The End Of England (August 4)

Colchester to Harwich

Waking up early doesn’t always lead to getting on the road early. Actually, my skills in the field of procrastination often makes the opposite scenario a somewhat frequent occasion. This would be one of those mornings. So much so that I didn’t even depart this morning.

Last night's pub.

Last night’s pub.

The morning came and went VERY quickly and it was about 1:30 PM when I finally hit the road. My host, Pam, had long since left for work but fortunately I was able to get a photo with her before she had to leave. Yet another great Warm Showers host.

The late start was essentially attributed to my efforts to track down a Warm Showers host where I could store my bike while I’m in Africa. I’m not sure if I actually ever mentioned my pending Africa excursion prior to my (non-sequential) “Current Events” update of a couple of days ago. To recap, the plan is to take tonight’s overnight ferry from Harwich, England to Hook of Holland. From there, it should be a leisurely ride to Amsterdam where I’ll be spending the night at a yet to be determined location before meeting up with my friend Gage (from Philadelphia) on Saturday afternoon. And from there we’re bound for Kenya to do some preliminary work on documentary Gage has in the works.

Harwich.  My last town in England.

Harwich. My last town in England.

As for today, the plan was simply to get to Harwich in time for the ferry. Considering Harwich is less than 40 km from Colchester I wasn’t too concerned about the ride. Especially considering the ferry wasn’t scheduled to depart until 11:00 PM.

As previously mentioned, I was finally packed and on the road by 1:30 PM comfortable in the fact that I was able to confirm storage for my bicycle during my Africa sojourn. Next stop, Harwich.

As anticipated (and hoped), the ride to Harwich was pretty much effortless. The weather wasn’t a factor – other than the fact that it was sunny and warm. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been enjoying the slightly better weather that I’ve been experiencing recently. I’m reasonably confident there will be more rain in my future but for now I’ll enjoy the sun while it’s here.

I arrived in Harwich without incident and with plenty of time to spare before I needed to be at the ferry terminal. As such, I decided to simply pedal around town for a bit. I made a stop for provisions as I suspected I’d probably want to eat something during the ferry crossing. Yes, it’s an overnight crossing but that doesn’t mean hunger won’t kick in.

Final fish and chips in England.

Final fish and chips in England.

With this being my final day in England, I also decided I should have one more fish and chips meal before I left. This time it was from Piesas Chippy. I’m not going to say it was the best fish and chips I’ve had on this tour (that honour would likely go to Drake’s in Knarseborough) but it was still good. And a fitting last supper in my last town in England.

I had anticipated having a few hours of downtime while waiting for the ferry and planned on devoting that time to once again get caught up on these updates. Sadly, as is often the case, that plan didn’t work out. At all.

Despite arriving at the ferry terminal about six hours before departure, there was precious little time where I could actually be productive. Specifically, about an hour. The rest of the time was spent waiting in the queue.

There was a brief moment of panic when I pedalled up to the registration booth where I learned that my reservation was confirmed but apparently when I booked my ticket online I didn’t indicate I had a bicycle. I found that hard to believe because, well … I’m always on a bicycle. Fortunately, an extra £7 payment at the booth was all it took to get my bike cleared for the ferry. Whew.

Waiting to board.

Waiting to board.

Boarding started around 8:30 PM but I think it was after 9:00 PM before those of us on bikes (motor and push) were allowed to board.

Since this was to be an overnight crossing I was forced to book a cabin with my fare. As such, upon boarding I moved my gear to my cabin – not ALL my gear though. I opted to leave most of my gear on my bike (much like the other cyclists on the ferry) because, well … I really didn’t want to lug everything up and down about eight flights of stairs. As for the cabin, I hadn’t paid a single supplement fee so I wasn’t entirely sure if I was going to have to share the cabin with someone. I’m not going to lie, it was very nice to find out I had the place to myself.

After getting settled in my cabin, I explored the ferry for a bit. As ferries go, it was pretty nice. There were restaurants, bars, entertainment rooms, lounges, internet area, and so on. Of course, with the crossing being at night there wasn’t much to see as we departed. Before I knew it, the time was after midnight and fatigue was setting in. It would be another night where the blog updates would have to wait. I know, I know. There have been a lot of those.

On the upside, when I wake up tomorrow I should be in the Netherlands.

Today’s totals:
Distance travelled: 45.44 km
Ride time: 2:42:37
Average speed: 16.76 km/h*
Maximum speed: 41.54 km/h

* there was a lot of slow cycling through town which brought down today’s average considerably.

Follow me

Comments are Closed

© 2021: Mark's Midlife Crisis | Travel Theme by: D5 Creation | Powered by: WordPress