Monday, 17 May 2010

Day 2 - Channel Tunnel to Haut Pichot - 15th May

Joe and Pierre made it to breakfast on time and munched their way through scrambled eggs, sausages, juice and hot drinks before donning clothes to suit the chilly start and then ensuring the bikes were packed up again.

Joe on right, Pierre on left.

Cyclists can't travel as foot passengers with their bikes on the Channel Tunnel in the way that they can on the ferries, but they must use the Eurotunnel Cyclist minibus and trailer service that runs twice a day at 8 and 15.30. Time for a few photos and goodbyes and then they headed off to the Tunnel, though the driver warned that there would be delays due to a train stuck in the tunnel....

I then headed off for the station and the first of my four trains to take me to Kingston to spend the rest of the weekend with a friend - Joe and Pierre should be in France and en route to Haut Pichot by the time I arrived at Kingston. That was the idea - but as I travelled towards London, they were still waiting at Cheriton and I was comfortably installed beside the river with a glass of wine before they left England. The route to Haut Pichot from the tunnel exit is very hilly, and they were tired and hungry ( good thing they did make breakfast that morning, as lunch was cancelled!). They actually arrived in France at the time they'd hoped to be arriving at Haut Pichot, and still had a long hard cycle ride ahead. We contacted friends in Northern France to see if they could assist, but they couldn't transport the bikes, and cycling to their home would be the same distance as travelling on to Haut they had to battle on. They just reached Haut Pichot in daylight, having struggled up the hills and added to their journey with a few minor wrong turns - but they made it at around 9.45 french time!

Just time for a beer and a couple of sachets of Uncle Ben's instant rice ( better than Pot Noodle !) and then time to get into the sleeping bags...

Vital statistics : Tunnel to Haut Pichot 53 km, Average speed 10.5 km /h

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