Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Nearly there

This is Wednesday's blog - poor signal last night

It hardly seems possible this evening that I'm only 40 miles away from the 'finish' at Ipswich. Of course I still have to visit a number of ports and harbours, including Harwich, so the actual route is more like 80. But it's definitely all downhill from here. I'm well ahead of schedule, so two relatively simple days lie ahead before I reach Ipswich on Friday afternoon - at 4 pm. I've booked into a camp site at Thorpe-le-Soken tomorrow (Thursday), because I wanted to make sure I had a place. Some of the camp sites are getting crowded, now that the kids are on holiday. They're also getting more expensive. Yesterday's was £14 and tonight's £13. The average for the whole ride is more like £6 or £7.

By 14.00 today I was opposite where I'd camped last night, at Burnham-on-Crouch, on the other side of the river, but about 30 miles by road. To cross the Crouch I'd had to go inland as far as the first bridge, at Battlesbridge. From Burnham I headed across to Maldon and then to the camp site at Heybridge.

I keep giving away my 'business' cards. Today it was to two cyclists at the pub in North Fambridge, where I'd stopped for a much-needed beer. Not many seem to make a donation, but I guess they just forget about it once they've moved on. These two, pals from South Essex, indicated that they would be making a donation; we'll see.

It was the hottest day of the whole trip today; apparently 29 degrees. I got through three bottles of water and even that wasn't enough. I downed a fourth when I arrived at the camp site. There was a huge thunderstorm soon after I'd pitched the tent, the first rain for at least a week. It was coupled with strong winds which tested my tent-pitching techniques.

I went to a local pub this evening, the 'Mill Beach', for a scampi and chips. When they heard about my endeavour they very kindly donated £10 towards the Stroke Association.

My fifth 'Thought for the Day': Don't utter unnecessary words or phrases. These include 'to be honest' / 'to tell the truth' (or similar); 'you know'; I'm not being funny, but...'

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