After only 4 hours sleep, it was tough to get up wanting to ride again. We all got showers at Xander's and collected our washing from the tumble drier. The panniers were packed again by half 7, and we left north London, heading for Greenwich.
We were meeting Dan, Simon and Ash there, and also grabbed a McDonalds Breakfast and swapped Dyfan's rack for the one Ash had donated before setting off again. Dan handed the Garmin to Matt, and he left us, Neil also headed back to the train station, bound for Birmingham again, so there were 7 of us now heading south out of the capital and towards Kent.
This was one of the nicest routes I've ever seen in the UK. Rolling hills everywhere, and beautiful countryside. It was also one of the hottest days EVER, and after pausing at the top of a fairly big hill, we were approached by a family walking their dog who asked what we were doing and then offered to fill up all our water bottles!
They also donated £10 to the charity before saying goodbye, and stocked up with H20 we set off again!
We stopped for lunch in a small place just outside of Maidstone, then continued up and down, up and down, up and down the rollercoaster roads of the south downs. Simon helped keep the pace up at the front, and left us shortly after Maidstone to get the train back to London, Ash carried on until Ashford.
Our next sop was Dover.
When we got to the white cliff town we were hungry. We began searching the town for food, and in the process, whilst climbing a ramp next to some steps, Matt managed to snap the top section of his stem!
This was a very low point, The only bike shop in Dover (actually) was only just opening, and had no stock for sale! The only option was to find a place on the other side of the water, so after a greasy burger snack, we walked onto the ferry, and taped up the stem as best we could.
The ferry crossing was a good chance to relax and have a nice (expensive) beer! The crossing was 2 hrs so we got down to some planning for the next day.
We decided that we would make an attempt to get to Bourbourg (10 miles) and to the campsite.
As soon as we got off the ferry I tried to ride the bike, but the bars were still really shakey. Andy offered to ride for a bit too, and as he did, the stem snapped completely, and he flew off into the road! Now we were in trouble. It was 20:30 or 21:30 French time, and we had nowhere to sleep!
Ed and Dyfan rode off in search of a bed for the night, and came back after checking us in at a B&B down the road.
We all stayed in one big room, and they let us use the internet and lock our bikes up safely.
The next day we would have to find a bike shop to grab a new stem, we also messaged Marc (in Bruges) to let him know we would be arriving a little late the next day.
After a bowl of pasta, and a couple of coffees/teas each we went to sleep, in some comfy B&B beds.
Total miles: 70
Total time (including ferry): 11h 30m