Well, yesterday wasn’t our final ride on the bikes after all, because we ended up pedalling another 18km today, just with our exploring and errands and pottering around Harwich.
First stop was the laundrette to get those loads of washing done, before leaving. We rode along the cycle path from the hotel, into Dovercoat. We rode in the brilliant sunshine, under a hot and hazy sky and in the warm air. Bee-yoo-tee-ful! Load of washing on, so off we went to fill in some time, sitting in the sunshine and looking out to sea. It was so nice, sitting up above the beach, watching the ferry heading out to sea, people paddling in the shallows and the dogs frolicking about the shore, all enjoyed under that super, sparkling sun! For all the troubles we’ve had with wind over the last few months, we actually said, “Ooh, isn’t that breeze nice.” Today, that breeze was welcome, with the cooling hand it extended, on a hot and hazy morning.
Back to the laundrette, washing in the dryer, now time to find a tea room to fill in some time and have elevenses. It turned out Dovercoat wasn’t really tea room territory, but we did find a cafe and managed to squeeze the bikes into the outside area, so we had a drink and toast and watched the clock, while our laundry did it’s rolling and tumbling up the road. Tick, tick, tick, the time passed by and off we went to gather our load, then back to the hotel we pedalled to drop off the newly laundered washing.
Away we went again, in to explore Harwich. The town is very much a port town, with not a whole lot to see and do, but we still wheeled and roamed around its streets and parks. We parked the bikes at the pier and strolled around the quay area, then circumnavigated the tiny town on foot, through the parks, along the esplanade and back through the quiet streets.
The sun still shone, the people moved their shade of pink skin up the colour chart from “blushing bride”, to “cheerful cherry”, as they soaked up the UV rays that beat down from Saturday’s solar surprise above. The ice cream was being devoured in quantity and at a rapid pace as the race was on to get more of it in the belly than on the arms or in the laps, as the melting marathon was in full swing.
After some leisurely roaming, we returned to the bikes and pedalled off again to find a grocery store that might supply us with a lunch that we could enjoy alfresco. Good ol’ ASDA came to the party and we gathered our various items, hit the pedals again and returned to our beach top position, at a picnic table in the park, once again in the glorious sun. The wind had turned from breezy to blustery, but lunch was still a most enjoyable affair, on a warm day, by the seaside.
I’ve spoken often about the friendliness of the people here in Britain and how polite, kind and helpful they are. Well, I think another example of this, is the polite nature of trucks and vans and the warnings they give when they’re reversing. I’ve witnessed it a few times and I think it just epitomises the character of this country. At home, if a truck or van is reversing, you will hear the warning beep…beep…beep..to let pedestrians or anyone nearby, know that a large vehicle is in the process of moving backwards. Well, I’ve heard the warning here too, but it isn’t just the beep. Accompanying the beep, is a voice that sounds just like a cultured, 1950’s BBC newsreader and as the truck or van is reversing, the warning is beep…beep…beep…take care, vehicle reversing…beep…beep…beep…take care, vehicle reversing… How gorgeous! I think it’s the voice that does it. It isn’t an automated sounding voice, it really does sound like someone who might be called Kenneth Dimbleby, who might have read the late night news or presented Thought for the Day in 1953. So polite to warn the surrounding pedestrians in that way and so much more civilised than just a loud beeping. Someone, somewhere in Britain, decided to invent that warning and go beyond the jarring ‘beep’, to something much more polite. What have I been saying? You have to love this place! So much to love!
Before calling it a day, we pedalled down to the ferry terminal to complete some recognisance ready for tomorrow. We found where we need to go, so we know we can locate our lane, ready to board. Back to the hotel we pedalled, where we opened windows and turned the fan on full whack, to cool down the room. Yes, COOL DOWN the room!! What a treat!
It was a leisurely day, with a mixture of wheels and wandering and all enjoyed in the glorious sunshine. Fantabulous! Tomorrow is our final day here, before catching the 11:00pm ferry across the water to the Hook of Holland and then continuing our journey and adventure through some new countries. My next blog post may be slightly delayed, due to the fact that tomorrow night, blogging time, we will be on a ferry and after that, we aren’t quite sure where we’ll be.
So it’s almost time to bid farewell to the greatest of Great Britains. What a wonderful, marvellous, splendid and smashing time we’ve had here. Elegant, exquisite, enchanting England – I thank you. Stunning, spectacular, sublime Scotland – I thank you. I’ve loved it…loved it!!!
As we’ve travelled the roads of Britain the Great
The scenery has been grand
We’ve seen the beauty of hills, coasts and lochs
In this beautiful and dazzling land.
Every day has delivered diamonds and gems
From the forests to the sea
Villages, cottages and countryside
Have become a golden memory
Of all the things we’ve seen and loved,
There’s one thing that stands on high
The wonderful people have been the highlight here
Britain, thank you and goodbye.
I’ll sign off again with some final pictures from our collection of pub signs, but I will leave the final words to the weather forecast, just for the entertainment value. I looked at the weather that will greet our arrival in the Netherlands and what did I discover? Today was sunny and 27C, tomorrow will be sunny and 26C. Monday, when we arrive, it’s forecast to be 19C and heavy rain. Yep, just because we’re in the country it gets colder and rains! Ba-doom-boom-ching – there’s the punchline for the day!