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Posts Tagged ‘Sabine Cappleman’

The White Cliffs of Dover

Posted by TravellingStrom on June 20, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown

I was a bit late starting today, but never mind, Bob had cooked me brekky and I was packed and ready to ride off just before 9am. Thanks Bob and Sabine for hosting me and it was great to catch up, maybe 26 years is too long between beers though eh 🙂

The skies were a bit fogged over at the start but I had about 700km to get to Southampton, plus a ferry ride and however long it takes to wait until the next one. As I was riding I saw this town exit sign and tossed off the idea of dropping in but nothing came of it 😉

The skies did clear up a bit later down the road, these bloody big fans must have blown them all a way, I wish they were turned off, it was very windy with them on!!!

I passed through Holland, then Belgium and was nearing Antwerp when the dammed GPS froze up again! It seems to do so just when it is needed, when I have major interstate systems to negotiate, so I wasted about an hour and 30km extra because it froze when I needed to know which off ramp to take, but it was too late, I was now on the ring road, then the city itself, before backtracking onto the right through road, very frustrating, but only one more day with it I hope. In the past I would have studied the road names and numbers and made a list of which one I needed to be on, but it is so easy to leave it to the gadget 😉

As you can see I am stopped in a not nice place, vehicles screaming past at 130kmh on both sides, but there was another off ramp ahead and I spent the time here until it had rebooted and made a decision to take this exit, it then promptly failed again after I took the turn, so I stopped again and rebooted, or in this case a Master Reset.

After getting out of this ring and town system, it was not too hard to navigate from this point, as all I had to do was follow the signs to Calais in France, then as I got closer, Calais car ferry signs. Once I was at the port, I went through customs, then the next stoppage was ticket control. I had not pre-booked a ticket, so I had to go through a gate, go buy a ticket, then ride back to the start and go back through the customs gate and ticket gate again, a bit like snakes and ladders it seemed to me 🙂 I had missed the earlier ferry and now had a two hour wait until the next one, but it gave me a chance to eat the sangers Bob had packed for my lunch, cheers m8, very tasty 🙂

Here I met some nice people to chat with in a car next to mine, and then a Chechen fellow came and checked out the bike, I met him a few times during the passage as well, nice to meet you m8 🙂

Once the ferry was unloaded we started to board, there were only three bikes, so we went first and the crew strapped us down, although with the sea being very calm, maybe not needed, but better to be safe and all that 🙂 Then we had a 1 hour 30 minute run to Dover, but with the gaining of one hour, it was shorter than that 😉 While on French soil I managed to contact a B&B near the Garmin HQ and sorted myself a room for the night with the option of a second if need be. I was seriously thinking of having a day indoors with a good internet connection so I could update the blog. Being with people like I have been for the past week or so, means no updates get done. I still want to do it daily while I can, but may shorten them a bit if I get too far behind.

The crossing was easy and I read my book on the sun deck, and it was sunny, very nice and calm although a bit hazy and it was not until we got close could I make out the White Cliffs of Dover, and then clicked merrily away like everyone else 🙂

They looked very nice with the sun shining on them and it looked to be good sunny riding weather in England, and here I was being a pessimist expecting rain, LOL. Now, I had misjudged the time a bit, I still had just under 300kms to get to Southampton and it was gone 4pm before I started to move out of the city of Dover, I had told them I would be there around 6ish. Once again I was riding on the correct side of the road, the left, and I was surprised how easily I managed to adapt, but there you go, I did 🙂 The next few hours were just motorway again, the speed limit was mostly 113kmh which I did when I could and I arrived at the B&B called The Willows at around 7.15pm. I booked in and promptly went about 200m down the road to the small pub called the Forest Inn where I had a few beers and a ham steak, egg and chips for dinner, very nice, washed down with another beer 🙂

I was pretty tired though and nearly fell asleep over my dinner 😯 But, I persevered until a respectable hour to leave a pub, near closing time, then had a nice hot shower and crashed out. Tomorrow was Garmin Day! I had one small issue, the power points in this land are different and I had no UK adaptors!!! That meant my laptop and phone were nearly without power until I could find some and the owners of the B&B did not have any! never mind, too late to worry about that tonight 🙂

Cheers from Southampton, England

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