30 July, 2007

Weekend Getaway

We had a great weekend away, camping in a village called Willingham just sixteen miles by bike from home. We'd camped here before, seven years ago, when the campsite (Roseberry Tourist Park) was far less well developed than it is these days. Back then, we really did camp in a pear orchard but now the few remaining pear trees are more ornamental.

On Friday, we packed up all our camping gear and loaded up the Galaxies for the first time in almost two years. We left home at 3.30pm and after a little shopping in Cambridge (gas cannisters & bike light) rode via Coton, Madingley, Dry Drayton, Oakington, Longstanton and Willingham (where we shopped for food in the Co-Op) to the campsite 1.5 miles out on the Earith Road. We enjoyed pleasantly warm sun and a gentle breeze all the way and arrived at around 6.30pm having covered 18.79 miles in 1:54:51.

We were treated to a friendly welcome. The tent pitch cost £10.00 per night plus £2.00 extra to leave after noon on the last day. We found a spot and pitched the bug and our stand-alone porch then checked out the immaculate toilet and washing facilities. Dinner was Bachelor's beef flavoured rice to which Lisa added fried minced beef and a chopped up omelette. As the evening was getting cloudy and cooler, we retreated to the bug and played 21 overs of dice cricket, leaving Lisa on 123 for 3, while listening to some music on the radio. And so to sleep. During the night, we spent a while admiring the stars in the cloudless and very dark sky.

On Saturday, we woke to warm sunshine at 8.30am and I journaled for a while, while Lisa snoozed. We breakfasted on fried eggs and bread & butter with tea & coffee and listened to some of the morning's play in the test match (England v. India, second test at Trent Bridge, day two).

Then we got out on our bikes and rode a circular route around some of the local villages. From Willingham we rode to Rampton along a very badly surfaced road. We were intrigued by a thatched house at Rampton with thatch fox on the roof ridge. From Rampton to Longstanton along a near unrideable byway, now split in two by work on the execrable guided busway. We broke for a picnic lunch at Longstanton opposite All Saints' church.

We enjoyed much better roads from here on. From Longstanton to Swavesey and on to Over where we stopped for a while to watch a game of cricket being played on the village green. From Over we rode back to Willingham. After a little shopping in the Co-Op we returned to campsite. The day's trip totalled 15.88 miles, covered in 1:46:41 of riding.

After some downtime with newspaper and popcorn we started on dinner. Tonight's meal was spaghetti (actually Amoy "straight to wok'' thread noodles) with a home-cooked meat sauce we brought with us. Dinner over by 7.30pm we settled down in the bug with tonight's Prom concert on the radio. Finished the evening with some more dice cricket, leaving Lisa on 329 for 7 after 50 overs. And so to bed, with heavy rain falling throughout the night.

The rain cleared up early on Sunday morning and we breakfasted on egg fried rice and scrambled egg under clear skies. We made peanut butter sandwiches for the ride home then began packing up. Sooner than we expected, both Lisa and I had our bikes loaded and ready to go. Stopping at the office on the way out to book a pitch for our next long weekend (in August), we set off for home at 11am. We retraced our route out from Roseberry Tourist Park, via Willingham, Longstanton, Oakington, Dry Drayton, Madingley and Coton back to Cambridge. Back by 2pm (including a shopping stop on Mill Road). Covered 16.67 miles in 1:40:36.

Out total for the trip was 51.34 miles, ridden in 5:22:18.

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