Day 33 – Hopesack to Manatee Island

Day 32 (curated by Jacob Buckton) – Hopesack to Manatee Island, back to Hopesack and henceforth onwards to Sedgwick Cuckoo. There’s only one thing that gets me going more than bicycles: funny signs. And of course little bits of unidentified foliage. I guess that’s two things really, but anyhow, today was a day filled with both of them! This blog might be a bit longer than normal, because so many outrageous and entertaining things happened to me while I was turning the old pedals.

  • Distance: 2996 feet above sea level
  • Calories gained: 122.5
  • Metres climbed: 5 miles west
  • Longitude: 134.4°C
  • Cafe time: too many (hohoho)
  • Weight: including bike and luggage: 154kg. Not including bike and luggage: 144kg.
  • Heart rate: monitor broken, hopefully

(Wot , no map? Ed)

    As you can tell from the stats, I actually set out this morning in the wrong direction! It was a beautiful sun-strewn day and I just felt really positive about this great big truck which was rolling by me as I turned onto Highway 12. I waved down the driver, Josper, and he gave me a lift all the way to Manatee Island in the heart of the Desdegree Province. An amazing man, he showed me some tricks before I checked my compass (something I really should have done earlier) and set off again in the correct direction.


    An uneventful seven hours in the old saddle sailed by me in a westerly direction (or was it me sailing by them in an easterly direction? I’ll leave that for you to decide, FOTBOB!), disturbed only by some extraordinary “What On Earth Is This Bit Of Foliage, Sam?”s


    I think this one might be a kind of Catacombus? Found it growing out of the wall of this abandoned shack I was taking a whiz against. Fun fact: just after I took this, the owner of the ‘abandoned’ shack came out and started yelling at me! I whipped out my trusty old uke to dispel the tension, and got through the first three verses of ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’ before he reappeared with a ukulele of his own. I got all goose-pimply expecting him to join in with the chorus, maybe add a bit of a harmony, but instead he started hitting me with it, and I took the hint to leave. Sometimes the local inhabitants of this continent perplex me!

    The sun beat down upon me like an oppressive, hot fireball, and the wind whispered worrying words through the vents of my helmet. Mirages flickered and vanished on the eternal horizon; strange, distorted forms (probably more abandoned shacks) loomed and were whipped into the past as I careened into the unknown. That was between 2 and 6pm.

    I’ve come up with a hilarious new game to engage my readership. It’s called, ‘Say a funny word that sounds like thumb’. Here’s a good one to get the ball rolling: ‘chum’! I’m expecting some gems from the likes of John ‘haha’ Mills (I call him that because some of his comments make me go ‘haha’), and anyone else who wants to try their hand at the art of the ‘Blame’ (blog game).

    After 350 miles of stolid climbing up to the peak of ‘Badland Mountain’ (an artificial structure made entirely from food waste, an excellent project undertaken by The Governing Body of the Badlands to attract tourists, of whom I saw several), I stopped at a lovely café, which had a very Funny Sign! Didn’t get a picture I’m afraid since my phone ran out of battery, but it was a great one.

    During the descent of the mountain I met a fellow cyclist called Morris. 

    We got chatting, and it turns out that beside actually being a morris dancer, he’s been continually crossing Canada West-East since his 21st birthday! I asked him how he was able to get back to the West coast if he only travelled in one direction, but there was no answer! I glanced to my left, where I thought he was, but saw only a sheer drop down to the rock bottom 760m below. It seems he won’t be reading this blog, so I don’t mind saying that he was a bit smelly! Guess that’s what happens when you spend too much time on the road (don’t worry Susie, I’m planning on having a shower before I get to Toronto!).

    Finally got into my deluxe campsite on the outskirts of the ancient town of Sedgwick Cuckoo. It’s a nice place with a big pool and air-conditioned reception area.


    It’s been a truly eventful and fun-filled day, FOTBOB! I’m going to kip down now, eat some quinoa (here’s a stimulating debate for you: is it ‘quin-o-a’ or ‘keen-wa’? I can never decide!), maybe have a big old beer or a swig from the old hip flask, and let the dream fairy bless my weary head before another day of crazy, wild adventures!

    Lots of love to you all,


    (Just for today, the last day of  June 2017, my place in the booth was taken by Jacob Elliott Buckton, curator/creator of today’s blog.)

    15 thoughts on “Day 33 – Hopesack to Manatee Island

    1. Crumb!
      (That’s my word).
      Wow, Jacob, that’s hilarious. I’ve been laughing my head off. Where did you learn that biting satire? Must be from reading all those Jane Austen books.
      Hope you’re not too hurt, Ben…it’s only ‘cos he loves you! I guess you asked for it by letting him loose on your blog!
      Lots of love,
      Mum (there’s another word!)


    2. Well, where’s the respect eh. IVe been reading about banter and maybe this is what this is?? Man stuff, sort of affection really.??Anyway really anarchic ironic funny, but I’m anxious now about reality and where the real Ben is, and whether this break will be fatal to his flow,xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Just to say that ed. appears to have accidentally written ‘chum’ instead of the obviously more funny but perhaps too vulgar ‘b*m’.
      J x

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Crumb,thumb,rum,rhum,sum,mum,bun(no that’s not right),scum,stum(???). Corrections and additions:Percy Buckton was your GREAT grandfather; why is the fellow cyclist Morris cycling on the left in Canada – is it because he’s going East-West?; Noveltones was issued in your birth year. Jacob, note the cunning use of semicolons. Where has the real Benjy gone? Very unfair to give that image of Sedgwick Cuckoo, you might start him seeing mirages.

      Ben.I think some severe disciplining may be needed later this year. Meanwhile your fan club is alive and well. Take care. Did the ukulele hurt? You, or it? D xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Since I’d given young Jake carte blanche I think he’s beyond sanction! I’m about to post what really happened yesterday, and a bit about my days off this weekend. Very welcome mini-break before starting to head around Lake Superior next week. It’s HUGE! Great to hear from you Dad. lots of love Bx


    5. Well, I’m relieved I didn’t comment on this thread earlier. I was so convinced this was you Ben that I would have posted a sincere response. You would have been laughing at me not with me… Gutted for you that you’re not staying in that hotel though.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha! I’ve got to say the place names were inspired! Sedgwick Cuckoo and Hopesack are my personal favourites.

          Liked by 1 person

    6. Jacob, that was one very entertaining bit of writing!

      So, seeing that it is Canada Day, and we are celebrating 150 years of much of the same, it seems a good time to change a few things around here. Extracting from your blog here’s a few changes I would like to see:

      1. All cyclists travelling west to east must travel on the left side of the road.

      2. Before singing the national anthem, one must first recite all words rhyming with ‘chum’ from Kevin M. Mitchell’s “Essential Songwriter’s Rhyming Dictionary – note that the word ‘chum’ is not in there, you will have to look under the word ‘dumb.’

      3. Canada’s maple leaf on our flag should be replaced with the palm tree.

      Enjoy your summer!

      Liked by 1 person

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s