Distance: 28km riding


In the morning thousands of people gathered on the shores of Ijmuiden to farewell us from The Netherlands. 

They even organised a parade of boats through the harbour, music blaring, people dancing... it was quite the nautical celebration. We wondered if it all spontaneously erupted simply because the sun came out... 

We enjoyed the party and headed off to the terminal of our departure. It was exciting to be going to Newcastle, and to be staying overnight in a cabin! Almost a hotel... with beds... and hot showers... 

The voyage across the north sea was quite rough, it was sometimes difficult to walk through the ship. And the pile of courtesy seasick bags on the table indicated this was normal.

We arrived in Newcastle to 17 degrees, winds and a forecast of heavy rain... But I felt so excited to be there! I wanted to talk to all the border workers as we made our way to the passport check, just because they spoke English... 


But getting into England was more difficult than expected. They wanted to know where we were staying that night, what was our route through England, when were we leaving... turns out many Australians overstay their visas and they wanted to check me out... especially since Sam has a UK passport so technically he can stay... It was harder than entering China!


Once I got the stamp and we were in the country we rode to the suburb of North Shields, where we found a fantastic bike shop. We spent a couple of hours looking at all the things we needed (and didn't need) and chatting to the store workers. One of the mechanics, Jesse from Arizona, invited us to stay with him and wis wife for the night. We gratefully accepted and spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the seaside of Newcastle.


I felt quite nostalgic being in the place my hometown was named after. Suburbs like Wallsend and Gateshead.. signs pointing to Morpeth. And it looked like Newcastle, the working harbour, beaches... I loved it! As we waited for Jesse to finish work and take us back to his home, we sat on a bench watching the surfers, joggers and energetic dogs... we could have been sitting on the beach on the other side of the world.

But we weren't. We were in England. And it felt good.
 


Comments

kory
08/21/2010 7:55pm

congratulations on making it to england, sounds like its gonna be an awesome visit to UK. and yes i do find it odd that u arent worrying about losing 15kg. and im pretty sure that weight was from the donut shop haha.

Reply
Birgit
08/21/2010 11:57pm

Hey guys
It is gr8 2 follow yr blog. Luv reading about yr adventures. Keep up the good work. Enjoy the journey with all the experiences...
Luv 2 both of you
Birgit & Daryl

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Gary Mac
08/22/2010 3:54am

Congratulations on the crossing and reaching the UK, fantastic achievement. Must be a good feeling to have a clearer converstaion despite the interest in how and where you will travel through the country.

Looking at your pics it would appear that someone (Shanna) has picked up the intesting habit of destroying chips with buckets of tomatoe sauce???? Or was it just to compliment that wonderful pie that you had waited so long for.

I look forward to your continuing travels.

Again fantastic achievement.

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Lesley Common
08/24/2010 10:27am

Hi

I'm Alan’s wife - the guy you kept bumping into when you arrived in the UK.

I was really disappointed when Alan didn't bring you home to stay with us when he met you in Asda. Hopefully you will come back some time in the future and visit us.

I just had to enlighten you on your belief that you had a rough crossing - I'm afraid that was a very calm crossing in these waters! We went to Norway about 3 years ago and the waves were crashing over the piers at Tynemouth as we left. The captain announced that it was force 8.

On our return journey, only minutes after we left Kristiansand in glorious sunshine and the captain telling us we would have a calm crossing, the waves started crashing on the top deck. They closed the outer decks and during our evening meal, all the food crashed to the floor on 3 occasions it was so rough. I was awoken in the night with the feeling that my legs had slid up into my abdomen with the swell of the sea. It must have been at least force 10.

The lack of a further update from the captain re the conditions, added weight to the severity of the situation and there was a sombre feeling on board the ship.

Yep, you definitely experienced a calm crossing!

Good luck with the rest of your journey - come back soon.

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