Monday, 7 December 2009

Day 2 - Colchester to Harwich Via Recycle!

After a chilled evening in the B+B we set off in pouring rain to visit the Recycle depot in Colchester where we met Derek. Derek gave us a whistlestop tour of the workshops and the warehouse stacked full of bikes. They were preparing for a shipment of 300 bicycles to be delivered to Africa. The warehouse was really impressive. There were loads of seriously cute bikes that had been either collected or donated. Some bikes would be the dream cycling machine of a hoxton assymetric haircut artist. Particularly impressive was the Royal Mail, who have many bicycles but who previosuly were unable to donate them due to liability issues - the average working life span of a Royal mail bicycle is 7 years and they make ideal bikes for africa as they have rear racks and a huge steel front basket - we saw one picture of a father carrying a load of firewood on the rear rack, and his ten year old boy on the front!

Setting off from Colchester proper, we motored to Harwich, expecting to be just in time for the ferry, only to discover that all our long hours of training had really paid off - we got there with nearly 2 hours to spare! We passed the time watching model boat races (something that particularly interested Ben and Lucy, as they were sailors themselves), eating fish and chips and drinking beer. It seems that the old men racing their model yachts need to wear their sailing kit whilst on dry land as well as at sea. Who knew?

Once on the ferry it was clear that it was packed to the deckheads with other people going to Copenhagen, and mostly for the same reason as us. Particularly deserving of a mention were Mark, Sophie and their 5 month old baby Samson, who donated £50 on Mark's Iphone whilst waiting in the queue to board the ferry! Other fellow travellers included another Mark from the RSPB whose friend had left his passport at home, Nancy and Jonathon from the Campaign against Climate Change, Chris the Systems Engineer from the Open University, John from the Bike Bloc, and Tamsin, Ben and one other whose name we didn't get who were going to Copenhagen for 'Shits and Giggles.'

Dougal met the Captain in the Cafe, and wrangled us a trip at the bridge the next day. After listening to an aged Scottish sailor play to a small, but appreciative crowd in the bar we retired to our cabin. The ship rocked gently across a fairly calm North Sea and we all drifted off to a good nights sleep.

No comments:

Post a Comment