We had a smooth ferry crossing and a pleasant, but unremarkable couple of days in France. The highlight was trying some bambaloni, a kind of Tunisian beignet. The lowlight was that my sleeping mat has a slow puncture, so by the morning I’m essentially sleeping on just the floor. We can’t find the hole, and the mat is over 10 years old, so I’ve ordered one to be picked up at a camping store in Belgium. Negotiating that conversation in Flemish is going to be fun.
Our last night in France we stayed at a really friendly campsite, where the owner saw us off with coffee and cake. We were surprised by a bit of a savage climb out of town, but reassured that the local club riders were also huffing and puffing in their low gears. The next hill was thankfully in the shade on a day that got to 24 degrees, and we’d stashed some pastries to eat at halfway as a secret weapon. We both got badly sunburnt, but we wouldn’t be Brits abroad without becoming bright red at some point. We arrived completely exhausted at camp, but the hosts were incredibly welcoming and they had the best shower block and largest beer menu we’ve seen at a campsite. There were also some goats. We had a couple of strong beers and couldn’t be arsed to cook that night, so ate at the cafe on site because they served bitterballen, one of about 950 foods that I cannot resist. It rained heavily most of the night and almost all of the next day. Camping in the rain in a muddy field is godawful, which meant more beer to set us right again.
Today has been a bit mixed. Some beautiful flat countryside, some poignant stops at WW1 cemeteries, a hail storm and a quiche.
We’ll continue making our way sloooooowly through Belgium and trying all the beers we can.