Tuesday May1 2012 Ashford Kent.
Hard to believe that a week has almost gone already........
After arriving last Friday, we had 2 nights at Crawley during which time we re assembled the bikes in our hotel room and then just managed to get them back downstairs in an elevator that was designed to hold 4 people!! Must say we did get some strange looks!
Even stranger looks when we set off into the pouring rain, fully loaded for the first time and after a quick spin around the car park it was off and at em!!
Managed to find a cycle/walk way almost all the way from Crawley to Tumbridge Wells, apparently it is an old railway line (part of national cycle route 21) Great not to have to worry about traffic, and we did get to see some rabbits and squirrells, and plenty of people out walking in the rain ( even family groups) couldn't imagine that back home!!
When the cycle path ran out, the road presented some challenging hills and we had to give in and push up the last hill to Tumbridge Wells ( about 4 mile) by the time we got there I was totally spent. We found the Tourist information but she was closing, luckily for us she felt sorry ( I must have looked really pathetic!!) and she was a tremendous help - Thanks Jan!!!
Monday was a much better day and we woke to sunshine and blue skies. After a 'Full English' (which is breakfast consisting of sausage, bacon, mushrooms, tomato, black pudding, baked beans and let's not forget the egg!) I'm suprised we could even get out of the dining room let alone cycle!!
Good cycling day, but really hard to follow routes as the roads are not very well marked and meander all over the place so we covered quite a few more than we probably needed to but it wasn't too bad. On roads today so passed through some lovely little villages with great old houses. In one village where we stopped to eat our left over Pizza (from last nights dinner) a local guy pulled up in his car and said "are you aussies?" he then stayed for a chat while we ate. Lots of people asking us where we are from and about what we are doing, and lots of people just saying hello, its really nice.
As it stays light here until about 8pm at the moment it is hard for us to follow the time of day and yesterday we just kept riding. We were hoping to get to a camping park and did not quite realise how far we would have to travel so 36 miles later ( that's just over 60ks) with lots of hills, we pulled into Woodland Camping park near Biddenden, only to find its office closed.
At this stage my heart dropped as I really did not think I could ride another mile and it was just starting to spit with rain!! A lady getting into her car pointed us to the camp ground warden's caravan, and as we wheeled our bikes over to him he just started shaking his head!
What now?? " No camping - ground is waterlogged!" Dave said to him " Not even for a little tent? The missus is knackered and can't go any further!" I tried to look even more pathetic (well didn't have to try hard for that,) and he relented and said the only hard patch was by the pond, and pointed to it.
We put the tent up as the rain started and as we were getting settled, Tony the warden came over to take our money etc. He turned out to be a really nice bloke and loved a chat.....
Rained all night but we were snug and warm in the tent. (very happy with our Hillaberg)
So gradually using all the thing we have bought. Not happy thoughwith the weight we are carrying so when we get to our relatives place in Elham we will reassess, and if we can find an electronics person, we might be able to get rid of the masses of chargers and cables. They alone weigh heaps.
In Ashford tonight before heading for Elham tomorrow. Not a big day today (nice) and it was good to stop at a pub for a pint and a pub lunch. Will try to get some photos sorted for the next blog and also put the on the photo diary.
No More Regrets!