Posted by: Zombi | June 8, 2010

Day 5 (the second half)

Well, it seems that I can still write my blogs and can store them prior to uploading them when I get a Wifi connection.

So, picking up from where I left you last. The ferry journey was remarkably quick. I only had time for a quick wash and change out of my cycling stuff, a swift 10 minute walk round the ferry, a lunch at the overpriced, under delivering ‘restaurant’ and then a 20 minute sit down before we arrived in Calais.

A swift change later and I was back down in the dingy holding bay. I was on the right side of the ship in my only little queue behind the motorcyclists. To our left there were three rows of cars packed in, nose to tail. Drivers already looking frustrated they are confined in and amongst the ‘enemy’ that is every other road user. All wishing they were out on the open road, free. All oblivious to the fact free is the last thing you are in a car, trapped in the box, told where to go, pressure and stress forced upon them whilst the tax man empties their wallet with gay abandon.

The jaws of the ferry opened, throwing up it’s latest meal and we all spilled out. The motorcyclists and I avoided the queues of traffic exiting the port then I was on the open road. So long suckers…

Then I broke down… and it started to rain.

In my excitement at reaching Calais, I had not secured my right rear pannier securely and one of the straps hag entangled it’s self in my rear wheel, taking half the mudguard with it. The sudden rasping sound was confirmed not to be tesco’s final hurrah from last nights ‘curry’ when the bike ground to a swift halt. Fortunately I was able to untangle everything, bend the guard back in to place and head off with no lasting issues.

With only 25 miles to my campsite, and a strong tailwind behind me I was rattling along nicely. As I had got out of the suberbs of Calais I started to think about getting some money out. I hadn’t bothered before you see and I only had £17.63 on me which would be no good anyway. It keeps it more interesting having a bit of pressure you see. As the miles ticked by and the little villages passed without incident, or cash point, the pressure started to mount a little.

With about 5 miles to go till the campsite it struck me, my garmin is programmed with thousands of shops, restaurants, garrages and cash points. After a couple of clicks I was pleased to see that the next village was home to numerous cashpoints and with only a very small detour I was finally reunited with some usable currency.

The strange thing about arriving in France was the lack of notable change. Other than riding on the other side, which I have really had to concentrate on, especially at junctions, nothing is any different. I had not spoken to anyone and had not stopped anywhere long enough to hear people going about their daily business. It was only when I arrived at the campsite that I really started to feel like I was abroad.

The site it’s self is very nice although due to rain over the last day or so my pitch did seem to be very wet underfoot but shifting 60 or so yards to some better looking ground was a big improvement. My tent was still soaking wet from this morning so I put it up and hoped the freshly appearing sun would do it’s business and dry everything out while I showered. Delightfully it did, with a little help from a light breeze.

Showered and clothes washed I wandered up to the campsite restaurant and demolished the smallest cheeseburger I have ever seen. Time for a relaxing evening and then ready for the 75 miles in plan for tomorrow. Great…

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