Chazeez and I cycled the South Downs Way for the BBC Wildlife Fund, and we have indeed raised a mighty fund! It was a lovely time, we had many laughs but we also nearly cried with lactic acid build up.
The first night we spent in a Camping Barn, and it was very very cold. Our beds were big squares of black cushion, and because we didn’t want heavy bags we didn’t bring sleeping bags. The cold and the tired mixed together in our minds, and Chaz woke up and told me there was a rat by her head. Up we jumped in fright, and ran over to the light switch, and just stood for ages watching the bed, until we slowly slowly realised that were in fact no rats. We returned to ‘sleep’, and then a little while later I also woke up, as I was now convinced there were rats in the bed. Up we jumped again, and so the night continued, as we half-slept, half-froze, half-hallucinated our way to the morning.
The second night we stayed in a B&B, which was just the loveliest place EVER, and all the food was organic, locally produced or home-grown. It had a goat called Tine, so called because it used to be called Tiny when it was small, and they had to adapt it as he grew. He had no front teeth, and so his tongue poked out of the little gap. We had also run out of money by this time, except for the train money home. Therefore, we did not have a ‘meal’ as such, more of a feast of apricots, kit-kats, jaffa-cakes, brownies, apples and sweets. We also had an endless tea supply in the room, which was a saviour in these dark times. We also had a TV, but it only had 4 channels, and only one of them had anything good on, so we immersed ourselves in the love-stories of Eastenders, and then watched a freaky program about plastic surgery.
As for the cycling itself, going up hills was very very painful and tedious, but going down the hills was liberating and wonderful. I recommend the whole excursion!
And so we hobbled back home to our lovely rat-free beds, and we have done a wonderful deed, and we are very pleased with ourselves.