Donkeys Everywhere


I cycled right up to the door of the tourist information office in Leglise, a modern steel and glass structured with pine wood cladding all over it, sort of Swedish sauna meets green house. It is right next to the police station both were closed. I rearranged my panniers for bedtime and started to look for a place to sleep. I went round the back of the tourist information office and discovered they have lovely Swedish style showers, they too were closed. I could have slept in the entrance, it was enclosed but the floor was covered in what seemed to be railway ballast (Swedish). I scouted for potential accommodation for the evening, there was a new build, a house with walls no windows or roof but it was unfenced and in a quite area, however it had water covering all the floor, they want to get that fixed before selling it.

I headed up the hill pushing the bike out of Leglise and for the next mile there were donkeys in the fields on both sides of the road. I had to laugh as they came from the far side of the field and walked with me, there were five of them on one-sided and three on the other, when I stopped, they stopped. When these donkeys could walk no further they began to Eeyore really loudly, as if to say cheerio – I enjoyed being spurred on by those donkeys.

At last I was at the top of the hill with a decent descent, I freewheeled down thinking of my new friends. I spotted a couple of places to wild camp but there were people working in the fields nearby, I pressed on and came across a lay by, it was full of farm equipment that looked like it had been there a while. There were two flat-bed trailers and I thought I’d sleep on one of them but I decided otherwise as it would be to exposed, so I slept under it. That way I would be out of sight and if it rained I would be reasonably dry. I lay my ground sheet out behind the wheels, so if for some reason a farmer towed it away and I hadn’t heard him hook it up I wouldn’t be crushed. I set up camp under the flat-bed trailer and had a very comfy night. I woke at 06:00 a little chilly but rolled over and slept another hour, once up and my bed was away I stayed and made coffee. It was a misty morning so lights and visi jacket on and away I went, an hour later the mist was thick fog.

I was getting cold so stopped at another lay by to build a fire, I managed to make a small fire but the wood was damp creating lots of smoke and a passing motorist stopped to see what I was doing. I explained I was cold and he just smiled and left. My fire building skills were lame so I extinguished it and moved on, by this time the sun had come out anyway.

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About John Holt

John Holt has worked in the travel industry for over 14 years and comes highly recommended by Trip Advisor for his practical and candid talks on travel destinations. Spending 18 months as a "Local Interest Specialist" for a leading tour operator John has become known as having more practical information than Google.

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