And we’re off again – Swansea to Lille 

And so the adventure begins; Swansea to Dover is 277 miles which meant we had to leave pretty early to catch our 4pm ferry. That would give us a bit of buffer time for traffic or any unexpected problems…

We’d packed the panniers last night and strapped them onto the bike so this morning we simply got up and left. Jumping on that bike was such a fantastic feeling – we’ve done it. We’ve started our trip!!

Not even 1 mile down the road we had an “uh oh”… we’d checked that the money, phones, lunch and toothbrushes were packed but didn’t think about passports or ferry ticket (well, this morning at least). A quick stop reassured us that they were definitely in the bag and off we go again.

En route we stopped a couple of times – once for tea. Then fuel. Then again when the right mirror decided to fall off.

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I was keeping an eye on it for a little bit and initially thought it was the bolt coming loose. On closer inspection though we quickly realised it had partly snapped under the “immense” air pressure of riding at 70 (ish) mph. It was times like this we’d packed that brand new roll of duct-tape.

After an hour the mirror became a bit wobbly again so we had to pull over a second time to check it out. Now the mirror had completed snapped from its stalk, my taping from before was the only reason it wasn’t left on the M4 motorway.

I knew my bike was a cheap one but that takes the biscuit, what I mean is, these mirrors are supposedly chrome plated – which is very hard and rust resistant when applied correctly!

Jake and I botched it with duct tape and wooden coffee stirrers and we were off on the road again.

During this stop we also realised that we had planned our arrival time for when the ferry left, rather than giving time to check in, luckily we gave ourselves plenty of time! We arrived 25 minutes before it left – phew!

Safely on board we sat down to a snack of biscuits and crisps ; mmmm healthy!!

Once over the Channel it took no time to get to Lille.  An hour or so later we were drinking tea (or beer for me) with our first couch surfing host Vince.

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