Cheering me up was the knowledge that the first 16 miles were going to pretty much be downhill, which is never a bad thing. After a short climb past the racecourse and through St Arvans I was on a roll back alongside the Wye.
Tintern Abbey is always photogenic and Christmas Day was no exception.
The water levels of the Wye had dropped a few feet though the water was still a murky silted brown as it washed along. I washed along beside it and it felt like the miles were flying by compared to the previous days final slog. Over the bridge again at Bigsweir and a nod up the hill to my friends at Cinderhill Farm up in St Briavels, no stopping in for tea and cake today sadly. I doubt there was room to fit it in alongside the turkey and pudding.
The roads had been very quiet and I had almost seen as many cyclists out as cars as I came towards Monmouth. The High Street was deserted save for a few people ambling out, no doubt walking off the lunch.
The skies were darkening now as the evening started to creep in and the decorative lights were providing illumination as I rolled down the street.
Out of Monmouth and back towards Raglan and there is a lovely old rail bridge, incongruous in the countryside, that sits there as an empty reminder of times past.
The run back from Raglan always seems to be a nice stretch. It's a mix of ups and downs with nothing too taxing, yet plenty to absorb. If the wind is in the right direction as you head past Llansoy it takes all the sounds away so it feels as though you are riding in complete silence, with only visual cues to your motion. Sadly today was not one of those days and instead it was just another piece of road.
Fully enveloped by evening I rode into Usk. I was beginning to wonder what would be for tea. Leftovers perhaps?
The decorative lighting was still up and shining brightly in the Twyn Square.
Aha, the penny finally dropped; a power cut.
Shame really as I needed a shower!
After half an hour of sorting out and lighting oil lamps and candles there was a clunk and the power came back on.
For five minutes.
Then back off.
Then back on and stayed on. Brilliant, I could shower and rest.