Thank goodness the weather was good over the weekend, Saturday especially. We had to go up to Suffolk to see Claire's Dad, Victor, in his new home.
We expected the traffic to be awful and so planned to take the bike. Not only is it more economical on the bike but we could sneak past any traffic. In the end the weather was good and there traffic was quite light. A consequence of the cup-final?
The Garmin, Doris, gave us a route that once on the Essex side of the Dartford Tunnel would take us up the A12, to Chelmsford, round the ring road and off to Braintree (didn't see any evidence of it as the drivers were the most moronic I've seen in ages!!) and then towards Haverhill and off right to Clare.
By the time we were close to Braintree the yellow light came on and the last bar on the fuel gauge disappeared and as we were wondering how much fuel was left a Tesco hove into view. Odometer showing over 186 miles and I squeezed almost eighteen and half litres in the tank. The scenic run through Sible Hedingham was very pretty and the villages around there all seem very picturesque. I was surprised that on a sunny weekend in May that the Colne Valley Railway was closed.
Once in Clare we were able to park up almost right outside his place and once we'd left our gear, I left her chatting and nipped out to find a bank. Clare seems very nice. Bit short of shops unless you want horse medicine and other pet and animal products, or need your hair styled (ladies only!)
When he went off for his lunch we had a turn down to the pub, The Bell, nicely laid out and menu that was straight out of Gordon Ramsey's cookbook (or some similar celeb chef!) and not really what my wallet wanted to spend on lunch. In the end we went in one door and out another and ended up a little bit up the street at the Clare Cafe. Still not sausage and end chips (pity!) but reasonable with home made food on the menu.
As an adherent of the famous guru, Swami Weight Watcher, I simply can't munch on my favourite stuff, nor without a great deal of self flagellation for a week afterwards. So it was a small lunch time snack followed by a turn around the Clare Castle Country Park.
After another chat with Victor, we togged up and retraced our steps home via my Mum's in Maidstone.
With the Zegas on it made us much wider but the few bikes we encountered all day managed to get past us when they needed to. On the way back we stopped at Tescos and the left one swallowed the shopping with plenty of room to spare.