Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Great North Fun Day 7


Well she did it! Delores made it up a 25% hill (1:4 in old money) including a hairpin!  She screamed her way out of Sandsend bay at 4500 revs but she made it, probably burning through half a tank of fuel in 300m, but nevertheless we made it to the top in one piece and can now relax safe in the knowledge that she has overcome the toughest thing a UK road can throw at her.

Durham Cathedral
Today I also learned a new definition for the word 'close'. When the camping guide book described the site as being "close to the castle and cathedral" I thought it meant within evening strolling distance. Turns out 'close' also means '5 miles away and halfway up a hill'. I wonder if there's a legal definition of 'close'? I doubt it, it's just one of those nice wooly words people can use allowing them to charge more for campsites etc. Much better when they give actual distances in miles so I can make my own mind up if it's 'close' or not.

Today we chugged up to Durham and had a pretty lazy old day if I'm honest. After finding the campsite (close to a busy main road but lovely views over the valley) we nipped out to Tesco to restock.  The site owner gave us directions and it turned out to be a Tesco Extra which is basically a town with a roof. The place is so big they should issue you with a satnav (or at the very least a sherpa) at the door. We needed a couple of household bits - I'd been forward thinking enough to pack some tins in case we couldn't get fresh veg etc. but not forward thinking enough to pack a tin opener.). Luckily there were plenty of shop assistants lurking around like good old fashioned town bobbies so people could ask directions.

We finally made it out again in one piece and headed back to the site to put our feet up and plan our day in Durham. We've decided to cycle after all because there's an excellent network of cyclepaths. We've found this in most places we've visited, if you pop into the local tourist info office you can pick up a set of local cycle route maps. I'd try it when I get home but fear the tourist info place in Fleet closed 4 years ago.  If you're interested in cycling I'd also recommend the Sustrans website as a good starting point.

Anyway, after a late dinner we nipped outside to admire the view out over the valley and the best part for me is that it looked reassuringly flat. Just hope I'm not too saddlesore from my Whitby exploits!