Saturday, 22 September 2012

Huddersfield to Istanbul

Saturday, May 19 Day 1.
Huddersfield to Hull 74-miles.

Its departure day and my head was a little hungover from the previous night at a 40th Birthday party — hence plenty of the John Smiths flowing, also was the dancing :-) Met a twitter friend on the night too... Ivan,  nice guy.

The morning weather was a little overcast but spirits were high, and our neighbors came over to our house to see me depart too. The bike weighed a ton ! I wheeled it through the house and out of the front door, the usual bye, and kisses for my wife and daughter... and I'm off up our street a little wobbly to start with due to getting used to the weight of the panniers.

I reached the top of the street and took a right turn out of sight now... the journey has begun. As I reached the man A62 road I had a thought of my previous Gibraltar cycle (Would my trainers hit the pannier bags when I cycle ??) NO they are fine YIPPEE!!  I'm off (Mark Canning would chuckle at that one)

I'm heading off in the direction of Rothwell it was generally flat going and easy for now, with just a few steep bits coming out of Dewsbury which had me huffing and puffing. Just showed how out of shape I was for this trip. The weather was quite dull/grey throughout the morning as I headed through Rothwell, my next place was heading towards Selby. I was sticking to the most direct rout to Hull along the A63. I reached around Howden and stopped off for a tea break at a burger van. Cup of coffee and a cheeseburger please, was nice  and the guy who served my asked "Where you off to"? Istanbul my reply.. he thought I was joking ! (I must go back to have a brew and burger now I'm bak and tell him I did do it) :-)

After a few minutes chatting some more customers came along he told them what I was doing and they were all amazed and wished me a great and safe journey. This first day was quite easy in terms of time, there wasn't really a rush to get to Hull ferry so I was limited to 70 ish miles for the whole day - so steady day for me. I cycled through Gilberdyke (I like that name) and thought I would get the ipod on and listen to some tunes.. first one was pussy ca dolls Jai ho !!  I hear you laughing :-)  but that brought a smile to my face as that song is my daughter favorite at that time. After the next hour listening to tunes it appeared that there were only a few songs on that were playing over and over again ! What's going on here?? I had hundreds on this ipod!inc my recently downloaded Abba Gold !!  (Somehow the majority of songs had been wiped off somehow!)  Not good. my music I need to listen to it haha it keeps me going and entertained.

Luckily enough I took my iphone too and the majority were on that so phew!!

I was getting close to Hull now and had to start to take notice of where the port is to board the ferry. It was the P&O terminal, so was easy to find. I was early so I took a couple of pics at the water side with the bike and the humber bridge in the distance. Before you board on the ferry it was quite a long queue to get checked in.. Whilst waiting in line another cyclist fully bagged up pulled alongside of me and started chatting about where I was off to. I told him where I was planning, he informed me that if I was to go through Bulgaria, etc I would encounter Wild dogs (very nasty ones he said, he showed me a knife he had to deal with the wild dogs.. my thought was Shit !!  never thought of any dogs along the way, so its a good job I could change the way of my route day by day. From that point I was going Italy, Albania :-))

I was on board now, the guy who I was talking to had gone on another ferry so I was back on my own again, I checked out around the ferry (Its Big!) my first thought.. even a cinema on board. After unpacking, shower and changed I was out and about on the deck, in the bar (Best part they had Bitter) after a few beers and some food I returned to my cabin (Which was all to myself) to a nights sleep - although not a great sleep due to the engines next to my cabin :-(

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