After getting off the boat, tired and hungry, we looked about, wondering which way we’d cross the country to get to our final destination, Bristol. There was heavy Autumn in the air, and we had arrived just after one of the biggest storms the UK had seen in years. Roads and paths were still littered with debris, and rain looked inevitable.

With great fatigue we rode 10km through windy country roads before stopping at a small town called Manningtree. We found a little cafe and ordered some breakfast (Vegetarian English breakfast, with an odd replacement of cheese for the sausages). The woman that served us was so rapped to hear our story that when we left she gave us two huge pieces of cake for the road. We felt warmly welcomed. We were staying that night with some wamrshowers hosts not too far away, so we asked some other locals in the cafe if there was a scenic route we could take.

And so began our journey through England with a lot of emphasis on backroads, public footpaths and off road cycling. We got a bit carried away and climbed over stiles, walked our bikes through muddy paths and even clambered through holes in hedge fences to make our way. We were much more reckless with our directions, almost as if we were trying to get lost. But, very rarely did we actually get lost, or need to turn around. A few times we stopped to ask directions, and these conversations were always interesting. An old man at a crossroads on a walking path was our favourite. He was very English, and was enjoying his afternoon walk when we came along. He gave us some pretty weird directions across more walking paths and seemed bemused at us having found our way to wherever it was that we were. This was all very fun.

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