Day one of the warm up

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Started early with leaving the house at 6.30 to get the train to Dover. Climbed the steep hill past Dover Castle on route to the first objective: St Margrets and the SE point of the British mainland at South Foreland.

Unfortunately South Foreland Light does not have a road going to it, so it took some time gingerly cycling on footpaths to get there. Then I ended up at the bottom of the cliff at St Margrets bay, procrastinated a bit, and stopped for breakfast.

So by 11am I had only completed 8 miles cycling – not very good when the Target is 100 miles for the day.

However, St Margrets and the breakfast were good, and the lanes between there and Canterbury were very nice, but I had to get a move on. So no stop in Canterbury, just keep moving. Provision for cyclists on the A2 north of Canterbury before the M2 are woeful, and this section was not at all nice. After that the main road to Rochester and on to Gravesend is busy and not much fun, but good progress was made, and I managed to get the 4.30 ferry to Tilbury.

After Tilbury the lanes are once again quite pleasant but I was getting tired and also woried that I did not have time left to get to Colchester before dark. However, after a couple of drink and biscuit stops I perked up and could have kept going had it not been getting quite dark.

Eventually reached Great Totham, at which point it was getting too dark to continue. I summoned up the courage to ask the landlord of the Prince of Wales whether I could camp in the beer garden and to my relief he agreed, so spent a pleasant evening eating and drinking at the Prince of Wales.

Tomorrow will be an early start as I have around 90 miles to do before my train leaves Lowestoft at 4.30pm.

Route: Dover to Great Totham via South Foreland, St Margarets and the Gravesend – Tilbury ferry.
Mileage: 102

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