Through the Chilterns to Watford
I alternated between main road and canal towpath this morning. On the main road I had large, high-sided trucks overtaking at 60 mph leaving minimal space. They blocked the wind sucking me towards them. After they passed I got buffeted by the wind again after. The towpath was slower but far safer and prettier. It also meant I could admire the wildlife.
As the route swung around to the south through Bletchley and Leighton Buzzard, the side wind of the past couple of days turned into a bit of a head wind. In Aldbury, in the Chilterns, my route took a left up a big hill. It then took me through a bluebell filled wood. On the bridleway there was a horse and rider. I'd cycled cautiously past a few in Cheshire and Staffordshire without any problems. This one however looked nervous and the rider wasn't giving me any hints as to what I should do. As it went by me I decided to slowly move off but even this movement spooked the horse and it jumped sideways to the annoyance of the rider and gave me a shock too.
I paused in Berkhampstead for pie and mash (not just any pie and mash - M&S pie and mash). There was a Penny Farthing hotel but it was over £115 a night! It seemed all the local accommodation was over £100 or fully booked. Onwards. I crossed the M25 - London's orbital motorway - and headed south to Watford.
Over the phone I negotiated a £30 room in a B&B. In trying to find it, a big, blue, nox caught my attention. There was a TARDIS in someone's front garden. Next to it was a velociraptor and a robot dog!
As I stopped to take a picture the owner jumped out and said he'd move his car for me. His name was "Ska-V-Goldsmith" (or Nigel) and he seemed to be a modern day polymath with claims of a background in nuclear fission, rocket science and art. Nigel was certainly a very interesting person.
At the B&B I was greeted by Julien who was originally from the Congo and was a fan of MSF. He helped me get my bike into the back yard.