France a Breeze (well gale)

France - France a Breeze (well gale)

Entering country No:2 was a breeze, I had dried off enough to be comfortable and although it was very windy rode off the ferry and out of the port. I then had to push the bike all the way to the railway station to meet mum.

We walked down the main Calais road looking for a bed and breakfast but ended up eating in an American diner of all places. The diner was called Sixties, all the music was from the 60’s but in French (doesn’t work). I ordered a starter of onion rings, calamari, fish balls (no comment). Mum thought the calamari was off onion rings, I had to laugh. We then had a burger and fries, mum was full from the starter so emptied a Tupperware box of biscuits she had and but her full burger in it, “I’ll have that later” she said. Classic!

I had called into a hotel earlier to check price and availability but they had nowhere to store my bike, so I suggested mum stayed and I cycle the 3 miles to a campsite. It was getting late and I had to dry all my soggy gear so mum checked in and we arranged to meet at Saint Omer late the next day.

Finding the campsite was easy enough and it was right next to the beach, the sun was still out and the wind had dropped just enough to lay all my stuff on the floor to dry off. I headed for the loo and shower block only to be told by the cleaner “closed” I needs a wee is there a toilet “closed” how can this be! Turns out he was cleaning the shower block and the loo is next door and his English vocabulary is “closed” which is better than my French.

Once back at camp I set up, still leaving some stuff outside to dry, I lay in my tent and ate a bag of wine gums, this turned out to be a mistake as I now had a sugar rush and struggled to get to sleep. However I must have nodded off as I was being woken by the sound of rain, it was pissing it down and yep you guessed it my stuff is outside, too late to rescue it I rolled over and went back to sleep.

I decided not to rush off in the morning as most of my gear was soaked and the sky was dull, I went for a shower and shave but didn’t leave the shower block for an hour as the rain was bouncing off the floor. I had no way of contacting mum but to take the pressure off my only option was to stay another night, I went to the office and booked in again. I went back to the tent made some noodles and was going to go to sleep and the sun came out. As soon as I lowered my head I thought it was a bad idea and I should really sort my gear out. As the bivi bag just let in water when in the muddy field I decided to bin it as it was excess weight.

I spent the next few hours cleaning my bike, oiling the chain, cable and washed my panniers. I still had no way of contacting mum so at 4pm decided to catch a train to meet mum at Saint Omer.

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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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