I was thinking that with such a life changing event, I might need “an update” – a new beginning. So, I decided to try something that I ALWAYS wanted but never dared…
It doesn’t look that bad,does it?
Overview: London to Portsmouth
With all the “formalities” done, it was time to hit the road! All those months thinking, planning, dreaming and talking about cycling4smiles and THE day has finally arrived! Great to be on the ro… oh no wait! Disaster and 7 heels… As I was cycling to buy my tent, the rear derailleur snapped and hit the spokes of the back wheel breaking the shifter and bending the wheel. 2 MILES INTO IT…There is so much to be grateful for that I cannot really complain. First of all, the bike Mechanic, Daniel (you are going to be a legend in Romania as I said) from the GO Outdoors shop was the nicest person! I was expecting a grumpy “sorry pal, cannot help you” but he managed to turn my frown into a smile! Oh wait, that is the first smile on my smile-meter and it is mine, how ironic. Apart from having a calming, pleasant conversation he walked me through what could be done with my soon to be companion for 40 days.
I decided that being a new bike, I must go back to the shop where I purchased it and asked to be repaired on warranty. Fast-Forward 24h and a missed pre-paid ferry and I was on my way!
Stage 1 took me from London (Basingstoke) to Portsmouth Harbour
TIP: You can see some of the stats on the right-hand side of the page.
Oh, you could tell that it was my first day, I stopped around 100 times just to arrange my panniers and sleeping bag. At one point, I lost my sleeping mat on a downhill section and had to go all the way back up to recover it. The landscape, made everything worthwhile! Cycling through the Hampshire county you cannot help but stare at the grand mansions and the beautiful hills. Even though most of my time riding was in the rain, I was so happy to be on the road and ride free as a bird.
Especially passing through the South Downs National Park – just before sunset on a misty day. Perfect photo opportunity! If you haven’t been for a walk there and you live in London – Do it! And if you can add in a bike on the train or in the car – you will be a very happy (wo)man.
Arriving into Portsmouth at around 9:30 I knew I already missed the overnight ferry to St. Melo but to my surprise I hear there is another one going to Caen (I thought nearby). So, I said to myself why not? Gives me a place to sleep and gets me somewhere at the same time. 30 min later I was having a shower in the Mont Saint Michel ferry. Cheerio England and with me “shipping” away, I have also done and dusted one of my 10 countries on the list. See you in September brits!
To find out where I will be next please check here. Meanwhile don’t forget to leave your impressions, suggestions or ideas in the comment box below!
P.S: Don’t forget to smile and make other people smile!