Friday, July 18, 2014

Day 69: to Bottisham (117; 4660)

The ferry has an interesting business model. 

The passenger part is a bit like a casino: there's a captive audience and the aim is to keep them in places that will induce them to spend for as long as possible. It's really hard to find your way out on deck and even the way to the cabins is hidden, so you have to traverse as many attractive entertainment/ shopping/ eating/ drinking areas as possible. The ship docked this morning at 4am but passengers aren't let off till 6.30. In the meantime the other part of the business, the freight lorries, are moving fast. The chap who sold me a coffee told me that they unload 200 lorries and start reloading for before they let the non-freight passengers off. As Alex said, sort of amazing that people put up with this - in Greece there would be a riot! Someone else told me this was allegedly because customs didn't open until 6.30. Which makes you wonder who searches the incoming lorries...

In contrast to the way over I slept really badly - perhaps because a day's riding is no longer enough to tire me out. Or perhaps because I'd been watching the rather scary 'Woman in Black' immediately before bed. 

Once we hit English phone reception I got a reassuring voicemail saying Mum's ok and home, so that cheered me up.

It was a hot an humid day in England but with no longer any fear re. hills or distance I took the scenic route home. I tried out national cycle routes 51 and 13 - both lovely but quite the contrast to be back on UK roads, where marked cycle routes sometimes involve an A road with heavy traffic shooting by... Such a contrast. I definitely had more scary moments in this one ride than in cycling eg in Budapest, Prague, etc.

I only went on the wrong side of the road twice. Oops. Let's hope that part of my brain reprogrammes before I drive anywhere. (I was laughing at a Dutch guy on the ferry who had a printout on top of his handle-bar bag saying 'ride on the left!'.)

So a looping, swooping 117km put me back where I started, at Vic's house in Bottisham. Job done!

Trip stats:

69 days; 4660 km; 12 countries

68 nights:
2 on boats
9 staying with friends
11 in hotels and apartments
8 in hostels
38 camping

Flat tyres: none
Chain incidents: 2 
One broken pannier rack
One new set of rear gears

I'm pretty happy with that! Not bad for a first solo cycle tour. It won't be the last.

1 comment:

  1. And lovely it was to see your smiling face out of the bedroom window when I got home!