Day 3. Heuvelland – Dover. 114km

Posted: May 19, 2012 in Belgium, Cycling, England, France
Tags: , , ,

Heuvelland -Dover

It didn’t rain overnight and the skies were surprisingly clear when I emerged early from my tent. The birds were already up proclaiming their deafening chorus. It was 5am. I packed up, ate my few remaining snacks (they didn’t have anything much to buy at the camping ground the evening before), and left.

Again, cycling early in the morning is the best time. The air is cold and crisp and there is a magic light. I took the back roads to Loker and the nipped across the border to Bailleau – a very quaint town, and so peaceful so early.

I nourished myself on wares from the boulangerie today at various stops. Lots of naughty pastries. It is France, after all. There was little else. They were very good.. 😉 Anyway, I’m sure the calories are burnt off..

The wind was predominately a head wind and the hills seemed more up than down. I had a slow pace, but it was nice, cool, cycling weather, the sun poking through the clouds from time to time.

Finding a road not impossibly busy with cars and trucks rocketing along is quite a challenge. At times such roads were unavoidable and rather unpleasant. The side roads were all the more rewarding. Narrow, meandering roads, flanked by fields and cows.

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The uphill rolling hills unexpectedly dipped precipitously into the town of Licques. It is a beautiful village at the bottom of a bowl of circling steep hills. What was it doing here? Lovely. Lunch at Licques, and then a short slog until the pass, from which I rocketed down all the way to Calais.

The harbour and all the infrastructure for the ferries is very impressive. After lining up with the cars, I had a restful trip across the channel before admiring the white cliffs on the way in to Dover.

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My plans of doing the cycle trip on the cliff top to Deal didn’t happen. I circled around and around in Dover before slogging my way up and immensely steep road to the castle on the hill. The road was so steep the front wheel almost reared up, nearly flipping the bike. I cycled briefly along the top before chatting with a guy sunning himself on a grassy area at the top. I realised Deal was way too far and steep. In fact, I decided to sleep in a hotel in Dover. Much more convenient than the planned camping ground at Folkestone. A good English roast for dinner and then off to bed. Early boat back to Calais and the up the coast as far as I can get.

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