Welcome to day 8 of Pedalling for St.Peter’s, Julia Mercer’s blog about her 292 mile pilgrimage from Huddersfield Parish Church to Canterbury Cathedral. Julia’s aim is to raise funds to help in the repair of the ceiling at the Parish Church, as well as demonstrating sustainable travel via the use of the UK’s National Cycle Network.
“Today began dry, with speedy cycling on a well signed tarmac cycleway out of Luton. Huge jets from the airport climbed overhead. I cowered beneath them, marvelling at their immensity, well content with my chosen mode of transport. All day I felt a little dreamy from shortage of sleep; amorous couple in next door room last night; trains; traffic. Somehow the increasingly watery landscape has added to this dreamy feeling.
The route today has been wonderfully well signed, a great relief, and mostly off road along railway and riverside paths. Around lunchtime the threatened rain came in a deluge. I’d just navigated through Welwyn Garden City, and hid under a bushy tree. The rain eased off but left exceedingly puddly paths. My poor bike got very muddy. Through Hertford and Ware the route turned South and went into the amazing wateriness of the Lee valley, which I shall now follow through London; it’s National Cycle Route 1 now all the way to Canterbury.
Looming thunderclouds gained on me from the North. And sheltering from a proper thunderstorm I got talking to two local lads on bikes, Alistair and his brother Julian, who kindly escorted me to the youth hostel for tonight’s stopover.
And I learned today that a bird I heard in Yorkshire by the M1 (Day 2) was a Cetti’s warbler!”
Be sure to check back soon for Julia’s next instalment of her extraordinary journey.