On Monday morning, we woke up to some unexpected sunshine. Usually the sun always manages to come on the days I’m working, so this was actually the first time I’ve had a day to enjoy it and I was very keen to make the most of it. After some intense discussion, Rory and I decided to set off on a bike ride, which has been on my bucket list as long as I’ve been at Exeter.
With a slightly-too-large bike procured for me (thanks Mae!) we set off towards Topsham, which is a really nice ride: once you get down to the Exeter Quay, it’s all fields and river and canal and Double Locks and then all of a sudden, you’re there.
We went off on a little wander around the town, stopping – obviously – to take pictures at opportune moments. This little church overlooking the water was my favourite!
It was looking a little overcast all of a sudden and we were both prettttyyyy hungry, so we decided to stop somewhere for coffee and cake. I don’t actually think we’ve ever had an outing that hasn’t involved coffee and cake – it’s kind of a problem. Anyway, we spotted Route 2, and I was pretty sure that I’d read about it on India’s blog, so we decided to duck in there.
It’s really cute inside, with a friendly laidback feel, and how great is that enormous clock on the wall? We settled ourselves on a sofa in the corner and perused the menu for a while.
Eventually, I decided on an elderflower fizz and then – to Rory’s disgust – a vanilla ice cream. I stand by my decision: good vanilla ice cream is pretty much unbeatable, in my opinion, and this was very definitely in the good category. I basically haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
When we were done, re-energized and with the rain looking like it was staying away, Rory made the suggestion that we carried on all the way to Exmouth. This seemed like a GREAT idea so off we went along the real route 2, a cycle trail that goes all the way there (and possibly beyond). It was a really nice trail actually, with lots of purpose-built bits and lots of great views across the water. When we got there – a ten mile trip altogether – we had a bit of a wander along the seafront and, since there was a boy involved, a play in the park.
Of course, then came the less fun part of going all the way home again. I may or may not have whined and sulked for a small part of the journey, and suffice to say that by the time we got back to our house I was feeling DISTINCTLY sore – my little trips around the lakes last summer, it turns out, were nothing compared to this 20 mile monster of a ride on a bike that is slightly too big. We’re also both currently sporting some impressive sunburnt shoulders, but I had a really lovely day nonetheless and am now feeling ready to tackle the rest of the South West via bike – I’m just not sure my lovely boyfriend is ready to take me again…