Shaun spent Friday packing Tribby for our annual trip to France and after I finished work we headed to my parents to drop off Archie before we headed to Dover and our overnight stop at Hawthorn Farm. This weekend was almost a repeat of last year's trip! The crossing was ok - as always made easier by booking the lounge. The French campsite was more muddy this year thanks to all the recent rain and so we chose the pitch that looked less boggy (or so we thought). The owner, Marcel, has built a new shower/toilet block since last year - it's much nicer than the original one and the washing up area is not near the open air urinal. On our way into the site we spotted some event signs in a strange place and had a bit of panic that the route had been changed, so we decided to head to our planned spectating spot to check. Panic over - all the normal signs and sector marker were in place. When we got back we opened the bubbles and got dinner - tonight's culinary delight - home made rabbit stew & vegetables
On Sunday morning we headed back to Sector 14 at Sars et Rosieres. We parked up where we thought we would be safe and went for a little wander down to cow poo mound corner and back. Quick breakfast of fried egg sandwich and then the Gendarmes arrived to move us on - absolutely no vehicles on the route, no matter how far away from the road you are. Quick putting away of stuff and off we went to find a better parking spot. Luckily we were still able to get to Tribby - sitting by the roadside from 9am to 4pm would mean a visit to use the facilities. It was a perfect day for sitting and waiting for the event to start - we took our new chairs which were very comfortable and perfect for watching the comings and goings, and chatting to other supporters.
|Mr B surveying the cobbles|
|Relaxing in the sun|
|Our Belgian friends who have been at the same spot for the last 10 years!|
At about 12.30/1pm the junior riders came through - there was a massive pile up on the corner before our spot which included one of the Team GB riders - luckily no serious injuries and they all carried on to Roubaix, although some were pretty battered.
The cyclists were supposed to reach us at about 3.15, but at 3.30 there wasn't even a sighting of the helicopter following them. It was another 15 minutes before they made an appearance. It had obviously been a very hard day on the road
|Matty Hayman - the eventual winner|
Back to the campsite - couldn't get on to our pitch as it was so wet, we tried another but that didn't work either and had to be pulled out by Marcel the owner! He showed us where there was a better pitch and we parked up for the night. Tonight's culinary delight - sausage stew! We do eat well on our trips and are getting better at catering for ourselves in a limited space with limited equipment! Batch cooking is definitely the way forward.
I think I had too much sun and wine on the Sunday, and spent the rest of the afternoon/evening napping inside Tribby
Up early on Monday for the drive back to Dunkirk. We stopped at our normal service station for breakfast and buy some baguettes for lunch (much better than what you can get on the boat). Spotted a migrant sitting on the grass in the car park so it was a flying visit. The security at Dunkirk has been stepped up a huge amount with the lorries going through a number of scans and searches. Luckily for cars and motorhomes it's only one search!
All in all a fantastic weekend - just what we needed after the disaster of Easter weekend and the bike fall and not long until my birthday !