After a night of torrential rain we packed up camp in a downpour and got back on the road without breakfast. Having had a decent morning session in the rain, Pierre spotted a B&Q and guaranteed we’d find something greasy in the carpark. That bacon and egg sandwich scored very well on the ratings.
We pushed on and found the Pilgrim’s Way which is a beautiful ride but rather hilly and in hindsight we should really have stuck to the A20. We clocked extra unnecessary mileage which included a massive climb on a detour of a muddy section of the trail. Pierre’s knee started to play up and we required frequent rest stops. One which included the first puncture of the trip (Pierre’s front tyre). Another where we stopped at The Cock Horse Inn in Detling for a pint and had some magic pork scratchings whilst sitting in a very comfortable armchair. It was tough to return to the Brooks saddle and ride on in the rain.
George the giraffe enjoying a fine pork scratching
In the historic market town of Denham we found a local bakery, had a pie and bought a date and walnut loaf which was strapped to the back of John’s bike.
John spotted a potential overnight spot on the map in a village very appropriately called Stanford. A pub which has its own campsite is like catnip to us so we thought we’d aim for it.
The Drum Inn is a friendly family run 17th century pub in Stanford with great hearty food and at least 4 real ales on tap. We arrived in the dark having ridden 70km, pitched camp, took a shower and headed two the bar for a well earned pint. They served up a mean lamb shank with mash, gravy and vegetables. Just what was required after a long, wet day on the bike. We thought this would be our last night on British shores so we made the most of it and enjoyed plenty of the locally brewed real ale.
The following morning we both agreed that Pierre’s knee required some rest so we had a braai for breakfast and took our time leaving The Drum Inn. Pierre had carried the boerewors and lamb chops from Snoggy’s for two days so it was one way to lighten his load.
We eventually pushed on into the headwind which did no favours for knee pain. We had overdone it for the first couple of days and there’s no hurry so we covered the short distance to Folkestone.