Thursday, July 16, 2009

27 June 2009 - Day 28: Hayling Island to the Isle of Wight

The cable company workers have finished and gone. But newcomers in fearsome 4x4s arrived yesterday evening and they talk, shout and sing through the night.

10.15 a.m.

Temp: Warm, sunny, light westerly wind
O.S. Explorer Maps Nos. 120, 119 and OL29
Distance cycled: 11 miles

So, bleary and sleepless, I'm up early for the final pack. Brian helps me with Filthy Fox and I set off south for the Hayling Island to Portsmouth foot passenger ferry. The skipper, Mike, tells me about working the ferry and donates the £3 fare to the BLF.

Rita and Sue meet me on the Portsmouth side and take my baggage ahead in the car, leaving me to enjoy the Solent Way right up to the hovercraft, unburdened.

In Portsmouth, as part of the Forces Day festival, ships have been constructed out of wooden pallets.

1.45 p.m.

It's ten minutes on the ferry to the Isle of Wight, and that's it - I've made it! Although I have a ride planned for Monday, and a Breathe Easy event tomorrow whose location along the beach I check out by cycle, this is the symbolic end of the journey.

I set out on 31st May from Hastings. It feels far longer than a month. The day before I left I read an article about garden sheds.

"The route to the shed, up the meandering garden path, is important - the journey to somewhere dissipates the memory of where you've just come from..... Once you've got a shed, you carry it with you in your head - the sanctuary is always there." (Malcolm Temple interviewed by Dinah Hall, Guardian Weekend)

My profound thanks to the many friends who have supported me, donated to the BLF, and especially kept in touch throughout the trip. And Rita, I couldn't have done it without you.