Day four went very well for Julien. The weather picked up staying sunny at around 22 degrees all day and as a result he was able to get many more miles under his belt. Julien says that Holland is an amazing country to ride in, with excellent cycle paths through and alongside picturesque fields.
After a busy morning cycling along the Dutch coast Julien stopped in for lunch at a cafe in Stellendam where he reports he had a first class burger!
After lunch he continued on, making it to Rotterdam where he came across a special escalator for cyclists and pedestrians that leads underneath a large river and up the other side. Luckily he managed to utilise the escalator despite his very heavy bike!
After passing Rotterdam Julien found a great campsite surrounded by sand dunes at Katwijk aan Zee where he has decided to stay for the night. The good weather has given Julien a chance to dry his wet clothes from the last few days and begin to develop a rather patchy suntan!
Tomorrow Julien will touch the famous North Sea cycle route and continue on his way to Nordkapp.
For those of you following the route here is today’s Google Map. Please show you support by visiting the Child’s i Foundation and Julien’s Just Giving page.
Day three and just a quick update today as Julien is having trouble getting a phone signal so our communications have been limited to text messages!
It sounds like Julien has done incredibly well today, covering 84 miles across the northcoast of Belgium and making it into Haamstede Burgh in Holland. This whilst contending with heavy thunderstorms and hail. Holland’s well known flat landsacape meant that he had no cover – ouch!
Julien has found that the roads in Holland are excellent for cycling and a real improvement over those in the UK. If the weather permits and Julien keeps up the fast pace tomorrow he hopes to get past Rotterdam and close in on Amsterdam. I’m sure he will make it!
Google Map of Today’s Route.
Please remember why Julien is undertaking this epic journey and visit his Just Giving page and the Child’s i Foundation website. Thank you!
Julien again faced bad weather and useless maps as he continued his cycle to the coast. Much like yesterday Julien had to make a 30 mile detour off the planned route to get back on track. This meant that he only just made the 2 o’clock ferry to Dunkirk. The rain died down as he crossed the channel but sadly picked up again as he set foot in Dunkirk.
Julien got off at Dunkirk along with a large number of trucks which he had to cycle alongside until he found an alternative route. Eventually he ended up getting a bit lost again and kept ending up back on the motorway leading out of Dunkirk. After a while, Julien decided to pull into a shop where he used his best French to communicate with the locals – one of whom cycled ahead of Julien for around 6 miles to the main road into De Panne!
After around 20km Julien made it to the town of De Panne. As the bad weather persisted he decided to spend the night in a local hotel. Julien is hoping for better weather and the chance to camp out in the open tommorrow. The good news is that Belgium has great cycle ways, so from here on in, progress should be a bit quicker!
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Google Map Day Two
Hello, my name is Tom Phillips. I will be updating Julien’s blog with news from the road as he travels from London to Nordkapp, the most northern point of mainland Europe. Julien is embarking upon this epic journey of around 2,500 miles, to raise money and support for the wonderful charity the Child’s i Foundation. So please do your bit by donating money on Julien’s Just Giving site and by visiting the Child’s i website. Thank you!
So on to the first day – unfortunately things haven’t gone exactly according to plan! This morning Julien discovered that his bike and gear was going to be a little too heavy for such a long trip. Once some excess baggage was removed Julien set out only to discover his speedometer had broken, this was then followed by a puncture on the rear tyre of his brand new bike!
To add to this Julein had to contend with some very inacurate ordinance survey maps which had him cycling down dead ends and alleyways. To catch up on his mile target Julien decided to veer off the planned route and head along the A226 for some quicker riding. So there weren’t too many exciting sights on the way today, but Julien did mention that he saw some great views whilst cycling through Erith in South London. As the weather turned nasty late this afternoon Julien decided to forgo camping and has instead settled down in a B&B just outside Faversham.
Overall he clocked up 70 miles today – not bad going considering the slow start. Let’s hope for a better day tomorrow as Julien catches the ferry to Dunkirk and begins his journey across Belgium.
A Google Map of the journey so far!
Saturday, 26th July
Finally, we are off. I boarded the train from Paddington to Penzance. Two stations down the line, Pete and Mary joined the train in Taunton. I was still worried that my bike was far too heavy yet equally concerned that I did not have all the kit I needed with me. However, once we got off the train at Penzance, the warm afternoon sun and calm roads soothed my worries.
We ended up cycling about 12 miles to the camp site, where we were greeted by perhaps the most hospitable campsite owners in the UK. They cracked open a few beers and chatted away to us for a while. The setting was serene and incredibly quiet, which was great as we needed to get some sleep.
Prior to sleep, we headed out to get some grub. However, Lands End ain’t London and nothing was open, so we ended up having to carve slithers off from the picnic table and garnish them with some woodlice. Nice.