Well, there was one last ferry crossing, from the Hook of Holland back to Harwich. Glad to say it was on Stennaline who have the belief that a ferry crossing can be enjoyable and a good experience rather than simply a crossing.
England was exactly how I left it -cold, muggy and raining at 6:30 in the morning and it was a matter of choice whether to get wet (without the rain jacket) or have a sauna with the jacket on. But by midday the rain at least stopped.
Having gotten used to the smooth roads and bike paths of Europe, coming back to bumpy, rough and potholed roads of England was not a particularly welcome situation and soon the spokes on my rear wheel started to protest and break. But at least there was a good bike in Colchester and the mechanic had respoked the wheel so it would last to London. But I will need to get it rebuilt when I’m back in NZ.
So, while the roads and drivers were terrible, the countryside was quite lovely including this field of poppies.
Well the trips just about over, quite different from what I had planned but thoroughly enjoyable. Next one? Probably Germany and the Danube…….
Any journey has moments of ups and downs, but also ordinary moments. Moments that stay in the mind. Today it was the Policeman on his bike who kindly told me I was cycling in a pedestrian only area. He didn’t rebuke me, issue a ticket but just showed me where I could cycle then asked where I was heading and pointed out the way.
Amsterdam was only some 16 ks or so to the east so I thought I’d cycle there for a day of museums, culture etc. on the way there I met a girl, who spoke no english, asking for directions to the Ikea store in Haarlem and with much ado I found it on my GPS and we went on our own merry ways.
After ingesting the crowds, dope smoke and general noise of Amsterdam for all of 15 minutes, I decided – not for me and headed back past Haarlem to the beaches, all be it into a rather vicious headwind. Never having been to an Ikea store before, I stopped by the one in Haarlem. And immediately got lost, in a store that only sells household furniture and goods! Finally I found my way out and had a quick hot dog and, you guess it, met the girl I had given directions to some 3 hours before. Anyway I continued on to the beach.