…and into the Northamptonshire ‘Andes’: 77 miles
An overnight frost made the first 20 miles a little tricky. The sun was trying to push its way through, but not enough to raise the air temperature. Fortunately, the overnight frost had been more of an ‘air frost’ than a ground frost, and the road surfaces were relatively clear. Once the thin veil of cloud cleared, the temperature rose swiftly and the chilled finger and toe ends began to thaw out.
It was a perfect day to be heading north towards Rutland, through stone built villages like Elton, Wansford, Kings Cliffe, Blatherwycke and Bulwick. But, as I passed through the tiny village of Blatherwycke, I looked into a nearby field only to be reminded of a high altitude trek I did in the Peruvian Andes some 20 years ago. It’s astonishing to think that there are now some 20,000 registered alpacas here in the UK, and many (like these) seem to be kept by hobby farmers, with no intention of exploiting them commercially.
I’m nearly always stopped in my tracks when I come across a finger post point to an historic building. In Blatherwycke, I caught sight of a sign to an historic church, followed the dirt track for several hundred metres, crossed a field and through the graveyard…..only to find it was locked! Now tell me…..what is the point of advertising an historic church to visitors when you habitually keep it locked?
But, of course, the main thing was the cycling. Perfect, sunny conditions in temperatures that heralded the proximity of winter.