Day 11 – 17th August
Bridgewater . Taunton . Tiverton . Crediton . Bude
At 6:20 pm we crossed the county boundary from Devon into Cornwall the final county on our trip and at 6:40 we saw the sea again for the first time in 10 days. All signs that the finishing line is oh so close yet still oh so far!
It has been a long tough day today. 96 miles (and 11 hrs on the road) of mostly Devon grunt up hill and down. No flat bits in Devon, not that we saw!
The day started well we saw Owen off to the station then Bridgewater to Taunton to Wellington. All relatively gentle and accompanied by coffee a sandwich and a chat with the locals in Wellington. But from Tiverton onwards the going got tough and the rest of the day became a really grind. We climbed 1550m (5,000 ft) during the course of the day but made life harder for ourselves by missing a turn. As we cycled into Exeter we knew immediately that we had suddenly added 7 or 8 miles to our day. Not clever. But our first serious navigation error of the trip.
It’s interesting what you think about when cycling long distances. I won’t share the details with you because my thoughts are my own but Bob and I have both agreed that this trip has been cathartic a form of pilgrimage. We have talked a lot. For Bob his thoughts are obviously of Dale and he talks about him often. We both agree that the emotion that inevitably accompanies tragedy should be used to benefit others and not carried around like useless baggage holding you back, maybe even feeling sorry for yourself. We also agreed that loss is not something you get over, as some people suggest, but is something that you must come to terms with it. We are all different and we all cope and react in different ways but if ever I saw a shining example of how to deal with such devastating loss and tragedy then that is Bob. I salute him.
This experience has been amazing we both agreed we don’t want it to end but end it will tomorrow hopefully in triumph. Bob, I have nothing but total respect and admiration for you. A hero in every sense of the word.
On our arrival in Bude we were greeted by our wives Julie and Rosie and Bobs friend Doug Jill and the irrepressible Jonah. Complete with welcome banner. It was a lovely end to a hard yet enjoyable day.
Tomorrow is another day. But a big one. None more so than for Bob. 10 years and forever 13.
Apologies but no photos today. Time would not allow!
Sent from my iPhone