Last year sometime, I don't remember exactly when I was leaving for one of my cycling trips starting with a train journey from Selly Oak station in Birmingham. It was early in the morning and having some time to wait I decided to treat myself to a coffee.
There is a tiny coffee shop at the station and I had seen it many times as I used to commute from this station to Worcester, I noticed that since I had stopped commuting it had changed owners and it was now being run by an asian couple.
I aproached and ordered my coffee, they were happy for me to lean my bike against their counter whilst I fiddled with sweetners and as happens we began talking and the conversation came round to my bike. They asked if I cycled often and I told them about my trip around the UK coast. They immediately suggested I should stop at any Hindu/Sikh Temple as they would feed me for free a tradition called "prasadam". They also said that should I need help or rest they are a wonderful place to go.
Here is a link to the Wikipedia article on Prasadam: Prasadam
It brought back memories from my school days of a visit to the Guru Nanak temple in Birmingham and a visit with my best friends mother to celebrate Diwali. I have decided to make it a definite goal of my trip to visit a temple so I am now searching for one neare enough to the coast and to try and arrange a visit there. I am also going to try and visit a few other religions on the way as I have always managed to visit a few churches on most of my trips.
Now I should state that I am an athiest but I think that a religion that brings people peace and promotes unity is a wonderful thing and I have found truly religious people to be accepting of the imperfect and understanding of others so I think this has the potential to open up some wonderful experiences on my journey.
I am going to make a visit to a temple prior to my trip and I will blog about any experiences I have on the way!