2015-08-08 Dover – Enfield

Today’s photo is of my bike and trailer at the Port of Dover after I got off the ferry from Dunkirk. It was only after taking this photo that I realized the mirror was on the wrong side of my handlebars. I had to move it to the other side which wasn’t easy as I needed a screwdriver and it took me over 1/4 of an hour to find one in the dark at the bottom of my rucksack.

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Today 140 km. Total so far – 2790 km. Donegal were due to play Mayo at 6 o’clock that evening so I had about 12 hours of daylight to get from Dover to London. I took a chance by going on the A2 dual carriageway for 25 km as any alternative route involved a big detour. I was surprised how hilly it was between Faversham and London but still managed to make it to Enfield by 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

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Frontier control checkpoint at the Port of Dover. It was 1 o’clock UK time when the boat arrived in Dover but I had to wait until all the trucks and cars were driven off before I was allowed to leave the boat. I then had to go through an electronic gate and follow a red line to get through the port. But the red line was confusing and I ended up back where I started. I had to be let through the gate again and given directions as to the right way to go. By this time it was after 2 o’clock and as I had to get to London by 6 that evening, I decided to set off right away even though it was dark.

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24 hour McDonalds at Whitfield. I couldn’t believe it when I came across a 24 hour McDonalds in Whitfield about 5 km outside Dover. Had it been daylight, I wouldn’t have stopped but as it was really dark, I decided to treat myself to a feed. I had a £20 sterling note in my wallet and I was tempted to spend it all but in the end, I only ordered a barbecue chicken cheddar sandwich and some fries. The McDonald’s was quite busy and there must have been about 50 people served during the 2 hours I was there. At 4.30, I decided it was time to get going even though it was still quite dark.

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Sign for Faversham. The A2 from Whitfield to Faversham is one scary road as cars whizz past you at 150 km/hr and it is even scarier when it is dark and you can’t see ahead of you. I had a light front and back but the front light was quite faint so I was glad to see the dawn and pull off the A2 near Faversham. I was so relieved to get off the dual carriageway, the first sign I saw I took a photo of it.

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Rochester castle. This castle was built around 1090, just a few years after the Norman Invasion in 1066. This location was chosen as it is where the old Roman road (Watling Street) crossed the River Medway.

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Traffic on the M25 near Dartford was bumper to bumper. Notice the speed limit signs trying to slow down the cars and keep the traffic moving.

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View of the Shard, the City and Canary Wharf from Shooter’s Hill. In this photo, Canary Wharf (235m) looks taller than The Shard (309m) whereas in reality it is 75 m lower. I didn’t take as many photos today as I normally would because I was in a hurry but this shot of the London skyline was by far the best photo today.

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Tweet from Tower Bridge. There was an ice-cream van parked on the double red line so I pulled in behind him to get this snap. As there was quite a queue of people getting ice cream, I also had time to send a tweet.

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Donegal vs Mayo at Croke Park. It was great to meet up with John, Claire and Jamie when I eventually made it to Enfield about 3 o’clock.  It had taken me about 12 hours (9 hours of cycling) to travel 140 km from Dover  I had arrived in Enfield 3 hours before the big game, so I had time to get a bath and a bite to eat before the throw-in.

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Tweets during the game. Karen often goes to Donegal games when they are playing at Croke Park but this was the first time she was fimed on TV. I got to see the Tour de France at 6 different locations but the only time I got on TV was from this helicopter shot as myself and Noel stood on a roundabout at St Etienne de Cuines during Stage 19.

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Mayo too cute for Donegal. Mayo defeated Donegal in this game but couldn’t get the better of Dublin in the semi-final.

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Sam Maguire flight case. One thing neither Mayo or Donegal will need this year is a flight case for Sam Maguire but the next day, myself and John got to see the actual flight case that was specially made for the Sam Maguire for when it is being transported by plane to different venues around the world. Michael, my brother in law drove from Kerry to London after his summer holidays and was asked to transport the flight case, which was empty, by someone he knew on the Kerry County Board. Unfortunately, Michael didn’t know the combination lock to open the box to see if it really was empty, so just like in Pulp Fiction, we didn’t get to see what was in the box.

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From Paris to London on the Tour de Travoy. Paris to London is only about 400 km if you go direct via Calais but via Lourdes and Grenoble, it is closer to 2,800 km. I was determined to not do any cycling on Sunday, so I had time to produce this neat map of my travels so far using GPS Track Editor. There is a great option on the editor to display segments with different colors depending on your speed. So the map shows where I cycled in green and when I got the train between Montpellier and Valence in red. On my next Tour de Travoy, if I get a flight, I will track it using GPS and be able to display it on a map as well.

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