And so a holiday comes to an end. It started at a palace in Hampton Court with a crowd of well wishers and continued with a smaller crowd of cyclists. Through the Surrey Hills we cycled, struggling under the newly heavy burden of a life in four panniers until met by friends and family with barbecue and cake at a favourite bivi spot enhanced first by rainbows (plural) and second by glow worms.
The team whittled down through Day Two as we bounced along off-road tracks to the south coast, our ferry`s 10pm departure time slipping slowly from distant irrelevance to imminent threat but we boarded at nightfall and settled down for half a night`s sleep in the empty space of a vacated onboard arcade.
Spewed into Dieppe harbour in the small hours we pitched at the side of a quiet cycle route for a second half of sleep and the next/same day progressed along an endlessly flat, tarmarced and traffic-free yellow brick road of the Avenue Verte, frequented by armies of charity cyclists like us.
Sunshine and boulangeries were the key features of the proceding days as cycle paths gave way to country roads gave way to urban sprawl as we approached and entered the outskirts of Paris.
And so a holiday comes to an end. It ended at a palace in Versaille with a crowd of well wishers and it will continue with a smaller crowd of cyclists: two.