Iain Harper and I exchanged messages as I was sitting in the precincts of Canterbury Cathedral and arranged to meet. We had coffee and he persuaded me that a comfortable bed in his house was a better option than scamp-site and I eventually agreed (I am worried about getting out of the camping habit after just one night under, well it isn’t canvas anymore but some lightweight material designed by NASA no doubt).
The cycle across the beautiful Kent countryside towards Deal where Iain lives with his partner Carly was stunning in the early evening setting sun and if I needed evidence to prove that this county really is the garden of England, I couldn’t have done better. I was, however beginning to tire and it was a relief, after 127 kms (from Abbey Wood that is, not Canterbury) to arrive at Iain’s house. Following a quick shower the three of us drove to the seafront in the town and ate. I could have eaten my lasagne three times over; the hunger has begun to kick in big time despite the extraordinary number of calories I must be consuming.
Iain & Carly were the perfect hosts; after eating we walked along the pier at dusk and then drove to Sandwich for another stroll and a quick drink. They were both interesting as people and interested in my little adventure. As a yoga teacher I pointed Carly in the direction of http://www.euronaissance.com , my destination in Puglia.
And so to Tuesday, my first border crossing and a bit of a rest day as U only have to cycle down the coast to Dover, jump on a ferry, meet up with Alain in Boulogne and cycle to his place. Iain gave my bike a quick once over and then I was off. To say that I had only met them barely 12 hours ago, I was as comfortable with them as I am with some people I have known for 12 years…. This Internet networking thing seems to work!
PS: If you are looking for a nice place to visit, you could do a lot worse than Deal. The first town to be recommended by eurovelo5.com 🙂