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A CRABs misguided tour
|Introduction||Yarmouth to Barmouth||Yarmouth to Charmouth '99||Charmouth to Barmouth '00|
|May 22nd – 29th 1998|
CRABs on trail - STRUTH, SCHOOLBOY's DREAM, CRABBO & GOLDFLINGER
Stating the blindingly flippin' obvious 'nobody in here then' GoldFlinger addressed the bored looking barman as he strolled in to the Duke's Head Yarmouth. 'Nope, been empty since six'. 'Any chance of food?'. 'Nope me Mum's just gone out and I can't leave the bar alone'. 'Right-on we'll have two pints, one for yourself and we'll look after the bar while you're getting a sandwich?' 'OK but I'll have to stretch me culinary skills to ham on white and would you like a coffee?'. As U-Bend was contemplating her drive back to ShanAlbans the other 75% of the YTB2 team burst in and the barman was rushed off his feet selling his 3rd, 4th and 5th pints of the evening. With Sally keen to sleep at the YHA the rest of us hit the town and found the local happening spot. Several conversations and pints later we repaired to the Duke's Head where the shower almost pummelled me through the floor.
'Right we're off and it's first stop the beach' commanded Crabbo cruising off with his outriders. Saturday morning idled it's way away as we crossed the river estuary leaving Yarmouth far behind and began our quest for lunch with Struth at Long Stratton. The big event of the morning was a seriously assertive Bull telling Crabbo we were NOT going to cross the bridge he was guarding. At that point all the drainage channels looked jumpable and rutted fields were easy to ride over. . . as fast as poss! 'Yep the bike's going fine thanks Crabbo'. As usual that tempted fate just a mite too much and moments later GoldFlinger was tightening the jockey wheel that had brought him to a shuddering halt.
'And what does that come with', 'Salad, chips and peas', 'And mine?', 'Salad, chips and peas', 'Right I'll have salad, chips and peas please' 'And a sandwich on brown without salad, chips and peas'. By mid afternoon the sky had cleared and whilst Crabbo was admiring a glider taking off, Sally and I were commenting that gliding looked to be great fun until it stalled spun out of control, hopped a barn, sliced through some telegraph wires and disappeared in to the trees with a sickening thud! We heard the fire engine for ten minutes before it bore down on us! On top of that we cruised past the 'Spent Cartridges' rally (formerly Young Guns?) where acres of bikers were downing bourbon and mild and showing each other their bikes, leathers, tattoos etc. Not our scene but we guessed that our scene was not theirs either! When I told Sally that Mike Oldfield was in my class at school she was amazed as she would never have thought I was that old! The tail end of our 115km/2,704Kcal day took us through the mesmerisingly beautiful Thetford forest, down nettle lane to be urticated ('whipped by nettles' according to Crabbo), and in to the back side of Brandon and the Ram where Struth sat nursing her pint! We plumped for Guinness and the beat goes on. A great nights sleep followed with dreams of people and places long gone.
'Look out for those web fingered inter bred Fenland tigers' I was warned! 65 miles-very flat- a piece of piss I was told. And did you know that the pimples on women's nipples say suck here in Braille? These were a few of the totally disconnected thoughts that sprang in to my brain as we headed in to the wind in the hazy sunshine across the very flat fens ending up ten miles short of our lunch time rendezvous with Struth in March! And the wheels on the bike go round and round, round and round, round and round. One day on the fens was enough and at Bedlam bridge crossing the 100 foot dyke we cracked the 100 mile barrier. Hooray! Not to worry the Lamb and Flag at Welney provided a huge fish and seven veg lunch and on we rode reaching March via the ten longest miles on the planet. Struth had gone, and just after Whittlesey Peterborough Cathedral came in to view. Hooray! The beginning of the end of the fens was nigh! Hooray! From there we opened the River Nene footpath with due ceremony with Lady Sally and Crabbo giving the royal go ahead for me to proceed, and soon afterwards found ourselves zooming down Love Hill to Cobnut Cottage in Castor. Struth philosophised that we four would never be here again in the FitzWilliam Arms under these circumstances as we sat eating a most delicious dinner and noticing Schoolboy's Dream tucking in to her pints of bitter, quite true unless the multi-dimensional existence theory holds any weight. And did you know that Sally went to Uni with some bloke who was a natural 1st in Zoology but now helps the Ginger Chris Evans sort his TFIFriday show? Struth also expressed some concern over the number of different women I've slept with during the various Bhash trips this year. I think five is OK. And so our second day came to an end with another 107kms covered and 2,300 Kcals expended but not until Sally and I had compared and contrasted Japanese and Thai temples before slipping blissfully off to sleep, dreaming vividly of times and places gone by.
The following morning, after June and Peter's amazing breakfast, we were comparing and contrasting Japanese and Thai grammar when Crabbo exclaimed 'Look at those dace' as he creamed his pants peering in to the River Welland at Stamford. He is in love. 'I wonder which George that pub is named after', 'Mr Hotel' yoh! And did you know that women have orgasms so that they can moan at everything! The contrast of riding through hills after the previous day gave us renewed energy and after being brassicated (another of Crabbo's whipped by rape seed plant fetishes Hash Herald words) we were soon tearing round the rim of Rutland Water on our way to The Sun at Belton-in-Rutland. Again plenty of off road riding, although I've not mentioned this before it was the shape of things, and some sensational 35mph+ downhills on rutted tracks which saw both Crabbo and GoldFlinger airborne. Of course what goes down must suffer – and there were plenty of challenging hills – which leads us to Schoolboy's Dream and her conversion to bitter with two fab pints of Marston's ordinary. And so it was that Sally found religion AND was photographed doing so. Yep the lager lout of the St. Radegund is now dedicated to a crusade of confusing the shit out of Bunter and ordering bitter. If the morning belonged to Crabbo ( who has had the pleasure of playing Blues Brothers music with Fartin' Martin), and lunch time to Sally, the afternoon belonged to me. Several hills on and my knees were aching but I made it to the canal paths through some of the prettiest countryside that middle England has to offer. Struth saved me from the dag end of Leicester and the home of Glen Parva and Earl Shilton those renowned Country and Western stars. Pints flowed at Ye Olde Red Lion in Market Bosworth before, during and after dinner as Sally became a confirmed bitter drinker. What a sight. Four people. Four Pints. No messing. Luveley jubbeley!
The following morning Struth and I went to Bosworth field where the Plantagenets were slaughtered by the Tudors and after 200 miles and 7,269Kcals I handed the mantle to Schoolboy's Dream and Crabbo to hit Barmouth or bust. . . read on if you should know.