On This Day 29th-April-2011

2011, the year I set off to cycle to Australia, which I later turned into a worldwide bike ride. But on the lead up to my setting off. I’d decided to go for a ride up the Spanish coast. And on this day, 29th-April-2011, was my last day of cycling on mainland Europe.

Friday 29th-April-2011 Rouen to Le Havre, then Le Havre to Portsmouth by ferry. 81 miles.

This morning, I had a fast ride and cycled the seventy miles to Le Havre in record time (for me!), and I was in Le Havre by one o’clock.

I went straight to the ferry terminal in Le Havre and booked the ferry, which didn’t leave for another four hours. There is a faster ferry between Le Havre and Portsmouth, but that doesn’t start until May. With time to kill, I found a bar to sit in. It may have been a little early in the season, as there weren’t many places open.

After a couple of hours, I made my way back to the ferry terminal. And while waiting to board, it started to rain again, and the temperature dropped. Even though I wasn’t out in the rain, the Le Havre terminal has a polytunnel that bikes wait in before boarding. Something Portsmouth doesn’t have. You get wet if it rains in Portsmouth when you’re waiting to board! Anyway, the staff were brilliant and quickly got me on the ferry.

Off The Ferry

The crossing was smooth, and we arrived in Portsmouth just after ten o’clock. I’m not bothering to cycle back to Bognor tonight. It’s hardly worth it as I’m off to the Isle of Wight tomorrow. So I’m staying with Liz, one of my friends. See, I do have friends! I was just about to disembark from the ferry when I received a text from Liz. “I see the bad weather has followed you.” So I asked one of the stevedores if it was raining outside. I’d put my waterproofs on if it was. “non, monsieur, it is not.” So off I cycled.

Two seconds off the ferry, the heavens opened. It was like a monsoon. I got drowned. Luckily I didn’t have too far to go, and I was soon at Liz’s and able to have a nice warming shower.

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