Chris: In our first post we mentioned the hills of Cornwall – we’ve now also discovered the hills of Devon and Dorset. This is one of the reasons that we have not had chance to write a proper blog entry before today. Other, more insignificant, factors preventing us putting fingers to keyboard have been meeting up with friends along the way and occasional visits to the pub. Fortunately I believe it is pretty much flat now until the Alps, so we should be able to update the blog more often (although I met a French person this evening who challenged me on this point…).

I’ve just got disproportionate satisfaction from moving the little bicycle along our Google Map route, from Land’s End (actually I noticed the bicycle had been placed somewhere out in the Atlantic – in case anybody is concerned, neither us, nor our bicycles have been in the Atlantic) to Brighton, where we are now staying with a friend. It has been enjoyable cycling through England, but we are both looking forward to catching the ferry to France on Tuesday and finding some less familiar roads.

We’ve found the bikes to be quite heavy to ride, but have managed to cover the distance we’d planned each day – and a westerly breeze has been helping us along. The main problem is that the cycling is taking a long time each day, so we are not getting as much rest as we’d like in the evenings, but hopefully that will improve with time.

Cycling is a good way to travel country lanes and particularly so in the autumn. We’ve had blackberries and wild apples to eat and on several occasions have stopped to watch birds of prey hovering, or to look at a line of swallows starting to gather on the lines. I’d like to think that we might meet some of the swallows again in South Africa at the end of our journey and their migration.

I shall end this first ‘proper’ post by thanking everyone – family, friends and colleagues – who have been supportive of our trip in words, deeds and donations (and also by noting that I just bumped into Tessa in a pub in Brighton and requested (demanded?) a mention in the blog!).