Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Tewitfield to Eccleston
Tuesday 5th April 2011 46.62 Miles 4hr 22mins 10.65mph Average Speed 542.55 Total Miles We sat at breakfast very tired and depressed as we stared out of the window at the rain and a poor flag and flag pole that was bending over backwards in the opposite direction to the way we were heading. Debating whether to delay leaving in the hope it would improve we decided that we just needed to get on the road as the weather report did not imply that it was going to get any better. Also, I had plans to meet with best friend Helen for dinner in Preston and to have a cuddle with Goddaughter Flo and I wanted to spend as much time with them as possible on a selfish note. We were following country lanes from the start with the high hedges acting as a wind break in parts. We battled our way in the rain and wind for 5 miles into Nether Kellet where the rain actually stopped but the wind continued. With several bum breaks and stops to let our legs rest from the relentless wind we gradually progressed on to Lancaster. We negotiated our way through the town then when we knew our exit route we were confident enough that it was not going to rain anymore and we stopped to remove waterproofs and munch on energy bars on the roadside at a large roundabout. We made it up the road to Garstang having done 25 miles we found the first pub in the high street and took a lunch stop. This was quite extended as we decided we needed another round of tea and tired of waiting, Dad took a power nap. Finally feeling ready to press on, we left at 1.30pm and set off in pursuit of Preston. The road has been flat for most of the day which has been nice providing we could shelter from the wind. According to the weather report it could have been a lot worse than it actually was. With the aid of Google and a nice old chap who was working in his garage, we had the directions and made our way into Preston and through the other side. We had gone from tiny single traffic lanes to multiple lane highways so we were concentrating hard on staying safe as well as navigation. As we were on such busy roads it was not easy to stop so we carried on heads down through to Eccleston which looked like the first nice little town South of Preston. We rocked up and found the Parr Hall Farm which was a massive converted barn and was very nice, 4 stars. With no accommodation booked as we had not decided where to stay I had called the farm en route on the roadside while waiting at red traffic lights. The owners said we could stay but they were off hiking in Yorkshire but the rooms were open and we could let ourselves in! Helen and Flo met us in the Pub over the road for a quick drink then I left with them to go back to Hel’s for dinner while Sam and Dad dined in the pub. It was great catching up with Helen and putting Flo to bed, very surreal. Just to let you know that the watch that records our map data turned off inside my bar bag today so it only recorded part of the journey unfortunately!