Cycling Britain-Day 6: Expert Snorers and Cyclists

Ok, I admit it. I snore. But, since I know snore, I know that I should make efforts to stop, especially when I’m in bunkroom at a youth hostel. For most folks, sleeping on y0ur side reduces or removes the noise. I’ve said a lot about how much I enjoy hostels, and I still do. But sometimes, a guy shows up in the room who can really bring down the roof. Usually, it seems to be chubby older guys. I went through the standard sequence of thinking:

  1. Should I wake him up?
  2. No, that would be rude.
  3. But why is he allowed to sleep when I’m not?
  4. Stop thinking about this. It’s only waking you up more.
  5. Snoring continued
  6. Repeat, from 2am – 3am

Eventually, impulse took over. I sat up, leaned near him, and “Sir, excuse me, can you hear me?” I repeated that a few times, louder each time. He never woke. Finally, I shook his arm a little. He still didn’t wake up. I gave up, but he was quieter the rest of the night. The next morning, I learned that some drunk teenagers harassed some of the campers outside and tried stealing a bike. It was a tough night at the hostel, but their still my favorite place to stay. I should also mention that I had a tough time looking the snorer in the eye, after we both woke. Before he left, he made a clear effort to wish me all the best on my trip. The picture on the right is not the snorer. It’s Andrew standing in front of the hostel. He manages the place and always has something fun to talk about.

As an aside, I’ll mention that I’ve fallen behind in this website. Finding time for this site has been more challenging than I expected, maybe it shouldn’t since I know I write a lot. Anyway, having too little time is the reason why there’s no mileage info this time. I think I cycled about 45 miles.

The countryside and villages were more normal, so I made good progress for a while, in terms of miles. In nicer places, I stop a lot to take pictures. There was  fun lake that reminded me of Minnesota.  I stopped at grocery store to stock up a little, bought some chicken to make tonight (boiled with rice), some bananas, a couple of apples, and best of all some blue cheese and pot of yogurt. I wolfed the yorgurt down in front of the announcement board, for the small town I was in. It was fun reading the announcements, took a picture of the board.

The last big sight for the day was cycling through Exeter. It’s a gorgeous town, with tree-lined lanes, big parks, a fun downtown. Just as I was getting out of town, a cyclist waved at me to stop. He was actually carrying more gear than I am, so I said, “You’re the first person I’ve met whose carrying more gear than I am!” He smiled and asked me if I knew where a campground was. I couldn’t help him, but we talked for a while. His wife was traveling with him and carrying just as much gear. They’ve been cycle camping for 20 years in many countries. Their faces showed that they spent a lot of time outdoors, but their faces were also sincerely happy. I told them they are my new role models.

I stopped soon after that conversation and tried finding a place to stay, using the laptop-phone system that I now have working again for anywhere-Internet access. An hour went by quickly before I found just one campground nearby. I could see on the map that it was probably near a motorway, freeway in American terms. That meant it could be loud, but I had no choice. When I found the place, I was surprised just how close a campground could be to a motorway. Then, there was a lot of shipping equipment and some plain junk within plain view of the campsites.

I just laughed it off. I barely had enough time to get my tent up, make the chicken I bought, and everything else that had to happened that night. There will be good places and bad places. My first chicken meal in a camp stove was a mild success. There’s room for improvement, but it’ll get better. I stayed up too late trying to add stuff to this website. I put in some earplugs to drown out the traffic and dozed off.