What to do today in Bristol? I'm tempted to cycle to Bath again, it is such a good ride, but decide instead to take the train as bit further on to Bradford-on-Avon and ride back.
|Ticket machine. |
"But it was out of order, sir, see?"
That's why a cycling holiday in France is the perfect option, folks. You have to do it! Not only do you get see the best of the country, you get to over-indulge on French food and wine.
I have a policy of trying a local cheese so this is a Bath Wyfe and rather nice. But that's jumping ahead.
|and red peppers stuffed with feta|
My morning coffee has become such a habit that I start to get a headache mid-morning if I havn't had my fix. Just down from the station in Bradford-in-Avon I spot this little place. I'm not exactly aware of it yet because I have not read this article, but I am SOOO cool that I have been deliberately trying to avoid the hipster factor without even knowing it, but for whatever reason, this looks like the perfect place to stop.
|The garden courtyard behind|
is rather nice too, but let's
sit in the Coffee Room
|The digital fire is a nice touch!|
|Roses on the table, table cloth,|
this place is a gem
This man is the only other customer while I'm there. He has dementia and doesn't speak most days now because half way into a sentence he forgets what he was saying. But he's wily enough to regularly escape from his carer to have a coffee out. Check out that suit. Yes, I did ask him could I take his picture. I think he was chuffed.
Maybe co-incidence, but I come across two Australian connections today.
In Bradford there's an old mill that has been made into posh retirement apartments but at one stage it was the headquarters of the Australian Cycling Corps.
"The cyclist battalions were organised like the infantry, and were mainly used as despatch riders. Later, during the periods of semi-open warfare in 1917 and 1918 they operated in a manner similar to cavalry, conducting reconnaissance and patrolling."In fact this proved to be pretty much impossible on the ground, and I believe they ended up spending a lot of time doing burials.
Then in the afternoon I happen to be riding through a little town called Bathampton where I spot an old church with a lovely graveyard.
Various bits of the church have been gifted by Australian states.
Back in Bradford-on-Thames though. It's a lovely town climbing up hills either side of the Avon. Unfortunately a busy road goes through the centre of town.
|Lovely grey stone buildings|
Must be my day for talking to people on the street. Next thing I'm chatting to a man called Alan who insists I have a look at the Buddhist temple in a 17th century building that used to be a hotel. I wonder briefly whether he also has some etchings to show me, but no, inside he introduces me to Chinese monk from Sydney who is too busy chatting to a man with a huge head of rasta dreads to talk to me. I admire the temple appropriately and wander on.
It's school holidays and there are plenty of hire boats pottering along.
|Maybe not a hire boat, |
this man really looks the part
Plenty of boat owners are making the most of the fine weather to catch up with maintenance and there are lots of power tools and paintbrushes in use.
The water in the canal is disgustingly brown and when I tangle with a rope across the towpath and nearly fall off, it is fear of ending up in the water that somehow keeps me upright. Also, I'm over the idea of living on a narrowboat. Often as I ride by there is this miasma of dank and mouldy air emanating from a moored boat. Plus I travel faster and get to see much more.
Though a boat would be better for taking advantage of those canal-side beer gardens, like this one.
|Hmmm, that blur of white?|
A bunch of people in the beer garden.
|The bridge has to be wound open with an alan key|