Wooler to Chester le Street – 60 miles
453 miles completed – 562 still to go.
After a lovely very homemade breakfast at The Old Mill (much recommended) and Pete hanging around to discuss Paulette’s porridge recipe with her (“your porridge was the best I have ever tasted”) we carried on south down the A697. This continued to be a long straight and fast road and as we moved closer to the A1 the number and frequency of very big lorries on this narrow road did seem to increase making it feel quite dangerous – we had to concentrate hard on working together as a unit and staying on the white line.
We took a couple of breaks – the first in response to a “cafe open” sign – this one included an”emporium”full of all sorts of amazing goodies from antique china to a rich variety of furnishing fabrics. I was handed a gaoler’s key for the loo and asked to try to make sure I did not lock someone in when I finished and re-locked.
At Long Framlington, a pretty village, we stopped again for a very nice sandwich, freshly made at David Carr’s award winning Grocery. Such a kind team – they let us use their staff loo and wished us well with our trip. David has run the store for over 40 years and still gets up at 3 30 to receive the milk!
Finally the road joined the A1 for a short while – perfectly safe with a proper protected cycle lane – and then we took the more minor A road into the Britain in Bloom winner, Morpeth. An attractive town, full of flowers, selling my favourite Aveda tea -and we enjoyed sitting in the sun in the square listening to a talented busker, with whom Pete tried to have a conversation while he played.
On to Newcastle via the airport -we found our way to Wilson’s Cycles to buy some gels for me and for our regular tyre pressure check. Unfortunately their pump’s gauge was broken and so they were unable to help with this. Pete used our hand pumps instead but we had to guess the pressure. We hope we can do this more accurately when we reach York.
Pete’s Garmin guided us safely through the rush hour traffic of Newcastle on cycle paths and over the iconic Tyne Bridge (Pete: “I am sure there is more traffic here than in London “). Then down the A167 and past Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North. Finally into Chester Le Street and then a couple of miles west to The Moorings Hotel. This has good facilities and, more importantly, their Rib-Eye restaurant. Our bodies were telling us now that they wanted meat and fresh veg and it was just wonderful to have their home made burgers (although it is possible that Pete overdid it on this front), salads and veg. Much chat over supper about the anticipated rain for our 80 mile route to York planned for tomorrow – waterproofs, we think 😦