Monmouth to Street (the beginning of the end)

I had not been looking forward to this part of the journey as the map indicated the only way out of Monmouth was up a steep hill on the A466 with blind curves and a cliff edge on both sides, I should not have worried.

What actually transpired was a very pleasant and flat start to the day following the river Wye and then a long climb just after Tintern Parva that, while quite tough, offered enough reasonable scenery to distract you.

We found we got to Chepstow quite quickly and our first sight of the the Severn Bridge which, for me, really indicated that we were beginning the last leg of the journey.

Camilla, Neil & Christian

We used the cycle path over the bridge and then the B4055 and A4018 to get to the western side of Bristol. Our aim being to meet up with my brother Neil and his friend Camilla at Clifton where they would join us for the rest of the journey.

We reached Clifton Suspension Bridge in good time and, as it was roughly the halfway point in the day, stopped for lunch, admired the scenery and recounted the tale so far to Camilla and Neil.

After Clifton we quickly left the A38 at Bishopsworth and then used minor roads to get to the B3114 at Chew Magna which we followed until Chewton Mendip where we turned toward Wells on the A39.

The whole of this section was reasonably flat and scenic and served as a nice introduction for Camilla and Neil to the next section, a steady 150mtr climb to Walacombe and a very rapid 200mtr drop into Wells. Being on an A road meant I didn't have to apply the brakes too often and my (reasonably accurate) bike computer claimed I managed 48mph at one point, a speed unmatched since Berridale on the first day!

Once in Wells we stopped for a tour of the magnificent cathedral before continuing along the A39 to Street, locating the youth hostel after a lot of searching (tip: it's right through the town and out the other side on the right.) The hostel itself is an interestingly styled building that, in a previous life, provided holiday accommodation to employees of the Clarke's Shoes company.

However, as a youth hostel, its facilities are basic, requiring a hike back into town to find somewhere to eat where your choices are somewhat limited. The Italian restaurant we eventually all agreed on was very nice if a little expensive.

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Day:10 of 13
Date:08 July 2003
Distance:108 KM
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