Trial By Rain

posted by: Justin

At least our first day was sunny ,as we wobbled off on our heavily laden bikes with waves from Andi and Mark. Cat and Graham accompanied us as an honour guard to Richmond Park with Graham acting as our own personal paparazzi. From Richmond we detoured to Bushy Park for tea and biscuits with Julie and Will. Then with the sun still shining and our heads filled with farewells we cycled towards Liphook our rough half way point between London and Southampton.

       

Somewhere along the way our route took us a bit further East than we had planned and Hurt Wood free campwe realised our original plan was a bit ambitious. As we cycled through Hurt Wood in the late afternoon, we spotted a likely looking forest path and hopped off bikes to investigate. After walking for a few minutes down it we bravely decided to free camp for the first time ever. Queue our first ever camping risotto (why haven’t we made it before) followed by a night of broken sleep where every tree rustle, falling pine cone and passing deer was going to be either a forest ranger, the police or a badger driven wild by our empty tin of salmon.

The next morning It was dead quiet and misty and we were up early and out of theFerry Hamble to Warsash woods before 8am without seeing a soul. As we approached Cranleigh for breakfast rolls the sun continued to shine but it wasn’t to last. Just after lunch it began to lightly rain as we cycled South from Alton and continued to get heavier all afternoon. We consoled ourselves with thoughts of our warm showers hosts in Southampton and by singing choruses of various rain related songs (we know very few full song lyrics).

Reaching the welcoming home of Oanh and Nick the rain soaked afternoon quickly faded as we drank tea and enjoyed lovely fish tacos. We talked late and slept soundly in the warm dry beds after checking the cycle computer to discover we had racked up a huge day of cycling fully loaded at 112.3 km.

Day 3 began with a light drizzle but our spirits were high as we followed Nick through Southampton on our way to cycle along the coast towards Gosport. Our plan was to break the journey into two days camping between Hamble Le Rice and Gosport on Tuesday night before the ferry to Santander on Wednesday. Nick had said pubs in Hamble were good so with the rain still drizzling away we settled by the fire in the King and Queen for a final pub lunch and some quick emails.

From Warsash the route we followed was an un-driveable, muddy, pot hole cratered Breakfast Chilli Gosporttrack so we ended up pushing our bikes along for about 30 minutes. After searching for a free camp spot and only finding flooded tracks or fields we decided to aim for a marked camp site at Gosport. Emma discovered a slow leak on a busy main road which slowed us down although Justin felt like a member of a formula one pit crew as he quickly swapped the tube allowing us to continue in the fading light. Spotting an access road into a park on the edge of Lee-On-The-Solent we decided to make camp: very wet, very cold and very tired. Our tent was only partially hidden, and we listened to fog horns and our rustling bike cover throughout the night hoping no-one would be mean enough to move us on.

We were up early awakened by the sounds of dog walkers and cycled on towards the Ferry to Santanderferry stopping for a brief breakfast of chilli cooked by the ferry terminal in Gosport (go the Primus Omni Fuel). Justin got his first puncture on the way through Portsmouth but this only caused a minor delay before we sped quickly through the boarding gates and into our warm, dry cabin headed for Santander. Our cabin is now bedecked in drying tent and clothing from every available surface should all be dry by the time we dock tomorrow morning in Spain!!

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4 responses to “Trial By Rain”

  • Hello my luvlies,

    it’s so good to see your smiling photos, you look fantastic. We had a surprise sushi party at Cat and Grahams for Cats Bday. Jan played head chef and everyone had a go at making sushi, most were very tasty and surprisingly successful. Graham had organised it all with aplomb and shopped for the freshest fish and strongest sake. You were greatly missed and your old flatties told us they shed some tears when you left. C & G are cycling up north across britain over easter, Jans crazy busy at work and the baby is health, happy and bound to be made of chocolate. I’m sending you thoughts of delicious easter eggs and hot cross buns. Take care of each other, we’re all thinking of you. Arohanui, Andrea, Jan and Chiwi

  • Andrea on April 3rd, 2010 at 7:32 pm
  • P.S please stick more green pins in your map so we know where you are!

  • Andrea on April 3rd, 2010 at 7:34 pm
  • Hey Juma! We’re taken some inspiration from your adventure and we’re off to Portugal for the week. Yay for standby tickets and 20 degree sunshine! We’re taking our gear and hiring bikes near Faro… Fancy doubling back to meet at the border? We need to borow your gas cooker! Lovely to read about your exploits and hope you continue to have a great time. If you can make rissotto I bet it’s just a matter of time before you master paella! Mucho aroha, Cat and Graham

  • Grat on April 5th, 2010 at 4:25 am
  • Cat and Graham good for you guys in Portugal enjoy the warm weather, seafood and cycling. We have been between 4 and 10 degrees today and very wet.

    Andrea good to hear all is well with chiwi and sushi evening sounds yummy and fun. Next time we are eating couscous and chorizo we will dream of more than one pot meals.

  • Justin on April 7th, 2010 at 1:23 pm

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route map for this post

The map below shows the waypoints for this blog post. To view the details of our trip to date take a look at our complete route map.