald’s was a soulless corporation. Even little moments of kindness make us smile, such as the nice French man who offered to take this picture of us both by the Ferry Terminal sign.
So yes, as you can tell, we have definitely encountered some lovely people along the way, especially those who have put us up for the night and have welcomed us with hot food, a hot bath/shower, and a soft bed, even though it seems to feel like its midnight when we get there. We also want to say a quick thank you to Mandy in Basingstoke for putting us up and for getting up at 6am with us, just to make us some sandwiches. They were very tasty and kept us going for a long way!
Afraid its only a quick blog tonight as it has been a VERY long day, but vitre is lovely and we hope to have a quick look round tomorrow. We’ll fill you in later. So tomorrow we head off to Angers and Dan and I are hoping they may have a washing machine as currently all of our clothes from today are in the bathroom, and we have sealed it off as the air in there is not safe for breathing, and for once, its not due to the poo polka!
If you have sympathy for us having to put these clothes back on tomorrow, these slimely smelly clothes, please consider donating at http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/r2rchallenge
Nikki & Dan