On Tuesday I arrived in Portsmouth at 6:30am and started heading towards Heathrow. Normally this would be a one hour drive but that would get me to James Cargo long before they opened. Instead I set my GPS to avoid every type of road and let it guide me where it wanted.
On past trips I’ve discovered that my GPS is very good at finding obscure and often scenic routes of you disable every routing option. On this occasion it didn’t disappoint. Sure it’s a slower way of travelling but you get to see fantastic parts of the countryside that motorways are forcing the collective consciousness to forget. This time I got to see all sorts of tiny villages and I even spotted a few fields/ponds where watercress was being commercially grown – it’s something I’d never given much thought to but in a rural setting actually looks quite pretty.
One thing that disappoints me about small British villages and towns is a distinct lack of cafes. In France any cluster of more than five houses seems to have a little café but in the UK they only appear in medium to large towns and more often than not there isn’t anywhere immediately outside to park a fully loaded motorbike – I’m not going to leave my bike with all it’s bags strapped on in a carpark the hundred metres away, that’s just along for something to be stolen!
Finally I arrived at James Cargo. Before handing the bike over they kindly allowed me to fit my new handlebars that had arrived on Monday and had been strapped across the back of the bike. Thirty minutes later and with new bars fitted, vehicle check complete and paperwork signed I was ready to say goodbye to my GS and leave her in the capable hands of James Cargo.
I left the warehouse at 11:30am and with my flight back to Guernsey not until 7:30pm I had a few hours to kill so I figured I’d had into London and do the tourist thing. Getting off the tube at Victoria I walked along to Buckingham Palace and walked around St James Park. Although I lived and worked in London for two years this was something I’ve never done before! The park is a wonderful place to waste time on a sunny afternoon but two things stuck in my mind about it: 1) my god there were lots of school groups visiting the area, hundreds of children trooping along; 2) almost everyone was taking selfies of themselves, I’m kinda surprised the Queen wasn’t on a balcony taking a selfie with the tourists in the background!
Finally I made my way to Gatwick and homeward to Guernsey. On Monday I leave Guernsey again and the adventure properly starts. Anyone in Guernsey should grab a copy of the Guernsey Press as I’ve been reliably informed that there will be an article about my trip in it complete with a picture out two.