With little pomp, but some strange looks from the neighbor, we vacated our Wallsend digs as sprinkling rain disappeared and skies lightened. After a wee first-day tinkering and adjustment delay, panniers and packs were loaded, bungees stretched, straps buckled, and a crafty pano that included all five of us snapped, we were off at the crack of 10:15!
First leg 12 km: Hadrian’s Cycleway Route 72 Wallsend to Tynemouth Harbour summed up with a haiku:
Green, twist, bump, river
Industrial shipyard beach
Priory North Sea
Second Leg: 30km Coast and Castles (Route 1)
Under the watchful eye of Vice Admiral Lord Cuthbert Collingwood, a Napoleonic-era admiral second-in-command to Admiral Lord Nelson during the Battle of Trafalgar, we were reminded by Geordie locals during a quick pit stop that it was indeed Newcastle homie, Lord Collingwood, who won the battle that day.
While on a photo-stop at the Tynemouth Priory and Castle, which we most certainly would have toured had we not been pressed to carry on, we were impressed by the great expanse of the North Sea dotted with big white windmills and noted the mettle of a pair of North Sea bathers in trunks not wetsuits. On probably the nicest day since June, still cloudy but dry, we cycled by, past and around hundreds, more likely thousands, of folks enjoying the day — families, dog walkers, bikers, hikers, kayakers, paddle boarders, scooters, strollers, sand and rocks and the tide way out and we rolled on.
Things continued thus: the Cramers surged ahead, Auntie Kato brought up the rear. Most of the journey was well signposted but towards the end, things got harder to parse and while the Cramers headed north to Newbiggen-by-the-sea, I flew off on a tangent, riding on a grassy footpath and then west to Stakeford until my battery ran out of juice and I was rescued by Neil, the Uber driver for the final few miles.
My riding today: 23.4 miles. Cramers total riding today: 26 miles x 4 = 104 miles
Grand total: 127.4 miles
After icing of knees and ibuprofens, master-chef Sage single-handedly whipped up a nacho night extraordinaire: refried beans, vegan sausages, ground beef for the carnivores, Spanish rice, white rice, salsa, chips, sautéed red onions, red pepper and courgette, tortilla chips and one’s choice of vegan or milk-based cheese. All this and dinner occurring while we blasted through two loads of laundry — with a dryer!
PLUS, NO RAIN!
I won’t be writing quite so much every day but will update when I can. XO