Day 156: Portsmouth to Southampton England, Friday September 22nd
The last real ride. The road gods smiled on us and granted our wish: sunny weather on our last day of serious riding.
Our pod-people hosts were in their kitchen when we went down to make tea and toast. We got a, “Good morning” then, “We’re off, have a good day.” And they were gone. Kenco watched us get ready and saw us to the door.
We rode cycle route 22 north out of the city, but discovered that it had been rerouted away from the water’s edge. We switched to route 236 in Cosham, which took us to Fareham. This was all suburban, with no real green breaks, but much of it was on separated cycle paths. Next the 224 took us south, back to the Solent. All this effort (about 3.5 hours of riding) and we found we could see the Spinnaker building at Portsmouth harbour again. It was unfortunate, but the short way, along route 2, involved a stupidly expensive ferry, and we were in no hurry on this day.
Now we were on route 2 again, the cycle route we were on all along the south coast. This time we headed west. The “Lee-on-the-Solent” section was very nice. We stopped at a small monument dedicated to the Canadian soldiers of D-Day.
Actually, the route was very nice all the way to Warsash, giving us a little bit of everything (almost). There was gravel, there was river-side, there were country roads, etc. In Warsash we found (with some difficulty) the tiny pier where an on-demand ferry took us to Hamble. It was the cutest little pink ferry boat, and we were the only passangers for our crossing. £3.50 for both of us and our bikes.
The route remained very good all the way to Woolston, the neighbourhood in Southampton where we had booked our last UK Airbnb. Once again, we were greeted by a pug: Xander. Paul, our host, gave us the standard tour, then said, “I’ll leave you to it.” Oh well. I did mention the pug, right? There’s also a cat named Buffy. Paul likes the same TV shows as us, apparently.
Woolston is a bit run down, but in a way that proved good for us, because there are lots of Charity Shops. There are some things we hope to purchase before the cruise to New York. There’s also a couple of grocery stores.
We did a big load of laundry in Paul’s machine. We’re still not clear on why driers are so rare here, but there was a drying rack in our room.