We were very fortunate to awake to a sunny morning without much wind. We knew that it wasn’t a long ride today and not nearly as hilly as yesterday so we weren’t too bothered about an early start. Well, the others weren’t up at the crack of dawn, but conditioning for early morning rides had me awake just before 6.00am. We were all up and ready to ride about 9.00am but called into the local supermarket before setting out, crossing the river Aire.
We used NCN 68 and headed alongside the Leeds Liverpool canal, another place I have kayaked. This is a route T knows well as this is his territory. We descended to Bank Newton then climbed to Swinden Moor Head and then a steep descent to the A682. Here we turned northwards towards Hellifield for about a mile before heading west on a minor road with a lovely long descent to Bolton-by-Bowland. I have to say that there were a lot of caravans on the main road and it is obvious that some of the caravanners have no idea just how much room a loaded cycle tourer needs. Although they moved out a little , it was not enough to take the caravan out sufficiently. Sometimes , we take out lives in our own hands.
When we got into the village , we called into a tiny tea shop. It had a lovely little garden area and we could buy food and eat it outside. It was warm and sunny , so unlike Thursday and as we had time we sat there. Although I don’t eat sausage, T said that it was the best sandwich he had ever had.We then took a slow ride through West Bradford and on into Waddington where we had another stop and spent some time. We reserved a table for the evening at a pub/restaurant before arriving at Waddinton Hall the venue for the festival.
The official arrival time was 5.00pm but we arrived on site at 4.00pm and were directed where to pitch before registering. It was lovely to see people arrive that had been at the festival last year. A new facilities block has been built since last year and the showers were very nice. We walked up to Waddington and had a meal before walking back. Both N , T and myself had some regrets as I and N had sore knees after struggling down Park Rash. In fact, it became obvious as the weekend progressed that cycling home was not going to be possible in the time I had available.
The time on Friday evening was very informal and it was great to spend time talking with all sorts of people from those who have cycle toured in places like Patagonia and Kazakstan , to the newer people who had come to be inspired and give cycle camping a first try.
So weary but content I went to bed.