Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Day 9 – Southport to Kendal (63 miles) Free Luxury Hotel for the boys!

You are all very lucky to be reading this as we have had a catastrophic computer failure on Marks laptop – Im writing this on the reception computer at the Riverside Hotel – The show must go on. What a top day. Breaking clear from Southport and pushing to Preston, moving via the HQ 42 (North West) Brigade we then bounced into Mears Carpets for a photo session and tea with Tony’s Mum. Lancaster for lunch and then final push into Kendal.

The wagon train rolls on! 0810 hrs, with an odometer reading of 428 miles the quad rolled out of Southport. We stopped at Churchtown lights to get some pictures with Jonathan’s gang (Joanne, Edward, Bertie and Kitty). We quickly left Southport behind us. Bernie (Steve Hennessy) passed us on the bypass – miserable ****** for not waving but he phoned us to wish us well. The push into Preston was pleasant and bike, who was retuned was running generally well. Free energy bars from Ribble Cycles and then Fulwood Barracks. Kelly from Dune FM was there and after a radio interview in front of the main sign we cycled around the corner.

Jonathan had absolutely no idea that the whole of the HQ had been waiting outside! We initially dashed back around the corner to remount and cycle around in front of the gathered masses. What a great sight! Everyone there – it is at times like this one realises what a top organisation the military is. Kelly from Dune FM interviewed several and then was taken for a spin on the bike. With a pocket full of charity cards we departed the HQ – The fully bearded Chief of Staff was seen riding into the distance. Next stop Mears carpets.

As we pulled up, Tony’s mum and colleagues were there awaiting. Tea and a box of celebrations were served. What a great bunch of girls. The End 2end team was then taken ‘upstairs’ to meet the bosses. Photos taken with Mears vehicles and then off. Ray and the newly 'liveried' – the signed looked fantastic.

The push to Lancaster was quite fast – momentum is good. The Ring of Bells provided a suitable venue for our lunch stop. Although the lads stitched Jonny up a treat as they sent him off to ask for ‘Mick’ Jonathan’s face dropped as looked at this poor fella who had bright orange hair…there is no Mick here but I feel they may be mixing me up with Mick Hucknull (Simply Red)..Jonathan nearly died of embarrassment as he realised the gag that had been played on him. However Joel was a good sport and he agreed to have his photo taken outside.

Next push to Kendal and our free accommodation at the Riverside. The evening was gorgeous and the Lake District looked at its very best. A quick phone call to the Riverside exposed that our free rooms no longer existed! Jennifer (the Reception Manager) had clearly operated above her pay grade and had authorised the free rooms. Nevertheless Manager Helen allowed us to sleep on a conference room floor..it was like a palace. We couldn’t believe our luck. This Hotel was the best in Kendal with its own leisure facilities. After a couple of pictures with a local cycling club we locked up the bike and sorted out our new accommodation. As we swung into our blur of efficiency Mark’s laptop died…with all our end2end photos on. We all looked at each other…Oh well nothing else to do but head down to the leisure centre…The small issue of no swimming trunks was solved by raiding the hotel lost property! No shame. Blog completed on the reception computer whilst talking to Di who lost her dad 9 months ago to cancer.

What a very different day…another day of great people and great free luxury accommodation. The challenge continues.

1 comment:

UncleDigger said...

Top effort lads, really proud of you all, love the mention for the forces. Mr Ray thanks fella for your assistance can I have some more please?

Bristol UOTc would love to have you all back in the future for a function and possibly a lecture! You would also be world beaters too, cool.

Keep going lads really proud.