Bike-Ride To Australia 31st-October 2011

Bike-Ride To Australia 31st-October 2011. Capel-Le-Ferne, England to Seclin, France. 93 miles. I’d forgotten the joys of travelling with only two of everything, especially at this time of year. Clothes never dry overnight, and you end up putting them on wet. Or don’t wash them! But after nearly ten hours of cycling, I don’t think it’d be fair on anybody else! Or me, for that matter!

After telling you about my failure to check the tent and bike yesterday, I discovered something else I should have checked on! I’d forgotten my toothbrush! Again nothing major, and I brought one later in the day. I just hope there’s nothing too substantial that I’ve forgotten! At least I know I’ve got my passport, two days clothes, tent and bike! So what else do I need?

I was up nice and early again today, and it was an easy downhill ride from the campsite to the ferry terminal in Dover. I had a bit of a shock at the ferry terminal when they charged me £30 for the ferry! The overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Le Havre doesn’t cost me that! But hey, if that’s what it is, then it is! I certainly wasn’t going to turn around! Goodbye England, bonjour France!

Lorry in France
Some things just don’t translate too well

The clocks changed on Saturday, so we lost an hour. It gets dark very early, especially here in France. I spent the last two hours of the day cycling in the dark. Unable to find a campsite, I found a cheap hotel instead and still managed to stay within my £40 a day budget! Although to do so I had to cook supper in the room, on my camp stove! You can’t beat a bit of hotel camping!

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Bike-Ride To Australia 30th-October 2011

Bike-Ride To Australia 30th-October 2011 Brighton to Capel-Le-Ferne 80 miles. Good facilities at the campsite last night, thanks to my mate Mick for telling me about it. It was good to see the old trick of turning up late and leaving early to avoid paying still works! Unfortunately, it didn’t work tonight. I arrived too early!

A nice early start this morning. I was on the road by 6 o’clock, just as it started to rain! After negotiating the hills around the Seven Sisters Country Park and Beachy Head, I reached Eastbourne and decided to stop. I found a lovely little café and ordered a full English fry-up, knowing it would be my last one for quite a while! It also gave me a chance to dry off after it had been raining ever since I left Brighton.

Seven sisters country park
Seven sisters country park

I should have checked some of my gear before leaving home! Firstly my backlight battery’s were flat! Then when I put my tent up, I realised that some of the sleeving that guides the poles had ripped! I suppose with over four years of packing the tent away wet, has finally taken its toll! At least it’s not got to last too much longer. I mean, it’s not as if I’m away for long!!

I hope to catch an early ferry to France tomorrow, my first foreign country, on this trip, and I’ll feel as if truly on my way!

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Bike-Ride To Australia 29th-October-2011

Garry McGivern's family and friends waving him off
The send-off from Garry’s local the Fox Inn in Felpham

Bike-ride to Australia 29th-October 2011 Felpham to Brighton. 29 miles. Well, the day’s finally arrived, and I’m on my way to Australia! It was a great send-off from the Fox, my local pub, and thanks to everybody that came to see me off. It was rather emotional! All being well, I hope to reach Australia in May or June next year.

I think the enormity of the trip only hit me on the short ride from home to the pub! Somebody from the local garage called out to me as I cycled past. “where are you off to this time, Garry?” “Australia!” I replied. Blimey, I’m actually on my way and wouldn’t see any of this for at least another six months! I did wonder whether the person who had called out believed me!

I spent a couple of hours in the pub talking to friends and family who had come to see me off. And I didn’t leave quite as early as I’d hoped. But then, hey, I wouldn’t be seeing any of them for a long time. When I eventually left the pub, saying I was a little anxious would be an understatement! But I was also excited to be on my way! After months of looking at maps and planning my route, applying for visas, plus everything else that goes with being away from home for half a year! I was now on my way!

A nice easy start to the trip, hardly any miles cycled and no hills! Which I knew as this wasn’t the first time I’d cycled to Brighton; this is also the only night stop I’d planned in advance. Although not that well, as it turned out! The campsite reception was closed when I arrived! Luckily I could still gain access to the site and pitch my tent. I think tomorrow’s ride may be a bit harder.

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