First leg to Florida: Hickstead

Here I am, in lovely Hickstead, somewhere between Crawley (Gatwick airport) and Brighton in the local Travelodge. Took me about four and a half hours to get here from Haverfordwest and I can sincerely say, I am nackered. The drive was very smooth although I knew I was going to be hitting the London’s circular road (the M25) at rush hour. My satnav took me from the M4 via a shortcut to the M3 and then on the M25. A bit weird but you get used to these sort of weird decisions from your friendly in-car route manager.

Weather-wise it was a great day to travel, the skies were blue and there wasn’t a cloud in sight the whole trip. Things just got a bit tricky in Hickstead as the daylight was gone and my satnav could not find the Travelodge hotel in the first go. It took me up some reasonably deserted road that actually ended up at a different hotel. After finding out the right way from the friendly reception staff, I turned back from the hotel onto this deserted road I came on. Despite looking both ways – complete darkness (absolutely no street lights), turned onto the road only to be met by some intense swearing from behind. I still don’t know if this was a cyclist I surprised or made him angry because I was using my stronger headlights. In any case he was completely invisible to me and heavens knows what he was wearing. After looking back I still couldn’t see him except a very faint cycle lamp that was extremely poorly visible at best. This reminds me of times when I used to cycle a lot to work – it is very important to be seen even if you think you are the shining light personified.

Sorry, invisible cyclist :-(

Tomorrow should see me on the long and arduous plane ride. The Virgin Atlantic e-ticket says you have have your check-in procedures completed 2.5 hours prior to departure. That means another early wake up and I am just very glad the flight is not earlier in the morning.