Day 9: Sailing along through Buckinghamshire.

Last night I left Wetherspoons quite late – after dark. I had an idea where to look for a decent place to sleep the night having not got any offers of support. Being a bit late, and being lazy I tried to sleep in the rickshsaw, trying various awkward positons but never found one comfortable enough to be practical.

In the end, I decided to set up the tent in the dark with a head torch; suprisingly easier than I thought it would be having the experience. I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to camp in that park, but my excuse was I never saw the sign in the dark.

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I woke up a bit later and set off for a cafe after needing a coffee boost and breakfast to get me going for the day. I also managed to crack one of my boxes and decided to get some gaffa tape as a short term fix. I found a small shop and the assistants asked about the rickshaw and I said i’d give them a ride. I made a short trip around the centre of Banbury and it was suprisingly easy as there wern’t any inclines.

I found a cafe and had a decent coffee and a small cooked breakfast. I was ready to set off again from the famous Banbury Cross.

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Now there was a further more rain, which I thought would be non-existant today, however, atleast the wind was in the correct direction for once. I set off with my rain cape on once again and it was a fairly pleasant ride through rolling hills with some forests dotted between. The rain was annoying but atleast this time I kept fairly dry.

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Soon after reaching the last hill, the weather become nice, and there were patches of blue emerging. I decided to experiment with the camera to obtain some interesting video shots for the documentary. I’m not entirely certain when this will get to you but, will probably be once outside England.

The wind was blowing nicely from behind. The canopy acted like a sail, propelling me along the road with considerable ease. I even decided to hang my cycling baselayer and gloves to dry – an improvised drying line.

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I passed through Bicester as I wanted to make most of a good day to recover some lost miles and see what decent progress could be made. The road from here was pleasant except the traffic. Nearly every thirty seconds a heavy goods vehicle drove by making the same loud trembling noise. The countryside was spoilt because of such a blight. The road featured little amusement or interest.

I eventually arrived in Aylesbury and school had just finished. A kid asked me for a ride, and I said “yes, it’s free, if you’re going to the town center”. For some reason he was reluctant to get on. I couldn’t work it out. I got to the town center and just went to Library to upload some video footage and relax a bit before the last slog this evening to get to Tring – the highest point where the Grand Union Canal goes through towards London.

I set off towards Tring. This was an uphill climb towards the Chiltern Hills. It wasn’t too bad and I was rewarding with quite a spectacular view at the top.

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I settled myself in a park and got some shopping from Tesco. I had to lug all my possesions in a shopping trolley, which suprisingly was quite heavy.

The horizon was filled with vibrancy as the sun set that evening. I attempted to make my first cooked meal – beans and sausages in a tin mixed with some noodles. Not particularly appetising, but it was filling.

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Shortly after a local runner came up – called Clive, who said I could stay in the cricket field adjacent to the playin field I was sat in. I took up the opportunity and went to meet his fellow members at the Tring running club. It was nice to have some company and some of the members took great interest in what I was doing. I’d like to thank them for a warm welcome that evening.

I slept quite well on some nice grass but had to leave early the next day.