We were waved off from home by a group of friends and family, and suddenly everything was a very real. Just us and our bikes. Christine managed all of 100 metres before getting off to push up a hill! Mainly day 1 was as lovely a cycling day as you could imagine, apart from the ferocious headwind for the last stretch East from Brighton to the campsite near Newhaven. Christine really struggled, at the end, especially as she has done no training at all. But she made it to the campsite, having, near the end, off-loaded her luggage to friends Jane and Roger, who came to share a farewell meal. We camped and found that our inflatable mattresses were more comfortable than the futons we used for the last few days at home!
Day 2. Up early to break camp and cycle the couple of miles to the ferry. How lovely to have a tailwind! We waved goodbye to the white cliffs of Sussex, wondering how long it would be before we saw them again! Arriving safely in Dieppe, we aimed for a campsite supposedly 0.5km from the town. After 2km decided we might as well head for the first campsite on the Avenue Verte route to Paris. That appeared to be closed so we ended cycling 38k to a lovely campsite in Forges les Eaux, right beside the cycle way, which was magnificent! But it was another late arrival. From just outside Dieppe it was along a disused railway through glorious rural French scenery. A beautiful route to cycle and we would highly recommend it.
Day 3. Up late, especially as Christine managed to sleep for 11.5 hours after the exertions of the previous 2 days!! Packed all our camping stuff away and headed to town for croissants, eating in a beautiful little park where we chatted to a group of French cyclists, who managed to pass us twice later in the day! (Very much a case of the tortoise and the hare.) We left the Avenue Verte and headed along country roads. We had forgotten just how quite they can be in France. There are NO roads around us as in Surrey quiet. It was meant to be an easy day, but there was a complete lack of campsites, and so we kept going before deciding to blow the budget again and go to a hotel.