It was another morning of glorious sunshine when we extracted ourselves from the tent at Newquay campsite, and by the time we had packed up all our kit we unsurprisingly had no fewer or lighter bags than the previous day. With the help of the campsite van, we managed to lug it across a couple of fields to the nearest bus stop. The bus dropped us at the airport but nowhere near where we needed to be, so Claire helpfully found us a luggage trolley to give us a helping hand. In the blazing sunshine we eventually managed to reunite the aircraft with our stuff, though as yet had no route planned.
By the time we had faffed a lot and put a route together, it was nearing lunchtime, so a quick lunch later we were eventually in the aeroplane ready to depart to Gloucester. With a bit of glider dodging en route, we eventually approached Gloucester, and with Gloucester (not lobster, as I may have misheard) set on the ADF, we braced ourselves for what we had been warned to be an extremely busy airport.
Immediately on changing frequency, I began to comprehend just how busy it was, and though they claimed it to be a quiet day, I struggled to get my calls in on time on frequency. There were plenty of aircraft around, and with a right hand circuit to boot, during which the aircraft wing does a wonderful job of blocking the entire airport from view, there was plenty to keep us on our toes. It was with a certain amount of relief that the wheels touched and we could taxi round to Aeros Flight Training.
Aeros gave us an incredibly warm welcome, before telling us that they hadn’t been expecting us till the next day, which meant that for the first time ever on Evie’s tour we weren’t actually late for something, (though I suppose we weren’t exactly on time either...) Nevertheless, both us and the aircraft were made comfortable and at home in Aeros.
The plan for the next day was to head onto Wales, but on arising in the morning, the cloud base was very low, and with showers lurking, getting flying wasn’t looking promising till at least the afternoon. The weather reports from Welshpool were hardly inviting either. We resigned ourselves to a walk to a nearby village, then refraining from banangrams, produced some textbooks and squeezed in a bit of studying, while hopefully glancing out the window and hopefully looking for an updated and much clearer TAF. Eventually we had to accept defeat for the day, appreciate the good run of weather that we had had so far and try again the next day.
The forecast suggested that the morning wasn’t going to be particularly stunning either, though with the promise of a clearer afternoon. However, looking at the front that was drifting across the UK, we decided to continue to track North rather than dip across to Welshpool, with the idea that we would then be able to continue the tour, rather than get stuck in Wales for a couple of days. Unfortunately it meant that we had to drop Wales out of the tour, but with safety (and efficiency) coming first it was the way it had to be.
Instead Claire flew us to Blackpool, where we discovered where all the blue skies had been hiding, and we had just a quick stop there before tracking further north to Carlisle for an overnight stop. With it having been a week since we left Dundee and made our first stop at Carlisle, I think we both took a moment to comprehend the distances we had travelled and all the varied experiences thus far. And so we braced ourselves for the next part of the tour, across to Northern Ireland and round the top of Scotland.