Finding A Way

Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Feb 16, 2010

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Where I stayed
Working Man's Club

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, August 16, 2009

I don't want to leave the Bonny Moor Hen this morning.  Not because it was a particularly nice place.  Not because we made great friends.  Mostly because it's grey and dreary outside and i don't want to cycle through crap weather again! 

Saw an old man on the street pass a neighbor lady and remark on the weather:  'looks like rain today' is what he said.  I wondered why he even bothered.  I'm sure that's what he says every day!!!

We headed out of town on the alternate route (other than hell-hill) and it was much better.  Went through several little town seeking a cycle shop, but to no avail.  Finally reaching Bishop Auckland, we rolled into a Halfords - hooray!  the guy had one spoke pare that would fit Brian's bike.  Wonderful, the bike's fixed!  But it meant that Brian couldn't get a spare to take with me.  Bonus, the guy didn't charge for the spoke, or for truing up the wheel, so things were going well!  But then Brian had to do some additional 'tweaks' like changing the break pads, so it was a hour or so before we were on the road again.  My bike needs new breaks as well, but it was too expensive to replace them at this shop. 

After cycling awhile, the landscape finally started to level off.  What a difference that makes!  Rolling into Hunsworth, I grabbed some food and booze for the evening.  I was looking forward to camping as I was quite tired (couldn’t really sleep until after the band packed up last night).  But the campground wouldn’t have us.  They’d just changed their status to caravan only.  Feeling some panic as the next campground was about 20km away from here.  I didn’t quite know what to do. 

We’ve now discovered something new in England:  The Working Man’s Club.  Someone recommended this to us earlier when we were looking for help with our bikes and no cycle shop could be found.  Then again when we needed a place to stay for the night.  Best as I can figure, it’s a kind of old guy’s YMCA - only no health or exercise part.  Just a basic place for guys to hang out.  They let us stay for only 5 pounds, and they have a bar with pound pints!  The rain has even held off enough for our tent to dry out.  We’re in heaven!

It’s strange how your perceptions on things change when you’re on the road.  I remember stressing over what to eat one night and walking up and down the main street of town about 4x trying to figure it out.  Now it’s just like:  food substance - wow, we won’t go hungry and eat anything.  I used to be obsessed with planning and details and now I just take it as it comes, assured that things will be OK.  I don’t necessarily need to know everything in advance.  Quite a change in mindset.  I remember trying to plan this trip and organize all details such as where to stay and train schedules and such and it’s practically impossible - even for an anal organized person such as myself.  I talked to travelers and questioned them about all the ‘hows’ with paper and pen in hand.  Then I would get completely frustrated when I didn’t get the answers and details I wanted!  I wanted exact names, exact places, exact websites.  I remember one night talking to Brian’s cousin Geoff about such things.  He just smiled and said ‘you’ll find away’.  At the time I just shook my head and laughed, but now I understand a little bit more of that.  Little is needed really for world travel.  Mostly just a bit of insanity in order to break out of the routine and comfort of home.  But after that…no travel agents, no travel guides, no maps - you’ll still be ok  The accidents are what makes things interesting, and the people who help you solve them are the treasured angels.
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