Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Europe Bike Tour (I)

On Thursday 19 March, I flew from NZ back to the UK. I arrived on Friday morning and briefly caught up with a couple of friends.

On Saturday, I travelled to the storage unit that held my possessions and assembled my bike touring gear. (In the end, I didn't take the vacuum cleaner with me.)

I loaded my bike and cycled 14kms from Littleport (north of Ely) to a camping ground at Little Thetford (to the south). It was exhilarating. After years of dreaming about this trip, I was finally on the road.

I wandered back into Ely and stocked up on groceries for the trip. In the ditch on the side of the road was a Coldplay CD. That is, of course, the correct place to store a Coldplay CD.

At Tescos, I bought an insulated shopping bag. I strapped it to the front rack and it actually held my food for the entirety of the trip. I also bought a strip of black elastic from the haberdashery department. It held my sleeping bag on my bike for the entire trip.

I cooked pasta for dinner on my camp stove.

On Sunday, I cycled through Bury St Edmonds to Thurston, where I stayed at a camp ground that I've visited before. I crossed a number of hills in Suffolk and it became immediately apparent that I was not remotely fit for cycling. It was also getting dark very early in the evening and seriously cold at night.

I walked a few miles to a pub for a roast dinner.

On Monday, I turned south to head around the River Stour inlet to get to Harwich. I stopped for lunch in Hadleigh, which is a very pretty market town with old half-timber houses. It reminded me of Lavenham.

I saw various forms of English wildlife, but it was all smeared along the road.
Q: What sound does it make when you run over a fox?
A: Boom boom.

I cycled through Constable country. I don't know why it's called that - I didn't see any police at all.

I reached Harwich in the evening but had to wait hours for the ferry boarding to start. It was terribly cold on the coast. I decided to use the time to install a new bike chain, but it refused to connect. I eventually worked out a solution, but I almost froze in the process.

Sat 21 March (14km): Littleport to Little Thetford
Sun 22 March (65km): Little Thetford to Thurston
Mon 23 March (70km): Thurston to Harwich

Total: 149km

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