Day 6 – In Canterbury
A day off in Canterbury. Drizzly and then rainy in the morning, but it cleared in the late afternoon. We ventured out in the morning to get SIM cards for the mobile phones. Inge’s cold was worse and we retreated to the room to wait out the rain. A walk around the cathedral and a bit of the town late in the day, and a good dinner.
Day 7 – to a motel near Gravesend
A day with extremes of weather – at times sunny but some intense thundershowers. Also an introduction to the varieties of cycling on the N1 cycle path – quiet lanes, some paved paths, unpaved footpaths, many busy roads, and route signs that would disappear for miles and suddenly reappear. Slow progress with the time spent at each crossroad deciding which one to take.
Day 8 – to Maldon
A short ride to Gravesend to catch the rusty ferry across the Thames estuary. A working town, but close to London. A mix of posh and rough. Tilbury, on the other side of the river, was faded industry. We cycled along the river, following the bikeway signs. A locked gate and a bike portage, then on to stairs, the path descending to the river bank and a sign advising it might be submerged at high tide. We turned around, cycled part way back, but met a woman who had seen us earlier. She told us the path did continue beyond the stairs and was useable. Overgrown, narrow, unmaintained, but deserted and a treat to cycle four miles alone on the river beside farmland and unused land awaiting development.
Good cycling the rest of the way to Maldon, mostly on quiet lanes.
Day 9 – to Ipswich
Our best day in the UK. Sunny, little wind, sometimes a tail wind, quiet country lanes. The first day warm enough to ride in just a cycling shirt. Inge’s cold is better.