Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Stage 1 - Frome (Salisbury) to Portsmouth. 29 May 2013

Mel's offer of a lift past Salisbury was most welcome. I had not been on the bike for a week and hadn't carried the bags for more than a year so I couldn't have made the 80 miles or so.

Getting ready in the morning took me back to last year. The contents of the bags strewn around the room to be meticulously replaced in the bags in the correct order depending on the day's expectations.

We loaded the bike and stuff into Mel's camper van and set off. Frome is quite a hilly little number and I would not have enjoyed leaving the town for that reason alone. The countryside on the way to Salisbury was tremendous, typically English I would say with all the shades of greenery on the trees in the gently undulating landscape.

Mel told me another tale of his involvement with the Town Council. Some County workmen were repairing broken stone flags with tarmac. When asked about this atrocity they said it was County Council policy. Mel and other Council members waited for them to finish and then went around digging out the tarmac themselves and replacing it with proper stone flags donated by a local merchant. He then revealed that it is not County Council policy anymore.

We got to Salisbury and wandered through the town to the cathedral. A very impressive place it was too. There was an exhibition about the Magna Carta in an annexe type building which was particularly interesting but my main thoughts were elsewhere.

The time came to set off and we called at Greggs for a butty or two and drove uphill for miles in the direction of Southampton. Thankfully there were no obvious places for Mel to turn around so he kept on going. It was his idea - honest. I was keeping quiet until enough was enough. He kicked me out and we said our farewells. Don't leave it so long etc. I was just about ready to get going when I saw him waving with a toot from on the other carriageway.

So I was on the road again. Rain had threatened from about midday but the clouds seemed quite high in the distance. I took it really easy. There was no rush. The boat didn't sail until 11pm and I didn't want to be hanging round for too long. The road was busy and quite narrow in places so I went on the footpath when there was one.

That Peter Kay type rain started about 5 miles from Portsmouth. I stopped and sheltered in a bus stop for half an hour or so and the rain eased a bit. I called at a Co-op for some milk for tomorrow's breakfast and some fresh orange juice and landed here at the ferry terminal which is warm and dry. I'll get on the boat as soon as I can and "get settled"


  1. Good Luck Uncle Tom! Putting us lazy folk to shame. Good to see you last week. Paul

  2. hi tom
    its tony & ann (nps retirees)
    just to let you know we got married at Gretna green in april
    think what you are doing is great
    the blog is very entertaining
    catch up with you on your return
    t & a

    1. Great news Tony and Ann. Congratulations to you both. Will have to celebrate with you properly one day.

  3. Fethiye Güney Ege'nin en muhteşem yeri. Tarih, doğa, kültür kısaca tatilden beklediğiniz tüm gereksinimleri sunuyor. Güzel anlatım için teşekkür ederim. Fikir olsun diye bende burada Fethiye'nin gezilecek yerleri hakkında bir şeyler karalamıştım.