Day 5: Through Nottinghamshire

The day started off wet and dready, but had atleast subsided from the downpours that continued throughout most of the night. The flysheet of the tent
was soaked and the canopy had several large pools of water ontop. Fortunately, I had a small sponge at handy which helped get rid of the majority
of the water quite easily. I was disappointed to find during the night that one of the zip on the transparent rain canopy had got lost – I have no
idea where. This was frustrating but there was nothing I could do, my mum looked for several places in Nottingham where these could be fixed.

It was a very slow start – I left at 9:30AM. This was mainly to air out the tent as much as I could, and generally just how lethargic I still am on the mornings
trying to go rather cold turkey from the strong morning coffees we have at home. I managed to make some good film footage for the first time using the DSLR camera
and lapel microphone. I’m not sure when or how this will get to you, but it has been recroded – I’m not sure what I should call it but probably ‘rickshaw diaries’ will
do.

Just as I was about to setoff, a car drove into the field. It stopped. The window drew down and the farmer as asked how I was. I think he was extremly amused at a such
random site in the field – a rickshaw. I explained that it chucked it down yesterday and I couldn’t find anywhere. In the end, the conversation had turned
into his feelings on the lack of manual workforce on his farmers – he explained that he has praises for migrants coming through Eastern Europe who plug away
to music, cheerfully getting on with the labour. It’s interesting as these issues will become more apparent when I visit Easter Europe in a months time.

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I set off towards Nottingham – the last hills were becoming quite hilly and were becoming a slight strain, especially that time of the morning. A can of redbull, seemed
to make those hills seem less steep – but now I’ve run out! The wind was southernly and was providing great assistance pushing me up those hills.

I got in contact with a friend who I’ve met on Twitter, called Alex. I had met him before on a trip from Warwick University to back home. I met him in the small
borough of Arnold, coincidently where he grew up. Who needs pen pals – just do it through twitter!

The first point of call was a sewing reair shop my mother had found over the internet. I went in and explained the
problem with the zipper. I explained what it was for and brought him around the front to show him the rickshaw. I said I needed it done quickly. He lit up, and
replied, give me your name an telephone and I’ll see if I can do it.

Soon after, I met Alex and was good to see a familiar face, even if last time as only for the matter of thirty minutes. People around the market square kept looking with interest
and a few came over and wished me well, and asked if I could take them to the airport. We both went off for some breakfast and a coffee and we sat and talked for a while
, but then interrupted by a phone call.

Another Alex, from the Alterations Stuio, said he had fixed it. I couldn’t believe it; I was halfway through my breakfast!

After finishing we went back to the shop and was shown the zipper. What came at a biggest suprise was that he said it was free. These moments make you appreciate
that there are very generous people about, even if it’s not obvious – maybe you need a rickshaw. If you are near Nottingham checkout Alterations Studio who are based along the Arnold hight street.

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He asked a few more question about my journey, and asked if he could have some photos.

We moved onto a nearby bike shop to get the seat clamp fixed. When I went into the shop, the assistance exclaimed “Can you bring the bike inside?”, I replied with a
chuckle – “I don’t think it will fit through the door… It’s a rickshaw.” Then a quite uncomfortable pause. “Come outside and see for yourself”. When he saw it, he couldn’t believe it and I showed him the seat clamp. He came back with a much simpler bolt tigthened using an allen key rather than quick release. Two jobs done.

I took Alex for a ride towards the centre of Nottingham through the suburb of Sherwood. It was quite hilly, but he was enjoying being a passenger. We got to a tesco
and he wanted to buy me a few things to help me on the road. I wanted to be polite and say no, but I was short of something to eat other than biscuits and chocolate – which I’m fed up of already.
Afterwards he gave me a bit of money to help me on my journey, and he had a quick go riding the rickshaw. I think he enjoyed the feeling of moving on three wheels, but
didn’t like the wait – if you read this Alex, give me a comment and let me know what you thought!

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He showed me towards the center, and we bid each other farewell. It was great to have some really good company for once!

I reached the centre of Nottingham, bustling on Saturday and it was difficult to navigate the rickshaw on foot having to meander carefully through the many pedestrians
quite unware whilst texting on the phones or looking at the floor. Later on there was a Brazillian Samba show just in front of the town hall which was quite specatcular
to randomly see.

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I set off to Nottingham Castle, but wasn’t thoroughly impressed by its modern replacement. Howver, the landscaping was pretty good!

My final point of call in Nottingham was at the ‘Olde trip to Jerusalem’ – a small pub
nestled into the side of castle mount.

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It’s the oldest inn in england too, and entering inside you enter a small cave of rooms. It’s quite an experience, and I didn’t
want to ruin the surprise by taking pictures. Thanks to Rod Nicholl for the shout! I enjoyed a cyclist pint (half pint) of local ale and chatted briefly to a couple
on Holiday from Canada.

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I set off once again towards Loughborough. There were many more hills that proved to be quite exhausting. I could see in the distance a big hill, and my face sighed with
disappointment and what the future exertion would befall me.

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This is Bunny Hill and despite its quite innocent name, is deceptively steep and long. It took a good while to reach the top. Despite being exhausted I was extatic that I got up it. The rest of the road towards Loughborough was quite serene especially with the sun low on the horizion, giving highlights to the hills.

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My first visit in Loughborough was not great and was a waste of time going and makes me appreciate not going to University there, regardless of their sporting acclaim.

I moved on quickly towards a small town called Quorn. I asked if people knew places to camp, but my gut feeling was that they were not the best spots. I was patient and in doing so had to take three passengers around the town. It was a bit of a laugh as it wasn’t too hilly, but with dusk settling, I was concerned I wouldn’t find a place.
Fortunatly I found a small park and set up by a small stream coming from a mill.

It’s been quite an adventure today which makes it a lot more difficult to write about.