Thursday, August 23, 2007

2.8.07: Dover to Folkestone

9.05 am:
Temp 18C, humidity 41%, wind light westerly. Total mileage: 9 miles.

National Cycle Route 2 runs uphill out of Dover alongside the main dual carriage way to Folkestone, right beside the HGVs and the fumes, and there are a lot of both. To avoid this last year, I hauled my old bike along a vertiginous cliff path, but this new bike is too big and too laden.

After diverting through Aycliff village, then over a footbridge, the track comes out near this tunnel to Samphire Hoe Country Park. It looks dark and sinister but exquisite flowers and spotted red moths carpet the verges right up to its entrance. The fumes inside will make it too hard to ride through.

The track is relentlessly uphill, with that grey gravel on cycle tracks which grabs at the bike types and sucks out their energy. But despite this and the unseen drone from the carriageway, the land is beautiful and the weather good. Eventually the SheWee comes into its own, and partly concealed behind a bush, I wave merrily to an AA man who is parked in the layby beyond the cycle track.

12.20 pm:

As I'm eating an early lunch on some aesthetically rusty farm machinery, Dave and his children Tom and Vicki cycle by. They live in Capel-le-Ferne and promise to wave at me when I pass by their house later.

At Capel-le-Ferne I stop at the Cliff Top Cafe for an icecream. It's very crowded; people stare and don't smile. A little girl contemplates the drop.

4.25 pm:
Arrive at Gillian's in Folkestone, and exhausted I get an early night.