Today we begin our summer #surfacetravel continental adventure: from Caen in Normandy to Santander in Northern Spain. We are travelling via mixture of bicycle and train.

The adventure began yesterday with putting our bicycles on the ferry at Portsmouth. As a cycle passenger on a ferry you exist in this weird no persons land between foot passenger and car driver. The cycle route from Portsmouth harbour to the ferry port it’s actually very well signposted. But when you get to the ferry port it is unclear what you are supposed to do. Once we realised though that you’re supposed to line up with the cars, it’s pretty straightforward. And cycling across the open expenses of the ferry terminal and up to the boat feels quite rebellious.

As a regular readers of this blog will know, I love a ferry ride. Ferries are like floating buildings. A funny mixture of shopping centre, hotel and seagoing vessel. I also love a cafeteria. All of this made for a very enjoyable six hour crossing. I particularly enjoyed trying some handstands in the deck with S.

Riding with Brittany ferries feels like I’m having a little piece of France pick you up from the UK coast. A two course lunch menu followed by a stiff coffee. The Tour de France on the TV.

Speaking of which, I was blown away watching the race leader stop to allow his rival to catch up after having fallen on the slopes in the Pyrenees. So often the historical stories of men racing in the tour are about macho rivalries. this feels much more sporting, much more human.

Looking forward to beginning our own Tour de France.