No Room at the Inn

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

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Where I stayed
Sheep's Field

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, August 22, 2009

Another beautiful day of cycling.  Started out without a cloud in the sky and did we ever fry - aren’t used to the sun anymore!  Went down some more back country roads and picked a few more blackberries along the windy roads.  Needing to stop at every intersection to make sure we were going in the right direction certainly takes some time.  In this area, a town consists of a pub, a church, and a handful of homes.  Here the houses have names and not numbers.  Names like:  Bramble House, Hill Top Farm, Fir Way, and the ever popular Rose Cottage.  It all works out great as long as you’re the only one on your road, and I’m sure the mail deliver enjoys his job that much more. 

I had quite a difficult time this afternoon.  Totally ran out of steam.  I think it’s from the sun, but there’s no way that I’m going to complain about it!  But as the terrain got hillier, I got slower.  Brian complaining from behind certainly didn’t help either.  So eventually he took off and I could cycle at my own pace in peace.  That is until I spotted our turn, but saw no Brian.  Either:  a) he turned and was so pissed off at me that he didn’t wait, or b) he missed it and kept going.  I opted for b).  As much as he may be frustrated with my slowness, he’s not going to leave me in the dust without a map.  So on I went.  As I coasted down a giant hill, I was ready to seriously lash out at him should he say one more word about my cycling slowly today.  About 3km down the road, I finally say him heading back realizing his mistake.  Poor guy.  I don’t have to say anything - he’ll beat himself up enough about it. 

We were getting quite desperate for a campground after cycling 105km of hills.  Came into the little town of Great Bourton.  The first campsite on our route since this morning.  But the lady at reception wouldn’t give us a space  We were NOT cycling another 20+ km to our next marked site at this point.  This town was big enough that we’d seen a sign for one B&B, so we thought that would at least be an option.  So back we went to find the proverbial FULL sign on the gate.  There was a chap standing near the end of the lane, so Brian struck up a conversation with him asking if he knew any farmers who would let us put up our tent.  He avoided the topic for awhile saying that they were full and even went in to double check with his wife.  But, I think his curiosity began to peak in what we were doing, and low and behold, he own the field across the road and we could set up there!

These last few weeks for us camping in England have been the most difficult for finding campsites.  We’re always turned away or can’t find a place for some reason or another.  I’ve been thinking about Mary and Joseph and can sympathize.  Weary after a day of traveling, being turned away time and again.  Thank goodness I’m not in labor!  Now tonight, we’ve been offered a sheep’s paddock to sleep in - not quite a barn.  When reading about helping strangers and being a good Samaritan, I always thought that I would be on the giving end before the receiving end. 

Strange how a few months ago we were both respectable citizens who had good jobs, cars, and a home.  Now we’re begging for a small patch of grass to sleep on.  If I had a chance to think rationally about what’s going on, I may change my mind.  But luckily, I have no time to think - just to do what’s necessary. 

But we settled in just the same and it was one of the comfiest nights yet with the long grass grown for he sheep to eat.  It’s a beautiful panoramic view towards the east.  Brian (the sheep farmer) gave us lots of little stories about what we were seeing and some history of the area.  We heard about the famous people who had gone to the boys boarding school across the way.  And that the furrows we could see in the field were actually from medieval farmers.  And about the Roman artifacts that he’s found when a family of badgers dug up a new den.  And about the great battle that was fought in the planes below.  Strange to think that armies may have slept in this very spot so many years ago, anxious for the battle that the morning light would bring them. 
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Just found this blog "No Room At the Inn". We are the couple who's sheep field you camped in for the night when the village campsite & our own B & B was full. We followed your trip via your e-mails & have just started getting them for your latest trip. Safe travelling

2totango on


I'm so glad that you wrote on here. Such fond memories we have of that evening we were able to sleep in the field. I know it was a great stretch to trust us as you'd just had some petrol stolen the night before. Such a testament to the goodness in people! Good to hear from you again.

Love, Brian and Sharilyn

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