“Welcome to day 11 of Pedalling for St.Peter’s, Julia Mercer’s final blog entry 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.”
“ARRIVED AT CANTERBURY THIS AFTERNOON, HOORAY! I’m so pleased to be here. The cathedral is utterly beautiful, and I’m staying with people in the town and being spoiled.
I had an early start from Gillingham, as I knew that my host in Canterbury, Elizabeth, wanted to take me to evensong in the cathedral. It felt more like winter than summertime, and a strong breeze blowing in the right direction, which was a wonderful help for all today’s ride. As usual, I lost the route a few times, but asked people and consulted the compass and got to Sittingbourne 9 miles in, when … yet ANOTHER puncture. I had a cuppa in a friendly cafe and decided it was time to leave the Sustrans route for a while. It’s fun being signed through little alleyways and short-cuts, but they do tend to have bits of broken glass scattered about. So I took to the A2 and hammered along at top speed, mostly wind-propelled, for a few miles. Then a nice quiet B road to Whitstable (called, rather sweetly, Love Lane as it left the A2 and Joy Lane as it came into Whitstable).
O the wild salt smell of the sea! This is the place where Chris Sparks was a student nurse, so I sent her a postcard, and loitered round taking photos of the Edible Whitstable veg. bed outside the library … ” Sharing the Passion for Growing your own”. It looked a bit like our own St Peter’s veg bed, but not so riotous.
And now just 7 off-road miles down the Crab and Winkle Way, through woodland then fields of oats and pear orchards. Coming through the university, I popped out suddenly onto a hill and there down below me was the glorious cathedral sitting surrounded by her city.
And it was only half past 2 so I got to be lost again, find where I should be, have a bath AND afternoon tea, all before evensong. Which was wonderful, sung by the University of Illinois Chamber choir.
No more blogs, just a space to say thank you to everybody for your love and prayers which spurred me on my way; especially to Neil, and Chris and Kudzi for the texts. See you all soon. x”
And so closes Julia’s extraordinary journey. We hope you have enjoyed following Julia on her travels via her regular blog updates and will join us in a hearty “congratulations” and “thank you!” Who knows, perhaps you will be inspired to dust off your own bike and use that car just a little less. Well done Julia! We look forward to seeing you soon and hearing more stories from your amazing adventure.