South Dartmoor CTC


Monday 21 August 1989Tour: Norway Day 6 Sogndal to SkjoldenVariable
7 present: Mark Burnard, Michael Jones, Ian Luke, Mark Moxham, Shane Powell, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman
Ready to leave Sogndal YH annexe
Sogndal YH
Mark M, Peter R, Mark Burnard, Shane, Mark Sloman and Ian Luke, by the sognefjord at Sogndal
The gentle road along the side of the Sognefjord
One of the many waterfalls emptying into the Sognefjord
A cafe and shop stop, probably near Gaupne
The main hostel looked a bit like Voss hostel, purpose built, but we slept in the annexe which seemed to be used as school boarding rooms during termtime. There were some brighter spells in the weather this morning, so everything looked much more attractive than it had last night.

Today's journey was relatively flat, following the banks of Lustrafjorden for much of the way and then taking us deeper into the mountains. We saw numerous enormous waterfalls running off the mountains and plunging into the fjord. The hostel at Skjolden was situated next to the rapids of a huge river ‑some members of the tour revelled in the overpowering noise, but others couldn't sleep even with the window closed!

Tuesday 22 August 1989Tour: Norway Day 7 Skjolden to BoverdalenVariable
7 present: Mark Burnard, Michael Jones, Ian Luke, Mark Moxham, Shane Powell, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman
Skjolden YH, right next to a very noisy mountain river
Skjolden YH
Mark moxham and Mark Burnard admire the view after the first stage of the climb
A sheep shelters under a wooden outbuilding
The beginning of the summit climb
Shane skims stones on the glacial river that we are following up the mountain
1400m above sea level - higher than Ben Nevis!
Ian Luke as we reach 1200m above sea level
The summit - 1434m above sea level - the highest road in Norway
Glaciers on the mountain and icebergs in the lake
Finally, the long downhill begins
The ride to Boverdalen on Tuesday was the toughest of all. The road climbed to a height of 1434m, higher than Ben Nevis, and we took all morning and half of the afternoon to reach the Sognefjell summit. We stopped frequently to admire the ever-improving views.

When we got to the top we were rewarded with scenes which would not have looked out of place in Greenland ‑ huge glaciers hugging the snow‑covered mountain sides, vast lakes with icebergs floating around in them, and subzero temperatures. It was all very impressive, but once the rain began we decided to get on with the descent towards warmer temperatures and hot showers at the hostel. Boverdalen youth hostel was nothing special, but it was adequate.

Wednesday 23 August 1989Tour: Norway Day 8 Boverdalen to SkjakVariable
7 present: Mark Burnard, Michael Jones, Ian Luke, Mark Moxham, Shane Powell, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman
Boverdalen YH
Boverdalen YH - sunshine at last!
Shane and Mark Burnard in the cafe above the Lom shopping centre
More downhill towards Lom
The fertile agricultural lowlands in the Skjak valley
Lom stave church, made entirely of wood
Finally we had sunshine as we set off from Boverdalen. There was plenty more downhill riding, following the river all the way to the delightful tourist village of Lom. We sampled the modern luxurious cafe above the shopping centre and explored the stave church, made entirely of wood.

This was the most easterly point on our tour, so we headed west along the wide-bottomed river valley, where all the flat ground between the mountains was cultivated by numerous small farms, each with their own tractor. Unfortunately we had a tough headwind all the way, which made the afternoon ride a real battle. Skjak hostel was a mix of 4-bedded chalets that offered a comfortable night.

Wednesday 23 August 1989Evening ride (Paignton): SharphamDry
2 present: Dave Humphreys, David Thomas
The attendance just about made this an official ride. It turned out to be one of the hardest, taking the two riders through Totnes and along the delightful track to Sharpham. The Dart may be viewed at many points along the route. Whilst David was tired when he finally got back to Marldon he had thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

Thursday 24 August 1989Tour: Norway Day 9 Skjak to HellesyltVariable
7 present: Mark Burnard, Michael Jones, Ian Luke, Mark Moxham, Shane Powell, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman
Shane demonstrating the comfortable wooden corner bunks
Our bunk chalets at Skjak YH
Michael in our chalet at Skjak YH
Shane at the entrance to Skjak YH
This Lap trading post sells furs and many other items made from dead animals
Is this Norway's OK Corale ranch? Near Grotli
The downhill continues
The beginning of the massive downhill to Geirangerfjord
Mark Moxham - getting involved!
Shane makes a new friend on the final hairpin descent
Mark Burnard joins in the fun
Shane and the goat
Geirangerfjord from the final descent
The final hairpin descent
View of the beautiful Geirangerfjord from the ferry
Our ferry, taking us on a cruise through Norway's most magnificent fjord, Geirangerfjord
Ian Luke, having toe clip problems!
This was our longest day, covering more than 50 miles to Geiranger, and it started with some bright weather. None of the hills in Norway are ever as steep as they are in Britain, as they have to be navigable in winter when covered with snow. We climbed gradually for 44 miles, passing what looked like a deserted ranch near Grotli and a Lap trading post where the Laplanders were selling anything and everything to do with dead animals. The lakes near the top of the climb were crystal clear with the purest water, and all around were white tufts of cotton grass blowing in the wind.

Showers were coming in again as we reached the top, and there before us was the most amazing downhill we had ever seen. It descended more than 1000m in 6 miles along a road which could be likened to a helter skelter. It twisted and turned its way in seemingly endless hairpin bends right down to Geiranger. The view down to Geirangerfjord opened up as we descended through the stages. This is reputed to be the most scenic fjord in all of Norway, and we couldn't really dispute that. The final descent had more hairpins, and it was here that a number of goats by the roadside left us no choice but to stop and make friends.

We took a boat trip right the way along the fjord, with a guide telling us about all the sights as we looked up at the sheer sides of the narrow fjord. The rain didn't make it quite as enjoyable as it should have been, but we were pleased to have seen it. Shane was fortunate enough to be allowed to steer the huge ferry for a while, with a little supervision from the captain of course.

Our hostel was at Hellesylt, just near the end of our ferry journey.

Friday 25 August 1989Tour: Norway Day 10 Hellesylt to StrynVariable
7 present: Mark Burnard, Michael Jones, Ian Luke, Mark Moxham, Shane Powell, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman
Shane tries out the luxury seating in this bus shelter
Hellesylt YH
The group on the descent to Nordfjord, near Stryn
One of many athletic circuits we saw at Norwegian schools
More rain greeted us next morning. Back in Devon they were still suffering a three-month drought, but here there was water wherever you looked.

We had now reached the most northerly point on the tour, and it was time to head back towards Bergen. We stopped at a bus shelter that had been equipped with a lounge sofa - for added comfort. We rode past a large lake and yet another athletics track - apparently standard equipment for most Norwegian schools! The day's ride involved a couple of rises and falls but was not too strenuous.

Finally we approached the delightful Nordfjord and continued the short distance around its perimeter to Stryn, located in a high position overlooking the town.

Friday 25 August 1989Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): StavertonDry
13 present: Nathan Arecco, Richard Burge, Andrew Caunter, Gary Duquemin, Martin Hills, Toby Hopper, Luke Kudliskis, Chris Platt, David Platt, Dave Platt Snr, Martin Rushworth, Andrew Simmons, John Stuart
Staverton was chosen as the evening's destination. Thus the route involved Colston Road, a short sprint along the main Totnes road and then down to Staverton Bridge. The group went along the Riverside path, with a return route via Bumpston Cross and the steep Caddaford hill.

Saturday 26 August 1989Tour: Norway Day 11 Stryn to ByrkjeloVariable
7 present: Mark Burnard, Michael Jones, Ian Luke, Mark Moxham, Shane Powell, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman
Nordfjord - picture perfect
The beautiful Nordfjord
Swimming in Nordfjord
Fine weather at last to enjoy Norway's best scenery
Peter Rushworth admiring the mountains between Utvik and Byrkjelo
Today, finally, we had good weather for our excursion around the edge of Nordfjord. The fjord looked just like all the picture postcards you have ever seen of Norway, and we just couldn't resist a dip in its cool waters.

Eventually we continued onwards for a mountain climb and descent to Byrkjelo. The hostel here was a bit of a disappointment, being just a guest house for much of the year. The barn behind the hostel had a traditional ramp to the higher level where the usual tractor spent much of its time. Michael, being vegetarian, once again had a hard time getting any food - Norway doesn't seem to cater for vegetarians anywhere!

Sunday 27 August 1989Tour: Norway Day 12 Byrkjelo to VikenVariable
7 present: Mark Burnard, Michael Jones, Ian Luke, Mark Moxham, Shane Powell, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman
Shane finds more friendly goats
Byrkjelo YH
Our route today was through desolate terrain where the only living creatures we saw were goats! During the only real climb, near the end of the day, Michael managed to break an axle and called in to one of the few houses we saw to arrange a taxi. Outside it was typically Norwegian, with a fairly ordinary wooden exterior, but inside it was totally luxurious, with polished wooden floors and every modern convenience. We stayed the night at the Viken guest house in Viksdalen.

Sunday 27 August 1989Day ride: Maidencombe BeachDry / hot / sun
10 present: Richard Burge, Steven Hills, John Misson (Adult, Devon), Simon Paull, Jenny Quick, Peter Riggs (16, Newton Abbot), Philip Roberts, Martin Rushworth, Andrew Simmons, Gary Taylor
Due to a Marldon pick-up, the Buckfastleigh starters took the usual route via the A384, Staverton and Red Post to Five Lanes. Once various people from the starting points had met at the rendezvous, it was the usual descent into Cockington, where you had to negotiate the swarming hoards of visitors. Once on the main road we were treated to power boat racing in the bay. It was then along the very busy main road where we had to weave in and out of the traffic.

Continuing onward through Babbacombe we were soon at Maidencombe, where we had to descend "Steep Hill" to get onto the beach. Once dinner had been consumed there was time for rock climbing and other typical escapades.

An early cafe stop at Stoke-in-Teignhead's Old Bakery was followed by an early return to Newton Abbot, whereupon the group split up. This left the Buckfastleigh group to travel along the A383, leading onto the A38 and home by 5.30.

Monday 28 August 1989Tour: Norway Day 13 Viken to BalestrandVariable
7 present: Mark Burnard, Michael Jones, Ian Luke, Mark Moxham, Shane Powell, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman
Viken guest house, Viksdalen
Viken guest house, Viksdalen
Traditional grass drying techniques
View to Viksdals lake from the guest house
Ian Luke, approaching the long awaited downhill
Shane, riding around Nystols lake
Mean, Moody, Magnificent, Mark Moxham, riding along the Sognefjord!
Another incredible downhill, leading to Mel and the Sognefjord
Monday took us up another gentle climb with another incredible hairpin descent at the end to Balestrand. Mark Sloman had asked to go with the bike on the bus in Michael's place, as he didn't fancy another long cycle ride.

We had hoped to stay at Balestrand youth hostel, but it turned out to be full so we switched to a nearby guest house that was quaint and very comfortable. We loaded our bikes onto the evening cargo boat for Bergen and enjoyed the luxury of our second guest house.

Tuesday 29 August 1989Tour: Norway Day 14 Balestrand to BergenVariable
7 present: Mark Burnard, Michael Jones, Ian Luke, Mark Moxham, Shane Powell, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman
Mark Burnard contemplates the tranqulity of the Sognefjord at Balestrand
Our guest house at Balestrand
View of the Sognefjord from the boat
Our fast boat to Bergen
The sun sets on Norway as we set sail for home
Our most exciting boat journey of all awaited us next morning, with a hydrofoil passenger boat speeding its way along Sognefjord and around the coast to Bergen at 37 knots. It was raining as usual, but today we didn't really mind.

After spending the afternoon shopping in Bergen we boarded our NorwayLine ferry at 6pm, finding ourselves looking forward to its comforts - and the discounted Norwegian chocolate from the duty free shop! Typically, the sun came out as we set sail, leaving us with the most beautiful sunset for our final memory of Norway.

Wednesday 30 August 1989Tour: Norway Day 15 Bergen to homeVariable
7 present: Mark Burnard, Michael Jones, Ian Luke, Mark Moxham, Shane Powell, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman
Michael was able to use the crossing time wisely by rebuilding his rear wheel with new hub and spokes purchased in Bergen (at great expense), so when we arrived back in Newcastle at 4pm Michael was able to cycle along the path back to Newcastle with the rest of the group. A long overnight train journey via Carlisle brought us back to Newton Abbot by 0815 next morning.

So what were our impressions of Norway? First, the hostels. Like everything in Norway they are expensive, about £6 per night, £5 per evening meal and £3‑50 per breakfast. But the standard of accommodation is always greater than in Britain. There are never more than 4 beds to a room. Each bed usually has a reading lamp and duvet, and each room often has en suite toilet, wash basin and shower. When you arrive you are given a key to your room, so that you can lock up your belongings while you are eating. Perhaps one of the nicest differences is that in Norway you never have any jobs to do!

The communal areas are often luxurious. Some of the hostels even had electronically controlled doors and separate common rooms for nonsmokers.

Guest houses were even more luxurious. They were twice the price of hostels, but everything was always clean and modern. It was nice not to have to use our own towels and sheet bags for the last two nights of the tour.

Food in Norway seemed similar to British food in some ways. Every breakfast consisted of a large table piled with foods ‑ large bowls of cereals, milk, boiled eggs, bread, cold meats, a selection of cheeses, marmalades and jams. Once you have paid for breakfast you can help yourself to as much as you like. Evening meals were usually of the meat and two veg type followed by a dessert. A special feature of Norway is the brown cheese, much sweeter than ordinary cheese and often made from goats milk or a mixture of goat and cow's milk.

There are many brands of chocolate in Norway, the majority made by Freia of Oslo. Some are similar to brands in England, but most were completely new to us. The high prices of 55p for a Kit‑Kat equivalent called Kvikk Lunsj or £1‑65 for 200g of Milk Chocolate can be avoided by purchasing on the ferry from the tax‑free shop, where prices were reduced by 35%.

Hot takeaway food was very expensive, a cheeseburger costing anything from £1‑80 to £3. We kept lunch costs low by buying bread, cheese, tomatoes and milk. Yoghurts made a pleasant desert, particularly as they were much larger than our yoghurts and always came in a special carton which made drinking quite straightforward. There was even a plastic spoon attached to the rear of the carton!

Norway has about the same land area as the UK, but has only 4 million people instead of our 56 million. Space is never at a premium. Almost every house is detached and luxurious ‑ some even have their own boat moored at the water's edge. Nearly all the houses are made principally out of wood (Norway's plentiful resource). One house we went into looked like a palace, with polished pine floors, walls, ceiling and furniture.

Norwegians have a very high standard of living. A 19‑year‑old at Viken told us that he was just starting his first job and would be earning £14000. He also said that every Norwegian has at least one car.

Cycling in Norway is great fun once you have got used to riding on the right: there is very little traffic even on the larger roads. Roads are skilfully engineered to keep gradients to a minimum, sometimes by using many hairpins but often by just putting a tunnel through the mountain. Tunnels are everywhere in Norway. All the tunnels we rode through were lit, but we saw a long one of several miles which was totally black. This could have been dangerous without good cycle lights. Junctions were a bit hairy at first, as there are no road markings indicating the right of way. Instead there are signs on the approach to the junction indicating whether or not the road you are on has right of way. Since most of our riding was on long, country roads, we did not have many problems.

Once we had left Bergen, Norway's second city, all the towns and villages we saw were small. They usually had a shop of some kind, the larger ones having a supermarket and a post office. Ancient Stave churches, made entirely of wood, could be seen in many villages. The atmosphere in all the villages was rural, quiet and relaxed. There were a few cycle shops scattered around the villages, but the one in Bergen had to be the biggest and best we had ever seen in our lives.

Most of the people we met in Norway spoke reasonable English, as all Norwegian children learn English from the age of ten. Only at Vangsnes hostel did the warden speak virtually no English. We had to simplify our phrase, look it up in the dictionary and write it down in Norwegian before he could understand us. We were always warmly received wherever we went.

Small farms are an important part of the Norwegian landscape. Cows are few and far between, but sheep and goats are evident in many areas. It is not at all unusual to round a hairpin corner on a mountainside and find yourself face to face with a billy goat! And if you ever go to the mountains you are certain to hear the clanking of the bells, tied to the necks of the sheep.

Children in Norway seem particularly well cared for. Because of the distributed population, schools are usually quite small but very modern and with the best possible facilities. Many schools that we saw had their own athletics circuit. Class sizes range from 15 to 30. Children may leave school at the age of 16, but 90% chooses to stay on in colleges of further education, to increase their chances of finding employment.

Of all that we saw in Norway, the majestic scenery must have made the greatest impression on us. Everything was on a much larger scale than we had seen before. Waterfalls seemed to cascade from every ridge and mountain, each one emptying unimaginable volumes of water per second into the rivers and lakes below. Snowcapped mountains surrounded us everywhere, making the largest mountains in Britain look tame by comparison. Vast freshwater lakes high in the mountains contained water that was crystal clear as far as the eye could see. And covering every hill and mountain were the forests, broadleaved and coniferous, spreading out in all directions. In Britain we have limited areas of natural beauty, but in Norway, the whole country seems unspoiled. It is a paradise for lovers of nature.

This tour of Norway must have been one of the greatest experiences of our cycling careers. The country appealed to each of us in a special way, and I am certain that many of us will return again someday. In the meantime, local CTC members may share some of the delights of the tour by attending the special Slide Show on Friday 20 October at 10 Treesdale Close, Paignton, starting at 7pm.

Wednesday 30 August 1989Evening ride (Paignton): CancelledRaining
2 present: David Robinson, Philip Robinson
Rain stopped play this evening, so Dave and Philip Robinson organised a social for themselves at home!

Friday 1 September 1989Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): LandscoveSunny
15 present: Joseph Bellows (9, Scoriton), Richard Burge, Julian Duquemin, Jeremy Ford, Martin Hills, Steven Hills, Toby Hopper, Michael Jones, Marcus Kudliskis, Simon Paull, Chris Platt, David Platt, Shane Powell, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth
The Norwegian travellers got a nice welcome this evening on a ride that took the group out along Green Lane and then down the scenic track towards Abham. No-one had planned a route, so this evening members took it in turns to choose a road at each junction - with interesting results! Overall control was still maintained, however, as Michael vetoed any choices which were completely inappropriate.

We bumped into Mark Sloman at Staverton, complete with apron, then skirted back to the track to Fursdon. It was here that each participant was rewarded with a piece of genuine Norwegian chocolate, courtesy of Michael. The return home through Landscove was great fun in the darkness.

Sunday 3 September 1989Afternoon ride (Buckfastleigh): Venford ReservoirSunny
17 present: Richard Burge, Adam Doherty (13, Devon), Julian Duquemin, Michael Giles, Luke Hatherly, Mark Hedges, Paul Hedges, Steven Hills, Richard Hopper, Toby Hopper, Roger Johnson, Michael Jones, Ian Luke, Peter Riggs, Andrew Simmons, Gary Taylor, Martyn Williams
Unbelievable though it may sound, Luke Hatherly broke another derailleur this afternoon, this time an expensive Suntour model. He said he was just pedalling along when he "heard this crunching noise" - the mechanism had doubled back on itself and sheared away from its support bracket. At least he now had the excuse he'd been looking for to buy a Shimano derailleur.

All this activity took place at Venford, which we had reached via Buckfast Abbey, Michelcombe and Holne. New rider Adam found the climb to the moor a bit tough, but like many others enjoyed the ride around the muddy banks of the reservoir - exposed by the unusually low water levels. A few got bogged down of course, but eventually we were able to enjoy the descent through Holne Chase.

Sunday 3 September 1989Afternoon ride (Paignton): HaccombeSunny
6 present: Chris Jeffery, Stephen Larkin, Philip Roberts, David Robinson, Philip Robinson, David Thomas
There was some confusion over the leader, so Dave Robinson took charge of our merry little crew. Together we discovered a new track between Kingskerswell and Coffinswell, which received high marks from all present despite the climb on the near side.

Wednesday 6 September 1989Evening ride (Paignton): WesterlandSunny
4 present: Peter Madge, Philip Roberts, David Robinson, Philip Robinson
This short ride took members through the delightful (but threatened) lanes of Westerland to Yalberton. There then followed a repeat of the popular track to Berry Pomeroy via Fleet Mill.

Friday 8 September 1989Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): DartingtonDry
20 present: Richard Burge, Andrew Caunter, Julian Duquemin, Jeremy Ford, Chris Giles, Paul Hamlyn-White, Mark Hedges, Martin Hills, Steven Hills, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Michael Jones, Luke Kudliskis, Marcus Kudliskis, Chris Platt, David Platt, Dave Platt Snr, Shane Powell, Martin Rushworth, Andrew Simmons
Numbers were boosted this evening by those Buckfastleigh members who were joining the two-night hostel weekend to Dartington and Salcombe. We were nearly late arriving at Dartington, despite taking the easy route along Colston Road, because of a few mechanical problems along the way. First was David Platt Junior's rear gear cable - he was about to go home when Michael produced a spare that was just long enough for his small ATB. Second came Andrew Caunter's chain and some minor brake adjustments. Last but not least, at the hostel, was Andrew Simmons' puncture, which delayed the evening riders long enough to make them late home. They made use of the time, however, and browsed around the hostel - the cosy common room with its open fire made many wish they were on the weekend as well.

Saturday 9 September 1989Weekend ride: Salcombe Youth Hostel Day 1Dry
19 present: Richard Burge, Paul Hamlyn-White, Mark Hedges, Martin Hills, Ben Hobday, Karina Hobday, Roxanne Hobday, Simon Hopper, Roger Johnson, Michael Jones, Ian Luke, Mark Moxham, Shane Powell, Unknown Rider 1, Peter Riggs, Martin Rushworth, Andrew Simmons, Ken Twydell, Julie Twydell-Hobday
The Twydell family enjoying lunch
The Twydell family enjoying lunch
Viewpoint over the estuary on the evening walk from Salcombe YH
Ken Twydell and Ben Hobday, swapping places at the Avon Mill café
Members staying at Dartington after the evening ride enjoyed a cosy evening playing games at the hostel, including Trivial Pursuit and Snakes & Ladders - Mark Moxham was involved in the latter! There was also a funny game where balls dropped through holes when you pulled various supporting strips - Roger and Mark seemed to have it sussed anyway.

Next morning Mark, Shane and Roger did some extra work. They were very good boys and the warden was very pleased with them as they laid in the fire! Michael wasn't so pleased when he later discovered his bike locked up in the washroom - with about six different locks!

When all jobs had been completed we cycled the short distance to the Cider Press Centre, along an interesting route suggested by Roger. Here we met Ken and Julie together with their two Rann-type trailers and one child seat transporting Roxanne (age 7), Ben (age 5) and Karina (age 2) - will they ever manage to bring out all five of their children in one go?

The more affluent members of the group patronised the excellent but exorbitantly priced Cranks, after which we set off for Totnes. This was primarily for Martin Hills to get to a chemist (don't ask why) and for everyone else to stock up on goodies. The route took us past the remains of the Cott Inn which had sadly burnt down a few days previously.

At Totnes, the ten minutes allowed seemed for some reason to last half an hour whilst some members of the group made a recce to the bike shop down the High Street. As the rest of us waited impatiently, we were entertained by a group of female cloggies - well it was Totnes!

Eventually, we all set off by back roads to Harbertonford. From there we took a different route that avoided the usual hill - hooray - but we were delayed by Julie having the only puncture of the trip. We also passed the elusive Rolster Bridge - destination of a few earlier trips that never seemed to get there.

Lunch was soon declared at a suitably picturesque spot. However Martin Rushworth cut his hand very badly on a corned beef can much to the disgust of the vegetarians amongst us and required most of the contents of Michael's first aid box to stem the flow of blood.

Eventually we set off again through some very pleasant countryside, taking a well-earned coffee stop at Avon Mill garden centre's cafe. This venue was considered excellent by all, one of our number even insisting on sufficient time to finish his second cup of tea ....

The final leg of the journey was notable mainly for its hills and the discovery, just outside Salcombe, that poor Martin Hills had left his money in the cafe. A hasty 'phone call confirmed they had found the money and would kindly send it on in due course.

For many of us this was the first time at Salcombe Youth Hostel - reputedly the best in the area. The situation is stunning, the warden friendly and the accommodation spacious. However, there was only one shower (swiftly bagged by Michael Jones) to serve a huge dormitory. Luckily the weather had not been too warm and most of us didn't object to the absence of cleanliness in ourselves or our companions.

Before dinner we all took an excellent walk along the cliff path which gave us a good appetite for the food to come. The eating hall is perhaps one of the best features of the hostel so the poor self-caterers, who had to eat elsewhere, felt rather left out.

After dinner the more sedate members of the party relaxed and read ancient copies of Cycletouring - great. The others rushed about as usual and played tricks on each other. This culminated in Mark Moxham's bike being locked out of the bike shed by Steven who found it necessary to hide under a bed to avoid the wrath of Mark. (Oh the fun we have.)

The night was uneventful apart from the wetting of two beds in Ken and Julie's family room. (I wonder which beds? Ken won't tell us!)

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