Thursday 11th July. Salisbury to Chepstow. 72 miles.

Countryside

Nice early start this morning, I was up at 5am, although a lot of phaffin around on my part meant I didn’t leave camp until gone 7! But it was all fine and not a problem.

I wasn’t too sure which route to take first thing! In the end I started to follow the phone, but soon got annoyed with that, after it tried to send me across the firing ranges on Salisbury plain! I went my way, along the main roads after that!

Man fields
On Salisbury plain this morning

Staying in a hotel tonight, I wasn’t too sure which way to head after reaching Chepstow, and I couldn’t see any campsites nearby, so rather than go off in the wrong direction, I just stopped at the first place I saw! Hopefully I’ve sorted my route to Fishguard now!

Suspension bridge
Crossing into Wales on the Severn Bridge

Wednesday 10th July. Bognor Regis to Salisbury. 75 miles.

Boats water

Well hopefully I’m on my way to Ireland!

My plan is to cycle up to and then through Wales, where I’ll catch a ferry from Fishguard across to Rosslare.

Once in Ireland I plan to cycle around the coast, returning to Rosslare where I will catch the ferry back.

Been flying along today, what with all the steroids I’m taking ar the moment, perhaps I should have entered the Tour de France!

June 2019 Update

River running through a valley

June’s been a busy month, with days out walking, cycling trips, and a visit to the hospital to get some special shoes!

On the first weekend of the month, Julie and I had a lovely day out with her parents, going to Leonardslee Gardens. A Grade 1 listed garden, which was first planted in 1801, it’s only just reopened after being closed for the past nine years.

Family photo
Pensioners day out

I can’t say that I’m really into wandering around gardens, but this was more like a walk in the woods. It’s wonderfully landscaped and crosses over a short valley with lakes at the bottom of the valley.

It was the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings over the second week and weekend of the month, with some of the main events taking place in Portsmouth. Although I couldn’t go along to the main event, which was attended by the Queen and dignitaries from all the other allied countries that were involved, Julie and I did go along on the last day.

People stage
The D-Day stage in Portsmouth
Health

I had an appointment to see a podiatrist last month, who told me that my right leg is now 8mm shorter, and I needed special shoes! (Which is possibly why my sciatica is playing me up so much) Well, not special shoes just an insert! The only trouble is that now it’s summer I tend to live in flipflops and sandals which aren’t suited to inserts!

Unfortunately, my skin has flared up again, which has been causing me great discomfort! In a bid to take my mind off of it, and to avoid taking steroids, I decided to go away! Not on tour, as such, I didn’t feel up to it, just a few nights away.

On The Bike

The first night I rode to Eastbourne, purely because there was a nice wind to blow me there! And the following day it was due to switch direction, and blow me back home! After reaching Eastbourne I remembered why I don’t tend to cycle that way too often, there are some pretty brutal hills!

Man in cafe
Garry’s been feeling so rough, he’s even taken to stopping in cafes!

After spending the night back home, the following morning I decided to head to the New Forest! But being bored with cycling that route, and not feeling particularly good, I decided to catch the train to Southampton, which left me a miserly 10-miles to cycle! What a wet night that turned out to be, it rained nearly all night, and I was glad that I took my Hilleberg tent as opposed to the MSR!

Tent in the woods
Packing away after a damp night in the New Forest

The following day I went over to the Isle of Wight to meet my friend Malcolm. Where we spent a couple of hours talking over lunch, which he very kindly paid for! While talking to him it occurred to me that my last big tour was India back in 2016! And that one didn’t go exactly to plan! No wonder I’m fed up with cycling to the New Forest!

Two men
Garry with Malcolm

After thanking Malcolm for lunch, it was a short ride to the campsite in Adgestone where I spent the night.

Away Again

On returning home, I had intended to go back to France, but I didn’t feel up to it! After a few more days of suffering, I finally gave in and started taking a course of steroids which had been prescribed to me earlier in the month. I wasn’t too keen on taking them again, mainly because of the side effects! But I’d had enough of constantly feeling crap!

I’ve now been taking them for nearly a week, and am starting to feel a lot better! Unfortunately, now all the ferries are booked up, and I can’t get a crossing!

Speaking of France, the videos from my last tour in France are now coming out on YouTube. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to receive notifications as and when they’re published.

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May 2019 Update

Water boats

May 2019 update, not a lot to say this month. After touring for a couple of weeks, I’ve bored you enough with my daily posts!

Water, walled city
Saint-Malo

I had my pre-op at the beginning of the month, so we’re all ready to go back into the hospital! Although I don’t think it will be for a month or two. That’s assuming my hip will hold up, as its pretty loose now! If I catch a bump wrong or forget and just go marching off, I can feel it move around, and it causes me a sharp pain! But hopefully, it’ll last for a while longer.

A Short Trip Away & Accident

I decided to go back to the New Forest for the night at the beginning of the month, to try out a new tent, but I’ll talk about that another time.

Tent bike trees ponies
Back in the New Forest

On the ride down, I managed to crash into some brambles! Maybe I was going a bit too fast, or more than likely as I think, I just wasn’t paying attention!

There’s one part of the route that goes down a gravel track, and it was there that I had my incident! I knew the gravel was a bit deep and very awkward on a fully loaded bike. But as I said I wasn’t paying attention! When I hit the gravel, I immediately felt the front wheel start to go! Worried about putting my leg down so suddenly! I decided to turn the wheel and headed for a bramble bush instead!

Man with cut on face
The consequence of not paying attention

No damage, just a few cuts and grazes! I was more worried about my pride! There was a runner close behind me, so I quickly pulled myself out from the brambles and rode off!

Future Plans

I’m hoping to go away again in the coming month, although I doubt I’ll be going too far away, I am a little concerned that my hip will pop out! Which was one of the reasons for sticking close to the coast on my recent trip to France. I thought that if anything were to happen, I could probably manage to get home, or somebody could come and get me!

All the videos from my trip to Paris in March are now available to watch on YouTube.

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