I’d set out about 15 minutes earlier than planned on my way to Hildegard’s and it was soon obvious that I should have waited at home in the dry for those 15 minutes. By the time I reached the café, I had been well and truly soaked! Hildegard was mopping the floor as I arrived, as cheerful as ever. We chatted about her impending up-sticks back to Germany (in early June perhaps). I reminded her that, after years of looking after other people, it was meet and right that she should now be looking after herself. John arrives next and gradually a load more arrive.
|Where's John - gone for a swim?|
Photograph by Clive Albany
I’d fancied a ride to Whittington, as I hadn’t been there since 2011. There were no takers except John, so we set off bound for Wrexham. I’d planned a wiggle through the centre of Wrexham and then up in the hills around Johnstown, thence to Whittington. We did our Wrexham wiggle, finding cut-throughs to the lane to Erdigg. The weather was rainy, windy and cold and so, with John’s approval, I cut out the hills and re-routed on the hoof as we headed for the Llangollen canal aqueduct cycle path then Chirk, and a bit of canal again towards Weston Rhyn. Here there is a wonderful, nearly straight lane going through Hengoed to the Gobowen Hospital. Derwen College café was busy and we were lucky to get a window table. As ever it is a pleasure to be here, with prompt and efficient service matched with home-cooked food.
The sun is well out now and it is a real pleasure to be out in the Shropshire countryside. The route back was via the quiet lanes of Hindford and Dudleston Heath. Somewhere here I pick up a rear wheel slow, and with an audience of inquisitive bullocks, effect a repair. Through Lightwood Green and Cloy, we then take the main road back to Cross Lanes, through the industrial estate to the top of Borras Road (which looks like its at last going to be resurfaced) and then the 3 mile run down to Holt again. A mere 48 miles, with 70+ from Chester.