Well, the Hebditch (Katy) family invited me over to their place for the day… obviously Katy thought that I’d spent too much time in school over the past two years – never seeing past street (The town right beside Millfield), not even once in the 2 years that I’ve been here. So I agreed.. Wow, it was QUITE a day, I must say.
She lives on a fruit farm (not IN a fruit farm, of course), what, around 120 acres of it? Not sure. Lots of stuff there – asparagus, blackcurrents, redcurrents, plums, apples, cherries, and quite a few other things as well…
A few first-timers :
– out of school during term time!
– on a fruit farm.
– in a car driven by a 15 year old girl
– on Borrow Hump and Ham Hill
– seeing proper asparagus plants
– cycling in five years (or thereabouts)
– having leg cramps about twenty times yet not giving up
– sitting on an anthill
– cycling to a pub for lunch
– sitting with bikes alongside the A303 main road
– seeing PROPER english countryside
– on a big roundabout on a bike
– stung by stinging nettles in quite a few years
And… a lot more.
Got to her house, walked about 2km around her farm seeing weird plants and getting my socks and shoes wet (and a little bit of mud). Climbed up Borrow Hump, lovely view of Somerset, and then ran down the hill really fast and nearly fell over. Can’t remember which order, but cycled down to a nearby pub to have lunch (cajun chicken breast? and french fries and salad), sat outside in the sun… Then, went over to the other side of the farm and Katy drove me around in her car (well, she’s actually quite a good driver, been driving for 4 years on her farm!), went down by the brook (slipped in mud and got stung by nettles).
Then we found some bikes and decided to give it a go – cycling to Ham Hill about 10km away.. I thought, why not, give it a go! I’m glad I did.. It turned out to be the MOST hilarious bike ride I’ve ever been on. First of all I haven’t been on a bike for AGES, and the muscles for bike riding were kind of out of shape. Got to the nearby town (5.92km away) without too much problem, legs just feeling a bit shaky, and then managed to get to the foot of Ham Hill (another 3.2km away), starting to feel just a little bit more than tired now. Decided to walk up the hill (too steep to cycle up!) – had a breathtaking view of somerset from the top (well, one part of the top) and had an icecream as well… And there I had my first leg cramp! Hah, well, I decided I could still get about, so we went to the monument on the hill, about 2 more cramps along the way, it was a really nice day and so was really nice at the top. Then we took a footpath about another 1.5km which got us half-lost in the forest (and another cramp), finally made it out (another 2 or so cramps) back to the top of the hill. By now my legs were.. well.. (you can imagine after about 10 cramps).
A not that great pictures of Ham Hill – you can’t really see its beauty, if you know what I mean.
Finally decided to come down the hill and try taking another route back to her house, via the A303. Coming down the hill was easy (4 guys in the back of a truck on the hill commented “Come on, she cycles much faster than you!” as we were going down) and then began the torturous journey back… We (or rather, I) were not prepared to accept defeat and have someone pick us up, so I decided to try getting back. With about 4 more stops and 4 more cramps along the way, finally made it onto the A303 main road. Went along there with just another 2 stops and 2 cramps (sat beside the main road, I sat on an anthill and only noticed about 5 minutes later when I thought that I felt something on my leg – about a hundred ants!!!). Katy was ‘evil’, she was full of energy and said it was so funny – me on the ground half-dying.. Sent a text to my parents as well “Cramping on the side of the A303” for fun… Even though I was halfdead (at least my legs were) Finally made it to the big roundabout, which I had to wait for about 5 minutes for my legs to recover from the cramps and recharge to zoom around the roundabout.. made it to south petherton… where we got more water, some quick energy (chocolate).. rested in one of the churches there for about 10 minutes before braving the rest of the return journey.
Finally made it back to her house after about 3 more stops, 3 more cramps, Katy almost killing herself. Another 8.96km. Well, didn’t really make it back to her house, but onto her farm property. Just collapsed on the grass amidst apple trees, after all those cramps… and a little later got back to her house for a short barbeque, plus asparagus from her farm.
Yup, by Katy – “Lesson learnt : Cycle on the right side of the road, not the right!”. Don’t kill yourself again!
Well I must say, that was QUITE a day. The most cramps I’ve had in a day, probably more than all the cramps added together in the past 5 years.. Saw PROPER countryside, farm life, outdoor life… I must say, very different. Saw quite a few wonders today.. It was really really fun, even those cramps.. And I would have given up way earlier if not for Katy pushing me on and me not wanting to actually give up. Thanks Katy! Next challenge when I come back to the UK – cycle down to the seaside and back – 56km round trip! Should be fun.
Also must get back to cycling. My running/walking which I do does not use those muscles which cramped up when I was cycling… Yes, 21km isn’t THAT far, but uphill and no cycling muscles doesn’t help…
I hope I can get out to school tomorrow, the normal 1.4km walk back and forth to school…
My legs are SOOO stiff.. Phew! I made it back in one piece, at least.. Thank God for that.
Sitting on a bike seat for a few hours doesn’t really help as well. Now I can hardly stand nor sit!