Highgate to Ingatestone
What a day! It's August. Last full week of the school holidays. But jeez, did it rain. It was lashing it down, right from the start.
After the last two longish stages, today was going to be a short hop into rural Essex. Maybe 45 miles. Tops. So we had a late start (10 am). Initially, we pedalled the short distance from Highgate up to Alexandra Palace. This hill provides panoramic views over London. Not today. We could barely see each other, such was the combined effect of the rain and mist. Quite cold too.
We pedalled on, through NE London and Epping Forest, to Epping where we stopped for lunch (and, more importantly, to warm up), at a 'greasy spoon' café. I had chips, egg and beans. Jackie had baked beans and jacket potato. Not bad; cheap enough.
After lunch the rain easy off into just persistent drizzle. Much better. We then tacked, cross country, ever eastwards, towards Ingatestone and the home of our good (Essex) friends, Phil and Mads Knowles. They welcomed us into their home with the offer of a hot shower, laundry service and a nice meal (pea soup, chicken tarragon casserole with veg., summer fruits pudding and cheese. And wine).
We are eating well so far. Thanks to Lily and Will (Newbury), Mike and Sally (London) and, now, Phil and Mads (Essex).
We are now down to our last half block of the energy cake that my mother baked us, so our load on the bikes has been lightened considerably.
Tomorrow we need to be in Harwich, where we have a booking on the overnight ship to Hook Of Holland. That should be about 80 miles.
We still need more money for our charity,