Half the challenge of cycle touring abroad is actually making it to the start point with man, machine and accoutrements all present and correct.

Stevenage, Stansted, Nice and Toulon were all waymarkers to be negotiated before finally arriving in the port of Bastia 24 hours after leaving Edinburgh.

The contours of Corsica with a fully loaded bicycle are gruelling enough, but with the added distraction of a disrupted daily rhythm due to lack of fibre in the local diet, morale can be erratic.

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