87 .4 k climbed 708 meters
An easier day than yesterday but still cold. We had a later start as the hotel restaurant
wouldn’t have breakfast ready until 8am. Gergo decided to have the riders meeting outside where it was really cold. As an outside meeting was not expected a number of the riders don’t have their jackets on, or with them. This doesn’t deter Gergo from telling us at length about what not to do if you are not able to complete the ride, and need to be picked up. We were given a number of examples of what not to do whilst we all shivered in the cold. I ended up going back inside.
Today at 23 km we went to Alnwick castle which is where some of the Harry Potter Hogwarts film was shot. This castle has been in the Percy family for 700 years and as well as being used for Hogwarts is also where the show Downton Abby was filmed. The family still live there about 5 months of the year. We were able to walk through part of the lake, sleeping quarters, a huge library with books on all sides, then a landing, and the dining room that usually seats 30 but with a table extension and smaller chairs can seat 50. The dining room is used 3 to 4 times a week when they are home. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to film any of the inside area.
We had a look around outside. I got a photo with the dragon in a crate before I saw the no photos sign – oops! We were allowed to take photos of Michele and I having broomstick riding lessons. We stayed about 2 hours in total.
A bit of climbing from Alnwick but nothing really significant. Busy traffic coming into town. We got into Newcastle at 4pm good timing as we were meeting Sue in the hotel lobby at 5pm.
We stayed at the Millennium Copthorne Hotel by river Tyne. Lovely big room with river view and great WiFI.
I met up with Sue, Brett, Michele, Tony, Dan, and Shirley, and chatted over a cold beer, catching up on everyone’s news. Sue joined us for dinner too, which was a set menu at the hotel. Sue is about to set off to walk the Camino ride with a friend. This is 850km long, from the Spanish French border to Santiago de Compostela. Sue’s husband Roger is driving their campervan and meeting them each night. Sue is also considering doing the North American ride next year.
Dinner was: Lentil soup – quite nice; Haddock with chips and heaps of cauliflower – ok;
Truffle / sponge cake – not so nice.
Afterwards we sat around chatting some more but at 9:30 I had to go to bed as we have a big day riding again tomorrow.