We woke up pretty early and it looked like we were going to get a good start on the day… until the adventures began.
We broke camp fairly quickly. Packed up the tent, made breakfast, loaded up the bikes, and figured out what we were going to do with the still-damp clothing from last night (more on that later). While we did this, the girls played with the neighboring tent’s kids (a single mom out with her 5 kids). At some point during our packing, Sophie came over with one of the neighbor kids and asked to go to the playground. The playground was some 50 meters from our tent, but behind some trees and caravans, so we couldn’t see it. It seemed harmless enough, so I said she could.
After packing for a little bit, I went to check on Sophie (Luna stayed with us, obviously). I watched how she played with the two girls from the neighbor tent. It was obvious that she wanted to impress them, as she did more and more daring and ostentatious things on the playground to garner their respect. Nothing dangerous… But things that I knew were out of her comfort zone. I went back to continue packing.
A while later, I had a feeling that I should go check on Sophie, but that quickly passed when Ashley asked me to do something else with the bikes. A few minutes later, Sophie came back to camp…
Soaking wet, a sheepish look on her face, and legs covered in nasty looking mud.
One of the girls said, in her English accent, before Sophie could say anything, “She… fell… into the fishing pond!”
“What!?” I exclaimed.
“We told her not to…” the girl argued.
I stopped listening to her then, having already realized that the two neighbor girls were being less than truthful about the situation, and made sure Sophie was okay. Sophie claims that the girls told her to go into the water, which, to me sounds more like it—especially after watching them on the playground.
We were just glad Sophie was okay. The neighbor mom gave her girls a verbal thrashing.
After that trauma and getting Sophie some dry clothing, we were off (to a somewhat later than we’d hoped for) to a good start!
We pinned up the still damp clothing on the back of the trailer and on top of the bags on the backs of the bikes so they could air dry (see above). It looked super ghetto… But was super effective in drying the clothing! Click on the pictures for more details.
It was a really pretty day. We made it to Wisbech and stopped at the Peckover House and Garden for lunch and the girls had a lot of fun playing in the gardens. After wandering around the grounds and the house for a bit, we headed onward.
As we left Wisbech, it got a little cloudy again and there were some sporadic bits of rain. Mostly there was just a gnarly crosswind. When we left the Peckover Houes we went to Aldi (just a block off route) to get dinner. We rode up to find that it was closed. We realized we totally forgot it was Sunday and everything closes early. Oops. As we rode out of town options were pretty slim and we didn’t have much in the way of food. We decided to press on anyway, and look for something as we rode. We figured we would probably pass a pub or inn that was open and could we could order at least something.
As we rode through the farmlands to the north of Wisbech, we realized that our options were perhaps... slimmer than we thought and that it might be a hungry evening. We turned down a farm road that had tons of blackberry bushes lining it. A father and daughter were out picking blackberries and Ashley thought we should pick some… at least we wouldn’t totally starve, she said!
The girls were snoozing in the trailer and we were only about two miles away from the campsite we were planning on staying at, so I figured it couldn’t hurt. As we picked berries, the father meandered over to us, obviously interested in our laden bicycles. He struck up a conversation, becoming more interested once he ascertained that we are foreigners. He told us he thought we were locals at first and that we must know this is the best spot to pick berries. Then... he noticed our bikes. We chatted for a minute before he offered for us to camp in his field next to his house. We weren’t sure if we should take him up on it, but I had a really good feeling about it, so we went for it.
He and his wife were super nice, let us use the bathroom in his shed, and got us set up with an extension cord running out to our tent so we could charge our phones. He showed us around his house, the guesthouses he is building in his backyard, and his collection of vintage Mini Coopers (he used to be a professional racecar driver--think Italian Job, one of his favorite films). The girls played with his daughter, and Ashley and his wife hit it off. The man truly was a savior though: later he drove us to the only open grocery store nearby so we could get dinner and things for tomorrow. He really was too nice.
We got camp set up pretty quickly, made dinner, and got the bikes all packed up the night before. I covered the bikes because I thought it would rain (even though it turned out not to).
Right as we were getting into bed, Sophie peed all over the ground cloth in the tent vestibule. So we had to clean that up. Since I was already washing Sophie’s peed on clothes, I decided to just wash all of the day’s clothing. This meant another late night.
I wasn’t there, since I was dealing with the pee clothing, but I guess Ashley says the girls started complaining of feeling a little sick. She thought Sophie might have a slight fever, so she gave her some Ibuprofen before she went to bed.
I planned on working a bit on the computer, and writing some of the blog post that night… But, again, chores won out, and there was no time for it… Touring with kids takes ALL your free time.
Lessons learned from Day Two:
- Make sure your kid doesn’t fall into ponds (listen to the promptings you get!).
- Shops close at different times on Sundays, make sure you plan ahead and have food ready for Sunday in case you can’t get any. Also, after that day we started carrying a couple packets of ramen in the bottom of our ‘kitchen’ pannier—just in case.
- Don’t be scared to take stranger’s up on offers of kindness! We totally weren’t disappointed! (Thanks guys for saving us from an uncomfortable, dinner-less night—and saving us £17.50 in campground fees!)