Travels By Jango, Rhino and Helios tandem
A longer day today, 68 kilometres. Lovely rolling countryside again with beautiful views when the cycle route went along higher ground.
Although the sun was shining during breakfast the mist had come in by 9am when we started. By noon the sun had emerged, dissipating the mists, and proceeded to raise the temperature to around 25 °C during the afternoon. This unexpected warmth resulted in a trip to a supermarket for a cooling couple of ice creams each (4 for a £1) and a litre of fruit juice to fortify us.
At one point during the morning we were joined by a Canadian tourist, who cycled alongside us for a while, discussing bikes and touring.
The heat and humidity brought out the scents and smells of the countryside. There was the aroma of horses and cattle, scattered reminders of all the animals that had walked the lanes. There was the green, moist scent of mown grass. In some places the almost winey scent of ripe blackberries and other hedgerow fruits.
At noon we joined the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal at Shepherd’s Patch and cycled along the towpath for a short distance. Unfortunately the path was full of chunky loose stones so I spent more time watching the surface than looking at the boats and scenery.
At one point we were behind the modern sheepdog, a car herding cattle along the lane to the farmyard! Later in the day we just managed to pass the gate before a herd of cattle were herded out into the road.
There have been some lovely place names on our route. We passed through the village of Ham but did not stop for a photo shoot of the village sign as we were speeding down hill. Shortly after I saw an imposing crenellated wall on the right, casting an interesting shadow on the road. Looking through the gateway there appeared to be elaborate stables. Shortly after we saw signs to Berkeley Castle so I assumed we had passed one of the side entrances.
Just before we arrived at Tirley we passed through the village of Ashleworth where I saw signs to the church and tythe barn off to the right. As we passed through the village I caught sight of the lovely old buildings several times.