Despite the torrential rain (we're still in England), we made good time up to Darlington for our 'Official Send-off' from St Teresa's Hospice at 11am. The staff and a few close friends we're there to wish us well and send us on our way. We parked the bikes without dropping them, exhausted the hospices supply of HobNob's and then did a radio interview with BBC Radio Tees outside in the pouring rain with the Tigers in the background. (Yes, ..... me and Big Al actually on the radio, .. I hope they captured our best sides).
With the formalities over and Scotland beckoning, we boarded the bikes for the essential footage of our departure and ceremoniously set off into the gloom. Hey, ... this is 'Poor Circulation', it could never be that simple. During the radio broadcast they'd asked me to keep my bike running for 'background effect'. When we were finally ready to leave, ........ my battery had other intentions and the bloody Tiger refused to start. I should have been embarrassed, I should have appreciated the concerned looks on the faces of all present, .... but all I could do was roll on the floor with laughter and wonder what could possibly go wrong next. Here I was, convincing the grown-ups that I was ready to ride around the world and I couldn't even get out of the hospice car park. Several telephone calls secured me a replacement battery, ..... not as you might expect from Triumph, but from White Brothers (Honda) Ltd, in Northgate, Darlington. A quick jump start from a nearby car (It refused to bump-start despite the best efforts of 4 delightful nurses pushing me, ... but I enjoyed it) and a short ride to the bike shop saw me take possession of a new Battery, ....... at 'Cost'. Many thanks to David Burrell and all of the staff at White Bros for keeping us on the road.
It's still raining, we're three hours behind schedule and we've been warned that petrol stations further north are already rationing their fuel in anticipation of the pending refinery strike, ..... and we were worried about petrol supplies across Russia. Anyway, ... it's now day 3 of Poor Circulation and we've just decided to skip a whole country, ..... but Scotland's Gain is our Loss and we promise to do it on the way back.
A short hop to Croft in order to collect something of vital sentimental importance (which will be explained in full once we've safely entered America) and we head for the Penny Garth Cafe in Hawes. More saturated fats and caffeine (do you see a pattern developing?) and Alan discovers that his mobile phone is still at Squires. Daz volunteers to ride back and collect it (top bloke), but we've seen him ride and decide that it's far safer for everyone concerned to have it collected by a proper adult. Long story short, in the absence of the adult, Alan's brother drives from Braintree to Squires where he is fed with free coffee and pasties and brings the offending Nokia to Boot in Eskdale where we're enjoying free camping courtesy of Hollins Farm Campsite and quite possibly the finest Steak n Ale Pie in Blighty courtesy of the Boot Inn, ..... life really doesn't get much better than this, it's even stopped raining.