05/10 I had a much, much better day leaving York. The sun was shining (until 3pm and then it rained), traffic was noticeably better and I didn’t see very many people–only a few stares. The route I took went through some crazy places. First there was a paved bicycle trail leaving the city, then there was a dirt road, then there was very muddy and hilly single track section, after that a mile ride along a muddy path through some fields followed up by a muddy stream crossing. Had it been raining much more it would have been a nightmare but it was quite manageable and I kind of loved it. Felt like I was back doing the O’Higgins crossing in Argentina/Chile.
I’m not having much luck finding actual campgrounds. I downloaded this list of CG’s from a web site called Archies Campings but a lot of the sites, as I’m finding out when I arrive, are for members only. They are also geared toward RVs so unless they have a space dedicated to tents only (maybe half do) the sites cost a fortune. This one cost me $20.48 US (White Water Park in the city of Stockton-On-Tees). Again, just a hunk of grass and a hot shower.
I found a place that shows tent sites but they don’t have anything you can download for offline use. That means I need internet to check and I have to plan for each day where I want to ride. I hate having to do that but if I get stuck on the road I have to pay for a hotel which is what I had to do the next night. Or I need to buy a cell phone so I can call first.
Similar problems with camping today. The first place allowed tent camping but the office was closed from 12pm to 4pm. I got there at 3:30pm. Of course it had been cold and raining all day and I didn’t feel like hanging around so I left for the next place a couple miles down the road. I got there only to find out that this one hasn’t allowed tent camping in 6 years. Well maybe get a new sign on the highway (right where the first place was) so people know?
In the town of South Shields I finally spotted a hotel/pub called Douglas Vaults Hotel. The room is an amazingly low $40 US. The shower is shared but everything is very clean. Free wifi even.
Lot’s more muddy off road riding today. I probably spent 90% of the day on dirt. No real bad spots and the rain kept my chain from getting too mucked up. It was pretty nice riding along the North Sea. I suppose I was in the Netherlands for a bit but this was way more how I thought it would be–cold, windy, rainy and with a lighthouse.
Not 3 minutes after leaving the campground this morning a guy says, “Looks like you got a lot of baggage there.” I’m starting to think this isn’t a hot spot for long distance bicycle touring. He was the only person that said anything to me all day. People stopped saying hi for some reason. I think the change happened around York.
Oh, and rabbits are not as harmless as people may think. One of the little monsters must have ducked under my tent fly last night and made off with the Ortlieb bag I keep my oatmeal in. It was laying about 20 feet from my tent this morning. Fortunately it wasn’t gnawed through.
|Avg Speed:||mph (0 km/h)||Top Speed:||mph (0 km/h)|
|Total Ascent:||ft (0 m)||Max Elevation:||ft (0 m)|
|Distance:||mi (0 km)||Total Distance:||26654 mi (42895.5 km)|