Sunday, 10 July 2011

Taking it easy

Quite a short day, less than 50 miles, from Gloucester to my daughter Louisa's flat in Bristol, so I was able to take things easy, with plenty of stops. After a stretch on the A38 (not very busy on a Sunday morning) I turned off towards Slimbridge, where the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust is based. I went as far as Patch Bridge, where the road to the Trust crosses the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. There was an excellent coffee shop right on the bank of the canal.

Sharpness Dock was the next 'port of call', located opposite Lydney on the River Severn. I visited this port ten or twelve years ago, when I can remember standing at the pierhead by the entrance lock. I was told that the current that flows past the entrance can sometimes be as great as six or seven knots, making the angled entry into the lock extremely hazardous. The enclosed dock was surprisingly busy, with several ships moored inside.

The route then took me along winding back lanes, as far as Aust, where once a ferry took vehicles across the River Severn. The ferry closed when the first bridge was opened, in 1966. In the 45 years since then, the road to the jetty has become overgrown, and the timbers of the jetty broken and unusable. I put up photos of the jetty on Facebook a couple of hours ago, and already two people have commented that they can remember using the ferry!

On one of my frequent stops I found a four-leafed clover, well three and a half perhaps. It's in my handlebar bag now, as it's supposed to bring good luck. It's estimated that there are 10,000 three-leafed clovers to every one four-leafed.

From Aust I followed the tortuous route of a National Cycle Route (41) into Bristol, but nearly went wrong when I found myself halfway across the Avonmouth Bridge. A quick reverse and back on to the A4 which took me past the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and into Bristol via the City Docks. A warm and sunny Sunday afternoon had brought out the crowds, and I had to walk the bike past the dockside restaurants.

It was good to see my daughter Louisa again, and she did herself proud by cooking a brilliant Thai Green Curry, followed by strawberry pancakes. Second helpings for hungry me, of course. She has shown me how to use my iPhone if I get lost (Google Maps), so I've learnt something this evening.

No comments:

Post a Comment