4th May, 35km, Carantec - Roscoff (ferry) Plymouth - Antony
The day starts as usual - porridge followed by coffee and then Richard waits for me to pack up. It's a beautiful morning and neither of us are in any rush. I sense a little procrastination within me. Today I plan to take the ferry back to England - the final nail in the homeward bound coffin.
We spend a few hours exploring the mini peninsular on which we currently reside. There is a tidal causeway and our timing is such that it is just becoming accessible. From the other side we get great views of the surrounding coastline.
The time comes when I can faff no longer and we head to the port at Roscoff. Though not before one last dustbin diving session.
As these things seem to go I arrive just in time for last boarding. With my wallet €73 lighter I am ushered towards the terminal. A quick goodbye to Richard, these things always seem to be rushed, and I'm aboard.
Fairly uninteresting six hours. I'm a little dumbfounded to be surrounded by people speaking in a language I can understand.
Terra firma. England. Home.
I follow several other cyclists off the ferry. We split of fairly quickly. The smell of fish and chips hits me like a freight train and stays with me to the outskirts of Plymouth. I bet that would make good riding food. I take a minute to adjust to riding on the left hand side of the road again. I'm also struck by the number of "young-uns" hanging out - not something I've seen for a long time. Many folks return my smiles and nods. I even get cheered up one particularly steep hill. No sooner am I off the ferry than I'm getting on another one at Torpoint - a short estuary crossing. The staff are very friendly and we quickly get chatting. A guy called Frank Holden (father to Amanda - no joke) leads the way with the questions. "I have to shake the hand of a man that's cycled to Iran and back. Good work". And I have to shake the hand of the farther of Amanda Holden. Equally good work! Frank tips me off about a great camping spot a few miles up the road.
Its almost dark by the time I get there. Up with the tent. Then a moment to reflect on my return to England before sleep. For a long time I have been curious to see if my opinions of my home country will be altered by my post-travel perspective. I guess time will tell - but first impressions are very good.