Sunday, October 05, 2008

Tour Day 1 - Dover to Honfleur.

Woke up early today to some very unpleasant weather. Luckily after I had got ready and had a coffee and snack, the rain had eased off. Set off for the ferry terminal and meet up with Pete and the other guys. Where we discovered that some of us had been staying in the same hotel.

Got on the ferry without a hitch all thought the deck was very wet and slippery. Got the bike strapped down and headed up to the food court for breakfast. Being first on the ferry means you get there first, bonus. The captain informed us that it would be a reasonable crossing, force 9 to be exact, a bit choppy to say the least, hate to see what a bad crossing is.

The definition of force 9 on the Beaufort scale is as follows. Wind Speed 47-54mph, strong gale, high waves (6-7m) with dense foam. Wave crests start to roll over. Considerable spray.

Arrived at Calais and got off the ferry and encounter the lovely rain. We all regrouped up in a lay-by after passport control. Steve volunteered to go at the back for the drop-off system. It was at this point that I had a problem with my new waterproof gloves, it took me 5 minutes to get my hand in the right glove due to problems with the inner lining. This meant that me and Steve lost touch with the group and ended up following some bikes the wrong way. We eventually got turned around and headed the right way and came across another lost sole in the form of Terry. We actually passed the other group while they were parked up having a coffee break. Near to Honfleur we had to negotiate two very high bridges. Terry and Steve particularly struggled with the wind on Le Pont de Normandie Bridge, me and the Viffer weren't affected anywhere near as much.

Honfleur Hotel
We eventually got to the hotel in Honfleur after a brief detour to Fecamp. We were all soaked through after the constant rain. My boots were soaked through and soggy and my bottom was damp, but apart from that my Hein Gericke Pro Suit held up well to the rain.

Honfleur HotelThe hotel room had a heater which was used to dry the stuff but made  it very hot in the night. The bathroom was also used as a drying room but we had to keep putting the heater on as it knocked off after 15 minutes. I bet the hotels electricity bill was high for the day we all stayed there.

Thankfully by the time we headed out for food the rain had stopped so we walked the mile into Honfleur to find a restaurant.