Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Day 4 Lands End - John O'Groats - Lands End On A Honda C90

I should at this point clarify why I have just ridden through Dover on my way to John O'Groats after setting off from Lands End in case you were wondering!

The simple fact is that the journey from end to end going the shortest possible route, even just on A roads is a bit of a challenge, but me being me wanted to push the boundaries a little which is why I decided to make it a back to back challenge. Lands End to John O'Groats and back to Lands End.

However, it still sounded just a little bit too easy, so to spice it up and make it a real challenge I decided to add in the other corners of the UK. Being Dover and Durness which is the most North Westerly point of the British Isles.

Now this was a challenge! Especially as I was riding a 27 year old Honda C90!

And this was how I found myself yesterday travelling through Dover. The first leg of the journey completed!

Setting off from Margate with a thick head courtesy of "Diggers" was not the best way to start the day, but it had to be done.

Out of Margate and onto the A299 and followed that till I hit the A2. Now this next section is the part of the journey that I was most concerned about. Heavy traffic, multi lane dual carriageways and a Honda C90 do not mix!

I had a fuel stop along the A2 and this is where I was snapped by a member of the Lambretta Club UK. Who posted the pics on facebook wanting to know who this idiot was! It took only a matter of hours for it to be confirmed that it was indeed my good self! The power of facebook - scarey!

I then decided as I was getting closer to the end of the A2 to have a final check of the map at the next service station as my next stop would be the other side of the Thames after going through the Dartford tunnel.

I decided to brim the tank once more as I was stopped and as I was doing this I spotted the Highways Agency Enforcement Officers. So I decided to chance my arm and wandered over with my map for a chat.

After a bit of light hearted banter where I said it would may be an idea for them to escort me through the tunnel as it was either that or potentially have a massive tail back, a possible accident, or worst case scenario scooping me into bags. After a few looks at each other and a bit of head scratching they thought an escort a rather good idea!

We set off with them following me, now the A2 goes into 5 lanes, flat out I'm doing 45mph which is nothing when you have cars passing you at 80mph plus! I was in the nearside lane and at one point I had to get over into lane 3. Without the boys behind me and with the speed of the traffic this would of been impossible. They moved lanes and I moved in front of them and so on till I was in lane 3 - phew!

Through the tunnel out the other side, off at the first junction a wave goodbye and off I go through Grays and heading for Brentwood. So a big thank you to the lads for helping me out. 

To be honest apart from the last stretch of the A2 it was not half as bad as I thought it would be. Onwards through Chipping Ongar where I picked up B roads through Great Dunmow and headed for Haverhill.

Continuing on through Bury St Edmunds, Thetford Forest, and up towards Kings Lynn. Picking up the A17 towards Boston and then the A16 I finally decided to find a campsite to stay the night.

This is where it all got a bit complicated! Using UK Campsites, I managed to find one reasonably close to where I was near, East Kirkby in Lincolnshire. I phoned up spoke to a lady who gave me directions and within 20 minutes I was pulling up at what I thought was the campsite.

A lady came out who had the biggest mass of bedraggled dreadlocked hair I had ever seen! It even had what appeared to be a cushion in it! I told her I had just phoned up which she said "oh you must of spoke to my sister" and I thought no more of it. I was shown where roughly to pitch and the loo's/showers etc and left to get on with it.

I had decided on a routine for pitching camp and the first thing to do was to get a brew on, the second was to put the tent up, then sort kit and before I relax refuel and check the oil on "Lucille" This worked well the whole trip and I kept to it.

The picture with the view from the tent, I was making a brew first thing in the morning. I was away reasonably sharpish after a good nights sleep.

Soon after pulling away, I received a text message from the camp site owners saying sorry we were not there to see you when you arrived last night! Work that one out as I couldn't!!!

The journey continues..........

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