Twelve: Reepham to Norwich - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

June 18, 2013

Twelve: Reepham to Norwich

My tent was at lease half a mile from the nearest house and about a mile from the B road. The only thing I heard this morning on the edge of the wheat field where I'd camped was birdsong. Once done with the usual morning breakfast and packing away routine, at twenty past seven I set off back along the hedge enclosed bridleway to the B1145. The sun cast shadows across my path, it felt invigorating after yesterday being such a mat grey. And knowing I'd be in the city before nine,and I would've a couple of days off the bike felt good too, after five days on the road.

Looking back as I ride back to the road.
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From where I rode up and around the barrier, meant to keep vehicles out, and turned onto the road, it was exactly one mile to the Dutch-sounding village of Reepham, which had on a sign on the way in: "Market Town Since 1277"

I know now having plotted the Google map for this page, that I could have taken a shorter less busy route through country lanes; as it is I rode a dog-leg, remaining on the B road which was a rush hour alternative to the A road and approaching Norwich got choked with queuing traffic. While on a shared use path which momentarily swept downhill, I saw the National Cycling Route 1 sign. I was glancing at the blue sign with a bicycle when another cyclist rode out of a blind side-path in front of me. I braked but it was too late. The cantilever brakes wouldn't stop me in time. I swerved and kind of closed my eyes. Somehow I'd made my way round the other cyclist without a collision. Though I think it was he just got across my path in the nick of time. The sun too was probably in his eyes, which would explain him not seeing me come.

I saw one sign for the Centre, then none. I began to think I'd missed the turning and was riding onward south as the road went uphill towards a wood. I stopped and asked a man on the path walking children to school, am I on my way into Norwich. He confirm that I was but gave me directions, otherwise, because there was no sign, I would not have known to turn left at the top of the hill. Thence downhill, then straight on at the lights and right at the next lights.

The old town was then to the right of the street Is on. I turned up on the pavement and passed up through a narrow street looking to date from the middle-ages, which took me out past a church into a sloping square full of canopy covered market stalls. I was at the steps up to the city hall on the upper side of the square and knew they'd point me in the right direct for the tourist office.

So far the most I've paid for a night's accommodation has been sixteen pounds fifty for a backpackers hostel in Newcastle. But having googled yesterday, I found no such thing as even a hostel in Norwich, so I expected my stay will be expensive. It will take the nights camping in the wild to make up for a few night in a guest house; it won't though break the bank.

The tourist office wasn't open yet as it was only ten to nine. I freewheeled down the pedestrian street looking for a coffee shop, but saw a bank across the street at the bottom where I needed to draw cash. Returning from the bank I saw a Starbucks. I had an americano and spent half an hour uploading yesterday's photos to the journal; then, had a second small americano with a bluebery muffin. When I returned up the hill, the tourist office was open.

I told the woman behind the counter Is on a budget. That I was willing to pay thirty pounds a night and specified that I would like the place to have wi-fi. She turned the pages of her book and after telling me about a guest house would ring to make a reservation. She had rung four places, all of which she got through to an answering machine. The fifth place she rung, she said "hopefully this time I'll speak to a person"

The person that answered said they'd only a double left, forty-five pounds with breakfast. Yes there's wi-fi. I suppose the extra fifteen pounds a night I'll have to swallow into the over all cost of the trip. In it's favour, it's central and it's a nice house. When I arrived I just had to lay-down on the double bed. Comfort.

Now I've to fill readers in on the five days riding from Newcastle.

Expenditure total: £13.62

Starbucks £5.75

Tourist Office booking fee: £4

Tescos shop for lunch: £3.87

P.S. I've still to add dinner and the accommodation of coarse is paid on the day I leave.

Today's ride: 24 km (15 miles)
Total: 1,071 km (665 miles)

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