Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Day 35

I had a really good sleep in Chappie. I think this was mainly thanks to leaving the top half of the hatch open overnight. I covered it up with my mosquito net and the outside air flowing in made things a lot more comfortable than usual. There was virtually no condensation inside Chappie when I woke up. Sometimes, when the moisture builds up inside a droplet of water lands on my head. It’s not my favourite way to wake up. 

The days started with a few small climbs then a big descent into Zavaliv. 

I was stopped by an English speaking man called Vasil and his family. He made a kind donation and I paid it into my Virgin Money Giving page. 

An old man (holding the bag below) showed me where the local shop was and I stocked up on water. This water came out of a freezer and was ice cold. I gulped a lot of it down straight away. I’m using twice as much water than usual due to the heat and the climbs. Yesterday saw me consume 8 litres. 

There were quite a few people outside the shop and they all seemed curiously happy. 

There was a huge climb out of Zavaliv. I attacked it with a bit more aggression than any I’d done yesterday. 

There was another steep climb up to Holendra. A lady outside a shop started taking photos and I decided to get some more water and something to eat. She turned out to be the shop owner. 

I bought a packet of bacon flavour crisps and a Pepsi. I sat on the step outside and ate them. The lady was called Maria and she joined me on the step. I told her about my journey via Google Translate and she made a donation. When she told me her name I decided to serenade her with “Maria” from my favourite musical, West Side Story. She was a lovely lady and we showed each other family photos. I think she is a grandmother to three children. 

I was soon on my way again and reached Pidhaitsi at around 1330. I think it was the 9 or 10 mile point. I was just going to go straight through without stopping when a lady waved at me. When I saw that it was a sandwich shop I parked Chappie outside and went inside to see what I could get. 

I ordered a hot dog and some kind of savoury pastry. The hot dog was one of the best that I’ve ever had. It was delicious. While I was eating inside I could see a crowd of people gathered around Chappie taking photos and selfies with him. 

I got talking to the shop workers and an English speaking girl inside. They had seen me on the news the day before so were familiar with the story. 

It’s always nice to talk about my journey. After I finished eating, I ventured outside for more photos. I was gobsmacked when one lady referred to my buggy as “Chappie”. She said “TV”. I guess she must also have seen the news article about me. 

I left the town in good spirits. A mile down the road Vasil from earlier in the day asked if I wanted some water. I said yes please and he drove off. A little while later he returned with some bottles and I put them inside Chappie for later use. 

A few miles down the road, the family from Pidhaitsi returned with some vegetables, water, sweets and biscuits. In time honoured tradition we took photos and I thanked them for their kindness. 

The road became quite flat for a change but that didn’t last long. I spent the next 6 or so miles on a very straight rolling road. My intended left hand turn was on a very poor quality path. I made the decision to go an extra 3 miles and stick to the road. The climbs were really tough and the added challenge of the heat made life very difficult. 

I took my new left hand turn at Nadrichne and asked a man if he knew where I could watch the football. He just shrugged his shoulders. 

At the 23 mile point there was a steep climb and I tried my best to drag Chappie to the summit. It was another 2 miles before I found a safe place to setup camp. Sadly, I wouldn’t get to see the football. I do have my mosquito net up though.

As I was just finishing up writing my blog a man with a sickle walked past and I heard that England were winning 1-0.