Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Nightmare Start!

I am currently sat in a McDonald's using their free wi-fi as I really needed a sugar boost so decided to get a chocolate milkshake!! I only noticed on the way in that they have free wi-fi for all of their customers and decided to make the most of the opportunity and provide a brief update on my (extremely difficult!) progress so far!

My problems yesterday started fairly early as my stroller received it's first puncture about 5 miles outside of Chester. I decided to pump the tyre up and persevere until I could find somewhere suitable to address the situation. I must have got about 2 miles down the road - it was a fairly slow puncture so only needed to be pumped up every twenty minutes or so - when the stroller suddenly got very heavy. The other tyre was also punctured and was now completely flat! I pumped it up but it was flat again within about 10 seconds!

I decided to push on until I reached the next landmark on the road so that I could give my brother, Rich, a ring to help me out. Stupidly, I had not packed a puncture repair kit or spare innertubes so he brought some stuff out for me. I had made it as far as Jackson's Fencing just outside of Tattenhall by this point but the last 2 miles had felt like 10 - they were absolute hell as the stroller felt so heavy as a result of 2 flat tyres! A guy called Chris kindly provided me with some drinking water which I very much appreciated!

I had to wait there for about an hour before Rich arrived and, after about an hour and a half of mucking about I finally got moving again. One of the innertubes had 25 separate punctures whereas the other had two bad ones. Wondering how I know how many there were? Rich bought a bottle of green slime that "allegedly" fills in all punctures and repairs new ones as they happen - sounded good but it didn't work quite like that!

Anyway, I managed to get back on my way and within another 2 miles had more punctures. I decided at this point to ditch the stroller - if the punctures were this frequent this early on then I decided there was no point persevering as it would happen time and time again along the way. This presented a bit of a problem as there was a hell of a lot of weight in the stroller. I had to trim down pretty much every single non-essential item so that I could get everything I needed into the rucksack.

I managed to set off again but I was massively behind schedule. I didn't arrive into Whitchurch until almost 9pm last night and I was totally and utterly exhausted - both physically and mentally. I think I must have been running on adrenaline as I got the shakes and went really cold as soon as I stopped. I think my blood sugar levels must have been really low so I had a couple of glasses of coke and some very sweet coffee with my evening meal in a pub called the Raven Hotel. They kindly agreed to allow me to pitch my tent in their back garden free of charge - I think the guy I spoke to was called Mike (if not then please correct me!!). Anyway, I just wanted to publicly thank them as it was very kind.

I can't find the lead at the moment for my camera so I will have to update with photos at a later date!


  1. I hope you have a better day today.
    Kim (in Qatar)

  2. What a start Matt, surely it can only get better.
    Angela (FIDO)

  3. monika czajkowska19 August 2009 at 11:21

    hope today will be a better day for you ;-D