Pack up your troubles …

Having arrived at our cosy little Air B&B cottage in Clitheroe later in the afternoon on a Sunday we were too tired to search about for an open shop and definitely not up to making the effort to go to a restaurant to eat so we made do with a hotch-potch of a supper consisting mainly of tea, toast, oatcakes and bananas. Hardly the refuel of champions. Exhausted we showered the grime of the day off and sunk into the large comfy bed whilst the heavens opened and thunder crashed.

Our cosy haven behind the white door

It was lovely to wake up the next morning knowing that we had a day off the bike to have time to rethink our strategy. Taking our friends’ advice, we went through all the kit we had with us and having made the decision that camping was not a viable option with all the equipment it entailed, the pile of things that we would no longer need was considerable. Fortunately the post office was only a couple of hundred yards away from the cottage, so we set off to score some cardboard boxes big and strong enough to take the extraneous kit. We were a little surprised to find that their largest boxes were not really large enough for our requirements and cost £5 each. However the lovely ladies at the post office suggested we try the stationers round the corner – off we trotted where the lady there said pop round the side porch and take what you want from the redundant delivery boxes. Result. Packing tape and marker pen purchased from the obliging stationers and we headed back to pack.

Two large boxes filled and addressed home, we then struggled carrying them the short distance to the post office and wondered what we were thinking that we could manage all this weight up all those hills.

That’s a lot of stuff!

We spent the rest of the morning meandering around the larger than expected town of Clitheroe, and even managed to make it up the hill to the castle. We had a lovely brunch in one of the many independent cafes in the town and then went in search of some ingredients for a suitably nutritious supper, craving protein and lots of fruit and veg.

Views on Clitheroe
Mr V happy after the visit to the post office

We really have taken the opportunity to rest today, even having an afternoon nap! We have also been studying the route as prescribed by the Sustrans guide and decided that we were not going to head for Borwick via some extremely arduous and frighteningly steep hills judging by the profiles, but would take the more circuitous route round the hills to Lancaster. From there we are hoping to let the train take the strain up to Carlisle, an hours journey by rail that would take us about 2 days. We have tussled with this decision; would we feel that our achievement was diminished by not travelling the whole distance under our own steam? On further reflection though we knew we could not sustain the continuous strenuous peddling for 6 hours a day, excluding rest periods, for the next two or more weeks. After all we are not on light weight road bikes which travel the same distance in nearly half the time. Perhaps skipping the Lake District could be likened it to having motor assistance on a bike, which whilst peddled the majority of the time, lets the motor kick in to minimise the effects of hills. We are after all doing this for our own enjoyment.

Not liking the look of that hill profile
We even had wine with supper – chin chin

So feeling optimistic, having lightened our load, enjoyed a long rest and refuelled on a healthy supper we are ready to face the rest of our journey peddling to our own tune.

Preparing to peddle

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