Day 131: Stratford-upon-Avon to Worcester England, Monday August 28th
Cycle route 5 out of Stratford is very nice, but it also goes a long way north before coming back down into Worcester. We decided that we’d take the 5 for awhile, and then make our own westerly route along some small roads, cutting the corner.
At one point we saw signs for a ‘ford’ and weren’t quite sure what it meant but it soon became clear. The river just ran right over the road. Thankfully there was a path around for pedestrians and bicycles.
One annoying thing we’ve encountered lately on the cycle routes are gates that are nearly impossible to get through with our loaded bikes.
In the tiny, pretty village of Sambourne we had lunch on a bench on the green. Across from us was an intriguing place called the Green Dragon Inn. We had to check it out.
After an ale in the beer garden, we left route 5 and headed west. It started out great: through Astwood Bank and Feckenham. And then Google Maps sent us down a dark steep hill filled with potholes. The juddering shook my phone free of the garbage mount I bought in Berlin (do not purchase a PNY phone mount!). Deb retrieved it for me, but the glass was shattered and it would not turn on. I even managed to get a tiny shard of glass stuck in my thumb, which I didn’t get out until we were in our hotel room.
Now with two dead phones in my handlebar bag, Deb was left as map girl, relying on her trustworthy, but relatively ancient Nexus 4. Without a mount of her own (and there was no way she was putting her phone on mine!) we had to stop a few times to check where we were, but it wasn’t too long before we found cycle route 45 and it took us right into the heart of Worcester.
We stayed at a hotel, a rarity for us, but it had an affordable room (better than the Airbnb places available) and it was right downtown. It was an old place, but really very charming, with a nice central staircase. Our room was stuffy, but big.
We hurried out and found a mobile phone repair place. The guy said it wasn’t worth fixing and tried to sell me a new phone. A few doors down was the Carphone Warehouse, which is the outfit I bought the phone from in Aberdeen. No, it’s not insured. No we can’t wait seven to ten days to get it fixed. The nice young man said I should try yet another mobile repair joint, where it likely could be fixed faster and cheaper, but voiding the warranty. We rushed a couple of blocks over, as everything was starting to close. This guy gave me two quotes, one for a new Samsung screen, one for a knockoff, and both were higher than Carphone Warehouse. I didn’t even bother asking how long it would take, it just wasn’t worth the money. I’ll live without a phone for a few weeks.
It was the last day of the Worcester festival, which meant that when we did our usual walkabout, we discovered a pretty good Dixieland jazz band playing at a riverside square. People were already picking our their spots to watch the 10 pm fireworks. We sat on some stone stairs and listened to the music while people watching but didn’t last until the fireworks.
Distance: 50 km