11. Diary Entry: Cycling


Monday, 7th September 2015

Dear diary,

How are you? I am fine. At the moment, I am on an excursion in Canterbury. I know, it is for university but I am enjoying it a lot.

Today was great. We did a bicycle ride with a small group of students: Kim, Emi, Kira, Kai, Sascha, Gabi, and Elisa. Tom was our tour guide.

Getting ready in the morning was easy because we left after the rest of the group who went to Chatham Historical Dockyard. Therefore, we had enough time to prepare lunch packs. Afterwards we got ready to walk down to the bicycle rent in Canterbury city. The day already started with some “sporty” exercise, just great. Once we arrived at the bicycle rent, we had to wait until all the bikes were there. Moreover, before we knew where we were, we sat on our bike with ideal adjusted height. Now I am not going to mention, that we had difficulties to find the nicer way up to university instead of just heading up the street. On that way we got to know our bicycles and some had to find out that the gears were not working, as they wanted. Nevertheless, even worse was that the chain of a bike came off a few times. However, that was no difficulty for us. Our amazing bicycle skills helped to deal with this “problem”. We did not need to wait for cyclists with our bicycle turned upside down who should help us, as the woman in the bicycle rent suggested. However, when we reached the university and sorted ourselves, the trip started out to be really good.

We went to Herne Bay, Kent, which is a lovely place at the beach. I remember that stop quite well because I know someone who lived there during his childhood. It was nice to see the place he grew up. To get there, we cycled through various naturalistic paths, as the forest, the beach, and the dyke. Parts of our way were nearly impenetrable because the forest was too thick and we had to carry our bikes over fallen trees. There while we had to watch out for nettles. For sure, we had a real nature-experience. More over we tried to define trees and grasses, which did not work out too well. After each stage of the journey, we waited for all the group members to catch. Therefore, everyone could make his or her way, up the hill (or down) in his or her own pace.

Just an hour or so before lunch break it became cold. We had our food in a nice little park at the beach next to a seaside café. Nevertheless, after a while eating and chatting, we unanimously agreed to have a hot drink before we continued to cycle. It became so cold with the freezing wind at the seaside that everyone was just relived to defrost again. It was quite a distance we had travelled so far. One part of the way we had to walk. Riding our bikes in that area would have cost £ 500. Therefore, nobody wanted to risk it. Nevertheless, it was definitely worth walking that way. There were lovely small houses or huts in all colors you can imagine. They were right at the beach. One can rent them to have a beach house in the summer. We say a few surfers who used one of the houses as a place to have parties. However, there were two ladies as well who had a really cozy hut. Two big armchairs and hot tea made it so harmonious and looked right like that what we were looking for to have lunch. It was not exactly what we found but it however it was a nice place as well.

In there, getting warm again and having interesting conversations I experienced how our group was interacting. It was a nice development throughout the trip. Even the sun was on our side. Again, it started to become very warm. We continued our ride and only a few minutes later came to a lovely place at the seaside. There we took some adventurous photos at the cliff and at a ruin, which was a lot of fun. The overall idea was that all of us should be on the photo. Therefore, we asked a passenger if he could take a photo of us but he had to decline. So we used the delayed-action shutter release (as well called self-timer 😉 ) and I jumped the fence and some rocks to reach the others in time to have a good photo of the group.

Having stopped again, we discussed how our tour continues. Astonishing was that all of us agreed on the longer tour to get back because of the fun factor and the reason that we would see more even though it was a longer route. It was carried unanimously by every one of us. Happy seeing another way, we took our bikes. As well on the way back, I felt this pleasant atmosphere of our group actually functioning as the same. Team effort, waiting for one another, caring if everyone is all right as well as motivating and supporting each other was the main interest of all group members.

Coming closer to Canterbury some bottoms started to hurt. However, we had a creative but helpful idea and arranged a scarf on a saddle so that one could sit more comfortable on it. Back at the bicycle rental in Canterbury, we left the bikes and remembered the codes of the locks (by the way, it is 1999). You never know. Of course, we would not…

Afterwards, we went shopping in the supermarket across the street and got some food. Subsequently we went up to university where nearly the whole group joined in. Just two of us took the bus but funnily arrived five minutes after we did. Haha, got ya. Having done this exercise throughout the day I felt somehow relieved and relaxed.

Concluding, it was a great idea to go cycling. Having had a good day and an even better valuable insight of the country all of us were happy. Actually, it just became such a nice adventure because of the group. Thanks to everyone who joined and to our guide Tom.

The bottom line is that it was a great cycling trip.

I will write again.

Anna Maria