No sleep on the ferry. The ferry tannoys announced the imminent arrival at Dieppe and I was very much looking forward to getting off the boat and onto the bike. We took the opportunity to have breakfast onboard, since the ferry arrived at 4am French time and the chance of finding anywhere open would be slim to none. I had an orange juice, a coffee, and a bad pain au chocolat.
Getting off the ferry as a foot passenger was a bit of a pain and involved stepping onto a bus which took us to the customs area to meet with our bikes.
Tired and a little fed-up we unfolded our bikes, attached our luggage and set off. It was dark and the weather was a light drizzle.
As soon as we were outside of the ferry terminal it felt different and exciting. We cycled through Dieppe in the dark, stealing through the quiet streets.
It wasn’t long until we arrived at the start of the dedicated cycle way of the Avenue Verte. We bumped into two other cyclists who were lost in the dark without the privilege of a GPS to guide them. They had a support vehicle with them, but unfortunately for them their support team’s iPad wasn’t working, so they didn’t know which way to go. They tagged onto our group to help find their way.
The cycle path followed the tracks of an old railway line for many miles, which meant it was flat and straight. We cycled through the dark mist and slowly into dawn. It felt like motorway driving.
We’d gone a fair distance, almost falling asleep whilst cycling, when we reached Neufchâtel-en-Bray and a bar Le Nemrod where we could get a hot drink. Everyone was super tired – this was a welcome stop.
In fact we were so tired that when we left we started pedalling on the wrong side of the road and tackled a roundabout the wrong way.
We re-joined the cycle motorway and pedalled on to Forges-les-Eaux where we had lunch at Bar du Centre.
It was kind of a relief to get off the straight track and onto scenic windy and hilly roads, which was pretty much what we did for the rest of the day in the drizzle.
In the evening we arrived at our stop for the night, Hôtel Moderne in Gisors. The rooms were comfortable and the we made good use of hot radiators to dry our wet kit whilst we showered and took a few minutes to start to feel human again. We had a drink in the hotel bar then headed out for food – we settled on lots of pizza.
Then back to hotel and what seemed like the most comfortable beds in the world for a good night’s rest.
Dieppe to Gisors, 125 km. Total so far = 247 km.