The second leg of the journey has begun, after a few days with Christopher’s parents I loaded up the bike and headed towards Hungary for WIMA’s international rally. Well, first of all I headed to a garage in London. Lazy Cat got serviced and a new rear tyre, and I got recommendations to replace the clutch cable, it should last until Hungary, and front brake pads, they should last until Sweden. The chain should last until I’m back in England again. Relieved that all was well so far, I headed towards the white cliffs of Dover.
I’m in favour of this crossing to the continent and I try to convince myself that it is because it is the cheapest alternative. The truth is that I like the sound of it: Dover-Calais. I have written about this before – a Swedish pop group called Style made a popular love song with this title and I hear it in my head every time I make this crossing. It is a very cheesy song but I really liked it back then, and still, to some extent I suppose, since it has such power over me.
Well over in France I started thinking of waffles and coincidentally the GPS told me that the shortest route to Hungary, avoiding highways, was through Belgium. Hurray! Those of you who know me, also know that I do not believe in fate – however I do believe in lucky coincidences. So onwards I rode, towards Belgium and waffles, the sun in my back and the wind in my face, the welcoming EU-flag with Belgium announced that I had left France and no other measure was needed. I mused for a while on the fact that travelling in Europe is so smooth, no extra paper work to do and no extra fees. I am so happy to be a EU citizen, to have my EU passport, my European drivers licence, my European health card and a motorcycle insurance which is equally valid in all EU countries. I also could not help wondering how it will affect us when Christopher will cease to be so. With a head full of thought I surprised myself and had a salad for lunch, the waffle was completely forgotten and soon after the GP sent me back into France.
At the end of the day when I put up my tent I was even unsure of which country I was in, so easy are the border crossings. I had to check the receipt so I could text home: all good, in Belgium, will go for a run. I like running when I’m travelling, besides, it doesn’t feel right to wash my hair if I haven’t had a run first. Everyone has their habits I suppose. My right foot has been dodgy since after the marathon but I think it is getting better, a short 5k run in the sunset ended the day. The bad thing with evening runs is that when I make camp late like today, I’ll have to choose between running in the sunset or drinking beer in the sunset. It’s not a difficult choice, really. As I write this it is rather chilly, therefore, I’m having my beer in the tent with my legs in the sleeping bed like a mermaid’s tail.