After the first two days of pretty straight riding, Monday was a good day to rest a bit as well as to release some old memories from my time studying in Sunderland, just around the corner from Newcastle. Newcastle is still as rough and friendly as I remembered it. I also had the chance to finally catch up with Paul from Montane, to get some new kit and swap some of the old stuff for it. The items I exchanged due to the lack of space in the panniers were the Montane Stormrider to a high visibility Velocity Jacket, and my blue Featherlight jacket to a high visibility version as well. Main reason was that after riding on dark and fast roads the two nights beforehand I felt that using the high visibility stuff would actually improve being seen by car drivers, and the choice was a good one. I will post reviews of the stuff later in the equipment page, but so far all the kit has done an amazing job.
Task number two was to cycle to Antony Gormley‘s Angel of the North, one of the worlds most seen sculptures. One of the reasons for claiming that title is that he placed it right to a busy motorway, so I was back on dual roads again. Seeing this amazingly massive piece of art was one of my highlights, and was rounded up with a nice sunny break for pictures along the quayside in Newcastle and Gateshead.
Highlight number three was the ferry journey to Amsterdam. After a rather unspectacular cycle to North Shields I catched up with Catherine from DFDS, who kindly slashed some pounds off the journey and showed me around the harbour, and the setting sun was perfect for some great pics. On the boat I soon boarded my rather luxury cabin, and had enoguh time to chill out. Catherine had also kindly accepted a parcel for me, and the Jetboil stove and a much needed travel towel completed the kit. After watching the boat leaving I indulged myself to some nachos and met some nice people, and the evening was concluded with a Guiness in the bar. It was a rather funny experience, the mixed audience made up for some good people spotting and the odd laugh about complicated moves on the dancefloor. With plenty of different places to explore, some rather funny Geordie youngsters and a shop I did not get bored at all, the 15 hours on the boat flew by. After 43 kms and with some slight waves I fell to sleep soon.
More images are here