My second travelogue, the first was the Netherlands at the same time last year. This one is 4 days longer, we went back because we enjoyed the first one so much and with all the experience under our belts from last year it ought to be plain sailing [cough]. This is a great way of writing a diary for future reference and of course to recall some great memories. The plan this time was to circumnavigate the Netherlands anti-clockwise taking in some of Belgium and likewise Germany and hope that the usual prevailing westerly wind would not be too strong for the second half, that was the hope................. Wednesday 6th August, bikes checked panniers loaded we headed down the road to Oakham station to get the train to Cambridge then ride from there to Harwich to catch the over night ferry to Hook of Holland. It was not an auspicious start, we arrived at the station to discover the train had been cancelled eek! No explanation until dr_pink went to ask, staff shortage. We went back home for a cup of tea. Back to the station for the hour later train and just to add a bit more misery to our plans this was 15 mins late. Those of you who travel with your bikes by train will know that the carriage for bikes is pathetic as you can only fit 2 bikes there plus there is no way of securing them [Netherlands 1, UK 0]. We found seats not too far away where we could see the bikes when a chap opposite said hello, it was @400bhp ! He was on his way to work at Stansted, what an amazing coincidence, it certainly helped to pass the time. We said our goodbyes and leaving the train at Cambridge began our ride to Harwich, Leaving Six Mile Bottom, about 5 miles done. All photos were taken on my mobile so not the greatest quality, also many were taken on the move which was often tricky with a loaded bike. Luckily the weather was about perfect for cycling with a gentle tailwind so progress was good. I had planned a route via Lavenham and knew most of the roads already from leading Cambridge CC club runs Outside The Swan in Lavenham We made Harwich in really good time, a touch over 5 hours. As last year we headed for the same fish and chip shop and thence to the same park by the sea to eat. A 3 mile ride to the ship to discover 20 or more other cyclists and almost as many motorbikes. Many of the latter were old Royal Enfields pulling trailers. This is on the ramp that takes you over the freight area on to the ship. About to board Before boarding we had visited Morrisons conveniently situated by the docks to get a stack of food for a late night snack on board, this included 2 small [honest] bottles of red wine. Mileage for the day Day 2 to follow.