Bike and Bowland.
Have not made much progress with my walking, go up to the shops for the paper and back in the morning, that’s about it. Not wanting to push the pain too far. So for two months I’ve lived the proverbial couch potato and it’s not suiting my psychology. Didn’t think I would be able to pedal my bike with the post-op foot but last week out of desperation dragged my old trusty road bike out of the garage and gave it a spin around the village. Pleasantly surprised to manage with minimal discomfort, kicking myself for not trying earlier!
On the fair weather days I’ve pedaled around the flattish lanes realising how unfit my old body has become. Today was one of the better with lovely almost warm sunshine and little wind. So in late afternoon I cycled out to Chipping and back, feeling much invigorated by the gentle exercise. Chipping is a delightful village at the foot of Parlick in the Bowland fells. It was mentioned in the Domesday book and is a fascinating place to look around. At the cobbled entrance to the old part is the building originally used as Brabins School established in 1684 and round the corner is a shop/cafe, built by the same John Brabin in 1668, said to be the oldest continuously trading shop in Britain. Two of the three pubs are still open. The Anglican Church of St Bartholomew’s presides over the village. So lots to see. Sadly the last remaining wood turning mill has closed.
Another reason Chipping deserves its popularity for, especially with cyclists, is the welcoming Cobbled Corner Cafe and that’s where I headed for today!
All is not rosy for the cyclist in these parts – motorists use the lanes as race tracks and if they don’t get you the proliferating potholes might.
I need to readjust to two wheeled transport, somehow it doesn’t connect to the land as much as walking does for me. Still I may get fit and loose some weight.
The Preston Guild Wheel next.
Another couple of days passed by with damp conditions. Mike and I checked out the orienteering course in the nearby woods and caught up with the gardening. Meanwhile the ladies hit the shops – that’s a big disadvantage of the bad weather. Not able to make the most of alfresco dining at the house we went into the nearby village of Duravel for lunch at the Restaurant de la Mairie.
This traditional cafe caters for workmen, locals and tourists at lunchtime with it’s ‘menu du jour’ ……
The board in the window doesn’t do justice to the feast inside. A large tureen of country soup arrives with a basket of bread and a bottle of red wine. After enjoying their lovely flavours you go up to the salad buffet for a selection of fish, meat and salads. Don’t overdo it as you have only just started. The main course is served next – often some obscure French specialty [ie gizzards] but today, a Friday, thankfully fish, ‘filet de merlu’. By the time you have finished this another bottle of wine has appeared on the table.
The cheese board comes with a selection of local and regional cheeses. Linger over this with some more fresh bread and red wine.
Next you have to choose from the extensive sweet menu – gateaux, tartes aux fruits, crème glacée etc…. Then you can relax with the strongest cafe you have ever tasted. All for 13Euro!!
The only downside today was that I had to ride back to the house a ‘new’ bike bought at a sale. Thankfully all the lower gears worked. The lanes around here are perfect for cycling as there is so little traffic, but there are some sharp hills. There is lots of opportunity for ‘off road’ cycling in the forests and vineyards.