Gerry’s view: Camping

     WellsWheelsCamping is an art form. Some people have a gift for it, others just have a go. Janet and I fit into the latter. We have improved, I think over the 10 or so times, we have camped in 40 years but I think we will never master it. Trouble is we think that if we are self-sufficient, or perhaps supporting in the case of a bicycle tour, then we must have everything that we would have at home. A good example of this are toilet rolls; We have found some establishments lacking in this basic of home comforts, so right from the start of our recent liking of being out and about on a bike we have taken a toilet roll… So the big one – JOGLE we spent hours planning what we should take, even some minutes deciding what not to take.. You’re wrong, we did not forget it! We didn’t need it, our first campsite was very well equipped in that area – it was the fact, when unpacking the Wells’ ‘mobile home’ we discovered no less than THREE toilet rolls, all bought in Carrefour market in France, taken across Normandy by bike, ferried to Portsmouth, trained to London, biked across London, on to John O’Groats via Thurso then biked more than 700kms towards Lands End – could they be the first three toilet rolls to make this whole trip? The story will be continued – cos they are still in the bags!   Worry is, there are probably kilograms of other stuff to be never used either.   The weight we are carrying is the biggest single topic of conversation with other cyclists – drawing much admiration, but if only I had thought of filling all the same bags with polystyrene chips instead and gone for a fast time – surely we would have become legends?

Today we have reached Innerleithen, a nice town in the Scottish borders – we are booked in the high street pub, the bikes are locked away in the beer cellar – we called an early halt after a really hard slog over 425mtr moorlands with the wind bang on the nose again. We have ambitions of making the English border at Norham tomorrow, weather permitting, at least as close as we can….