Today was the day we had been waiting for since leaving Penzance. The afternoon held the promise of the first sustained period of level riding in over 300 miles. Before that we had to get to the ferry terminal at Fishbourne. Our route followed the Isle of Wight Randonnee course once more, heading east to Bembridge and the north west towards Ryde. Once again the roads were familiar, and once again, Despite the extra weight we were carrying, the climbs did not seem the challenge we remembered from riding the course earlier in the year.
We were able to board the ferry almost immediately. The crossing was smooth and fast. As a bonus, we were treated to views of the Spinnaker Tower and HMS Warrior, as we waited to dock in Old Portsmouth. Photography ensued. On leaving the docks we merged into the hectic lunchtime Portsmouth traffic. Working our way across to the east, the cycle track adjacent to Eastern Road eased our progress north, passing under the A27 in one of the most complex set of cycle and pedestrian crossings I've ever encountered!
Passing through Farlington and Havant, I experienced flashes of 'Deja Vu' as we rolled along roads remebered from the time we lived in the area nearly three decades ago. As in years past, we had to wait for passing trains at two level crossings.
Finally we left the conurbations and headed between fields festooned with acres of greenhouses as we headed towards Chichester. After a break in front of the Cathedral, we embarked on the final leg to Bognor Regis. Again this was mostly flat but the rush hour traffic made the whole thing seem a little hectic. It was very different from the tranquility of the Island. We were glad to arrive at our overnight stop.
Today's picture is of the spire of Chichester Cathedral.