Stayed overnight at the Salisbury Youth Hostel. Today was an excruciatingly long day; eleven hours of cycling from Salisbury to Oxford.
Made a brief stop at Stonehenge. The giant stones were outweighed by the number of tourists milling around them. Bus loads and bus loads of them.
Continued North through a military base on Salisbury plane. It is somewhat disconcerting to be watched by gun toting sentries as one cycles past.
According to the map there was a "Pumping Station" a few miles from my planned route. Not knowing what to expect, I took the detour and discovered a pair of three storey high steam engines. The Crofton beam engines were (and still are) used to pump water from the bottom of the neighbouring canal, up the hill, to the top of the canal. This enabled extra barges to go through the locks.
The detail that amused me the most was that one could see small fish swimming around inside the condensers of the steam engines. This makes sense given that the water is pumped in from the canal, but it looks really odd to have fish living in a steam engine. Amazing what one can find down a back road in the middle of the English countryside.
Oxford appeared on the horizon as evening approached. I met Chris Allen at his flat in Oxford and he showed me around the city. Chris will be joining me for the Oxford to Edinburgh section of the trip.
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