Sunday April 19, 2015. Day 7

Evesham to Leamington Spa: 52km

The skies were overcast and the persisting north winds made for a chilly ride. Soon after leaving Evesham, we joined a cycle trail on an old rail line into Stratford-upon-Avon. Being Sunday, we shared the trail with many other cyclists, as well as runners, horse-riders and dog walkers. After a couple of hours, we crossed the river Avon on a footbridge and entered the town and the familiar surroundings of the theatre precinct and canal basin. A stop for good coffee and pastries at an Italian cafe gave us a chance to warm up.

Climbing slightly, we passed through Loxley, where we saw one of the oldest churches in the country, then on to Charlecote House, to meet up with Helen’s parents for lunch in the Orangery. After lunch, we left Helen and Marius, who will spend the night with Helen’s parents, and continued on the Stratford Road into Warwick. It was exciting to view Warwick Castle from the bridge, as we remember doing long ago when we lived in Leamington.

In the evening, we met up with old friend Jane Knight and the current chair of OWL, the long time link between Leamington Spa and Bo, Sierra Leone, which we had been involved in setting up in the early 1980s. Paul shared his recent experiences and ideas. Paul’s work on Ebola and his early association with the link had resulted in local publicity for OWL and some unexpected financial donations.

Jane and her husband, John, the current mayor of Leamington, later treated us to dinner at a local Italian restaurant, where the discussion continued.

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