avoidingeurope

Thoughts and tales from the saddle - on my own in Europe.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Day 254 - Chichester - Southern England

Monday of this week, 10pm, I'm sitting in bed in a small hotel in the French town of Abbeville, contemplating the next four days riding to Le Harve. Well, more the fact that they will be my last four days riding rather than the actual riding itself.

I phone home and speak to my parents, as has become routine on a Monday night. "I'll be on a ferry to Portsmouth this Friday," I tell my Dad. "What time?" he asks. "I don't know, whenever they go, I suppose." I can hear my Dad clicking on his computer, using our friend Google to find ferry times. "Oh." He says. What? "Oh," he says again. What?? "There are no ferries sailing from Le Harve between the 17th and 26th November. Additional services are running from Dieppe." "Ok," I say, "I'll just go from Dieppe then." I think about this for a second, then it hits me. "It's tomorrow," I say. "What's tomorrow?" "Dieppe," I reply, "I planned to be in Dieppe tomorrow. I can catch a boat tomorrow. This time tomorrow night I'll be in England. Tomorrow, this will be over." "There you go then."

There, indeed, I go. Or rather I did...err...go, hence the location of this post.

My last day of riding, yesterday, was 40 miles of constant rain, headwind and lorry spray slapping me in the face, up and down the gentle rolls of the French coast until I reached the outskirts of Dieppe at about 3pm. A sign sent me right to the ferry terminal and as I started rolling downhill a view opened out in front of me. Something I'd been waiting to see for a long time - the sea, the channel. I rose out of my saddle and took in the view, patted my bike on the frame. "We've done it," I told him.

500 metres further on there's a small ferry terminal at the base of a cliff. I go into the reception and am told there's a ferry sailing at 5pm, check in closes in about half an hour. Just enough time for me to take a cheesy victory photo of me and Hewy (the bike) at the channel, at the end of our journey:

p.s. This blog will continue - I'm not finished yet!

6 Comments:

  • At 4:28 pm, Anonymous Paul R said…

    Congrats on your return, hope it's not too much of a culture shock!

     
  • At 6:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Welcome Home!!

    roger

     
  • At 12:34 pm, Anonymous Paula said…

    Nice one, P. Safe and sound.

     
  • At 10:52 am, Anonymous Will said…

    Congratulations - what an epic trip.

     
  • At 3:05 pm, Anonymous Andy The Drummer said…

    Welcome Back Percy!!!!

    You're my hero. I can't believe you actually did it.

    Andy

     
  • At 4:45 pm, Blogger Percy Herbert said…

    Ha ha! Thanks Andy, and everyone else. Of course I did it - I said I was going to didn't I?!

    Wanted to send you email Andy but can't find your address anywhere...drop me one? percyherbert@googlemail.com

     

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