Stage 8

"It can't rain all the way there, can it?"

Stage Stats

Distance 112.6 km
Time 5 hours 0 mins
Elevation 1037m
Pain Factor 7/10

So a day of two halves. We set off from Clun about 10am and straight into a stupid leg burning climb. I was zig zagging all over the road just to get up. It was a real wakeup call for the legs. The view from the top was great but not worth the pain. After the climb there came some respite it would be be mostly downhill / flat for the rest of the day. We had done some calculations and there was no point going crazy as it was going to take a further 3 days after this to get to the end.

No matter what distance we did, it was better to carve it up into even stages, rather than be a hero when its easy. We rode on to Hereford for a coffee stop which could not come quick enough because the 30km to get there was the coldest, nasty, soaking 30km ever. Truely demoralising, I was cold, wet and the constant spray and drudge of the never ending similar looking roads was making this a mental challenge and not so much a physical one. 

At Hereford we pulled in for a coffee / chocolate fudge cake refuel and 15 mins under the hand dryer to try get some warmth. We resigned ourselves to the day being a right off and while our driver apparently had time to visit the Mappa Mundi in Hereford cathedral we were relying on blood, sweat and gears.(and GPS) to get us there. By the time we had made it to Monmouth (yes we are officially in Wales) The weather had cleared up and infact small patches of blue sky were starting to be seen.

Just in time as well as the next part of the journey was a fantastic descent down the Wye valley. A beautiful twisting road hugging the river all downhill. The day was saved in the last 20km and spirits were lifted as we passed Chepstow race course and into town. Tomorrow we are over the Severn Bridge and turn right to have our destination in our sights. 


Rain, rain rain and pissing rain — that was the story of the day wasn’t it Paul…. of course the piss part happened to be an offering by Mark to appease the Rain gods, as the fatigue and lack of intelligence brought the idea to swamp himself to keep warm. The desperate ravings of the madman did appease the gods as the rain slowed and the day turned quite nice in the afternoon with only the profound stench of urine on his left leg left to let everyone know of his personal sacrifice. This was widely appreciated by the fine folk of wales as he lounged in their cafes in the afternoon sunshine. The wise decisions lasted late into the evening with a good curry for all and a few rounds. The extra propulsion provide might just carry them across the Atlantic if this morning is any indication. 160 k plus expected out of them today and more rain — and i am sure to the preference of all residents of the southwest less of these bright ideas….. right … i will let you know how they choose to horrify Devon tomorrow.


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