We started our day with a traditional English breakfast at the Oakland Hotel – insipid eggs, bacon and baked beans. Still, we were glad for the protein.
The last day of our tour was an 81 km ride to Gretel’s house in Orpington.
We worked our way across to the Hanningfield Reservoir, then to Ramsdon Heath, Little Burstead, then along minor roads to the outskirts of Stanford le Hope. Here we turned and made our way to West Tilbury and then Tilbury where we caught a ferry across the Thames. Our research was that it is not possible to cross the Thames on a bridge with a bicycle.
The ferry goes from Tilbury to Gravesend. A British couple were also on the ferry with their bicycles – they had just been on a day outing. They offered to guide us onto a “country road” – so we rode with them for a bit to Stonewood. In contrast to the routes Kris had carefully chosen, they seemed quite happy to travel along the bigger roads. We began to wonder if this isn’t safer/better – as you are at least more visible without the obscuring hedges of the country roads.
From Stonewood we made our way cross country to Hextable, Swanlea and then Orpington – where we were greeted by Elsbeth (Kris’s mother).