Sunday, 3 January 2016

The Nags Head at Willaston

Originally billed as the Anchor at Irby, the five riders who showed for Dave's ride agreed to the suggestion that it may be a bit far, given the incessant rain,and the fact we were already pretty wet on arrival at the town Hall.  

Although Stu had seen the weather forecast:

Stu: it has forecast showers this afternoon
Sue: so it is going to get better, then?

Quick photo, and we dropped down to the river, following the river path out to Shotton.  There were a few birds to spot, but apart from a couple of oncoming cyclists it was very quiet and deserted.

We continued to the industrial estate, experiencing the strong wind on our side which had been blowing us out along the river.  We were passed by a couple of guys I recognised as our Wrexham chums, who we then met up with at Nets.  

I like the reflections
in the wet tarmac!

All the radiators were soon covered (although not warm enough to really dry anything), and we enjoyed our coffee stop, sharing photos of fancy dress cycling over Christmas and discussing snowy Wrexham passes experiences.

Time to move on, and as Dave had now cancelled The Anchor, we headed through Burton and Ness to cross the Chester High Road, and towards Willaston, skirting around to take in the windmill and arriving at The Nags Head after 4 miles.

Willaston Windmill - is this
one of the 'Two Mills'?

We parked up, were welcomed in, and given a table especially by a very warm radiator, which was again soon covered in gloves, caps and neck warmers.

Lunch was exceptionally nice, but as we departed (despite the high reading in the 'puddleometer' noted by Bob) our bikes were now parked in a small lake which had grown whilst we were in the pub.

The photo does not do justice
do the depth of this puddle-
Stu had to get his feet wet!

The weather had not improved at all, if anything the rain was a little harder, and we headed for cake at the Hosta Cafe, another 4 miles.  We didn't want to overdo it!  They kindly let us park the bikes in a poly tunnel, within which the rain sounded 10 times worse, before darting into the cafe.  This time we had a large log burner to drape gloves and coats near to; before ordering cakes and coffees (or large hot chocolate with marshmallows for Simon!).

Aaahh - that's better!

It grew darker outside - I asked the waitress if they had tinted glass or was it just really dark - it was only 2:15!
oops - water on my lens - what a surprise!


We again had to leave, but now the rain was actually easing off, and my eyes were drawn to the strange phenomenon in the distance, where white wispy clouds were lying lower than the mountain range.  Heading via Woodbank, we stopped on the bridge over the main road, and marveled at the amazing view of late wintry sun seeping through the small gap in the clouds, and mist rising from the fields, growing whiter as we watched.  Then we had a rainbow behind us, bright against the dark sky.

Please excuse the power lines- I could not avoid them
and they will take quite a lot of photoshopping!

It was almost joyous to finish the ride now, as the rain had stopped, the sun had appeared,and we even had a rainbow!

Rainbow over to the left

27 miles from Town hall round to the Greenway (near Northgate Ponds).

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