Leaving the eco bunkhouse was sad, but we can’t stay everywhere forever. One little boy turned down the offer of a little ride around the farm houses; ‘I can’t because I am half way through my marmite on toast’, which was a good enough reason as any. Whatever strange delicacy I had ingested at the Harvester passed through me into the toilet bowl of time and looked much better on exit than it had done on entry.
Somewhere between driving the bike up the eco barn’s drive, putting it onto the van and taking it off again at Guilford station another one of our free wheels failed which meant we were down to a 6-man bike again. Sadly we could not really fit in another detour to Get Cycling in York (Ed said he could quickly do the 300 miles but I persuaded him otherwise using two fingers and a tub of Sudecreme). Instead we strapped our knitted mascot Harriett to the seat (Eric would be pleased, we got the Dutch bondage element in after all). Harriet got quite moist in the rain, but then again that’s how she likes it!
We had another fan-bloody-tastic crew on board, including Sarah Davies of G4 Challenge fame, and if we thought we might get lost then we needed not fear, Sarah’s family positioned themselves like beacons in lay-bys along the route to guide us. We soon reached Farnham where the Herald newspaper were ready to ambush us, and we had a few snaps taken outside the local Cancer Research charity shop (we blocked the pavement for about 2 minutes much to the horror of some old dear who couldn’t get passed, she must have donated her sense of humour to Cancer Research some years ago). Actually today was a bit of media frenzy, with interviews on Radio Surrey and Radio Solent.
Early on in the day we thought we saw a yeti type creature lurking in the road-side shrubbery. On closer inspection and much to our relief we realised it was Big Will (Ed’s little big brother). Big Will had bumped into us by sheer chance, which made the large collection of cakes and confectionary he was carrying somewhat of a mystery but very welcome all the same. Not so welcome was our fear for Dan the roller blading man’s life, as he sped downhill on the dual carriageway, but he didn’t die which was a bonus. He's thinking of becoming the first rollerblader to do the End to End so hopefully this will have been an interesting test (You can read his blog of the day here). Another bonus involved us manoeuvring our way through 3 road closures using the very best of local knowledge. The secret password, ‘we want to have tea with Betty and Phil’ got us easily past the gatekeepers in yellow florescent jackets with enough crack on show to entertain Elton John for half an hour, and soon we were in Southampton where the sun wasn’t shining down on me, I wasn’t still standing and I felt I had a rocket man up my jacksy.