So following my lavender bath and copious amount of sugar I was back on the road and heading south. Now today I had a very clear strategy – head to Fortuna, 40km away, and be sensible. That’s not entirely how it panned out…
To get to Fortuna I needed to take the Freeway, something I am not legally allowed to do. If I stick to the “legal” roads I have to add some serious mileage and that’s not something I want to do. So on to the freeway I venture armed with a British accent and an air of complete ignorance!
After 35km, I slipped off the freeway to have some lunch. As I readied myself to re-join the freeway and complete the last 5km I was stopped by more flashing lights. A keen young officer told me that I was by no means allowed on the freeway. BUGGER! I was on route to the Avenue of Giants and this was the only way I knew to get there. Rather than get angry at the officer, which would do no good, I asked if there was any alternative. He very kindly took my phone and showed me an alternative route which would bring me out 20km further south where the freeway ended. His radio crackled and he informed me that he had to go and deal with a “situation”.
Faced with the dilemma of risking the Freeway or taking the longer route, I decided that an ice cream was in order to help my pondering and I could see some businesses ahead. The first building I came to was that of Glasshouse Garden Supplies. There was a chap standing outside so I enquired about ice creams… Sadly the answer was not what I was looking for but an alternative was offered – a cold brewski! I of course accepted and got chatting. Jon was the owner of the business and as it turned out would play a big part in the next few days.
While chatting, the decision was made to take the longer alternative route and aim for a town called Rio Dell. So off I set.
About half an hour later a car passed and pulled up – it was Jon. Jon had been looking through my website and been moved to try and help in any way he could. He had contacted all the local media outlets and had come looking for me to get my number. We discussed my plan for the day and decided that Scotia, while a little further, might be a better destination – it had an Irish pub… Jon took my number and set off back to work while I continued south.
As I climbed the only hills I had encountered that day, I heard a shout. It was Allan – yes the Allan I have said goodbye to about 5 times. He has been developing this ability of turning up just as I am starting to fade and helping me get through the rest of the day. Together we ventured on.
The next part will be shortened as so much happened!
My phone then rang and it was Channel 3 news… An interview was on for the next day….
We then arrived in Scotia and our hearts dropped as we noticed the pub was closed. Luckily our disappointment was short lived as Bill, owner or manager, appeared and offered to open the bar and supply a drink on the house.
Kasia, who worked behind the hotel reception found us a campsite a couple of miles further south.
We then popped to the deli to pick up a beer for the end of the mammoth day. After paying one of the other customers rushed to their car and returned with a jar of homemade honey.
Then Lenna, who works with Jon, and her boyfriend Travis arrived having tracked me down using my website. Having heard about my expedition they just wanted to come and add their support – Such a lovely thing to do and much appreciated.
When we finally arrived at the Stafford Road campsite it was dark and we rushed to set up camp and get dinner on the go. Just as things were sorted a car pulls up next to the table and who jumps out… Jon and a six pack of local IPA. The perfect company and the perfect beer to end a mammoth day on the road…
Things did not go to plan but with perseverance, determination and a smile everything turned out perfectly!