(First off, I want to mention that I’m behind in posting these blog entries. As Gabriella might say, my new phone is an ‘all-singing all-dancing’ model. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been able to sing, dance, or connect to the Internet so far. If this keeps up, I may get behind on posting again.)
Back to what happened on 26 July . . .
In my previous blog entry, I showed what my cycle looked like folded up, with no panniers on. The picture above shows what it’s like fully loaded, outside my place in London. Well, it’s not exactly ‘fully loaded’ since the biggest piece of luggage was taking the picture, little humor not too much.
In my previous blog entry, I also mentioned something about living smaller and simpler. Earlier today, I had a pleasant reminder of one the benefits, when I bought my ticket for the ferry. My plan was to take a train from London to Dover. After that, I’d cross the English Channel in a ferry, to Dunkirk, and then I’d start cycling, from France to Belgium.
Anyway, while I was waiting in line to buy my ferry ticket, I overheard a clerk giving a price to a guy in front of me. It was something like £150 ($225 US). He reached for his wallet, took out his credit card, and paid the bill. Then, I heard another clerk talking to another guy, on my right. She said his tickets would cost £200 ($300 US). He reached for his wallet, took out his credit card, and paid the bill.
It was my turn to walk to the counter. I did, and a clerk asked what I wanted. I said a ticket for me and my bike, as I pointed to it. Sometimes, I wheel my bike in with me. People rarely object, but they do sometimes look a little wide-eyed at my folding bike loaded with 4 panniers and a tent. Anyway, the clerk asked for my passport, home address, typed some keys, and asked for £20 ($30 US). I reached for my wallet, pulled out a paper note, and realized I was a bit short. Fortunately, I had a bunch of coins in a different pocket, since I emptied my coin jar before leaving London. I pulled out a handful of coins to pay the rest of the bill.
Sometimes, I enjoy vacations where I enjoy lots of comforts and pay with a credit card, but it’s also nice to have a vacation on a bike. When I have lots of comforts during vacation, I come home to a credit card bill. When I spend a vacation on my bike, I come home to a less-full coin jar.
Once I had my tickets, here’s what I had to cycle through. The port at Dover is largely an industrial port. A lot of semi-trucks take the ferries. There are also a lot of people who put their cars on the ferry, so the inside is pretty comfortable, sort of like a floating shopping mall. I should have taken a picture of that too.