Operation Alternator

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Possu, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. strobingred

    strobingred Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    Benson, Oxfordshire
    Sorry it is iMovie. I have mirror on the 690 not 400. see you wednesday then.
    #21
  2. strobingred

    strobingred Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    Benson, Oxfordshire
    Priceless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    #22
  3. Pumpy

    Pumpy Exiled Pumpernickel

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,147
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    Sorry, I'm late again...

    Meeting Roos and Wilf for a curry on Saturday reminded me that there was still another ride report to write... [​IMG]


    Ok, I start on Friday morning in Oxford when we heard a familiar noise outside -

    Not sure who invited Strobingred along...
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    ... but still, his bike and stuff fitted nicely into Vannie II
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    Contrary to the weather forecast, we had lots of blue sky on the way down to Folkestone and were hopeful for the weekend...
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    The sun still greeted us when we emerged in Calais - but then it slowly disappeared the closer we got to our camp site...
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    ... where we were welcomed by (clockwise from left) DuibhceK, Gunni, Wilma, Peet, Rose, CrazyIvan, GPS, Laouen and Emmsy Poo
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    It just stayed dry long enough to unload the bikes...
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    ... put the first KTM into the hedge... :rolleyes
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    ... and head for the bar - WM O'Borneo and DuibhceK framing our host Christophe
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    Then the heavens opened and threw everything available at us - even some hail! :eek1
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    Fortunately dinner was served on-site that evening and Sarah Teach and Emma did a great job collecting the orders :deal
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    I'm sure you can have some meat with your frites, Rick.
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    With varying commands of French everyone made sure that Christophe understood what we wanted to eat...
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    ... and we were all quite happy with the result (clockwise from left) - WM O'Borneo, RickA, Laouen, DuibhceK, Karin, Blackbert, Timpo, Sarah Teach and GPS
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    I don't want to be identified...
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    ... but still would like to contribute to the Klim debate... :augie
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    ... whereas Possu preferred a practical test:
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    Having learnt from last year's experience, I stayed away from everything alcoholic and soon retired to my sleeping bag. So no further photographic evidence from the evening's shenanigans - maybe that's for the better actually... :evil

    During the night we shifted in and out of sleep according to the rain showers resonating on the van roof - would the downpour ever stop? :rolleyes

    To be continued...
    #23
  4. Dr JM

    Dr JM Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    Oxfordshire, UK
    Great report so far Ela, almost made me wish I'd been able to make it!
    #24
  5. Pumpy

    Pumpy Exiled Pumpernickel

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,147
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    Looking at the fabulous pictures from your Morocco trip I may have been tempted to swap places. :evil


    You certainly had better weather down there, because in Northern France the rain just didn't stop. Admittedly, there was a wee little break in the morning - just long enough to fool me into going to the shower block without waterproofs... [​IMG]

    Breakfast was served in the campsite's restaurant - nice, fresh and French - and landlord Christophe insisted on pouring our coffee himself
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    Roughly half of the weekend's attendees had made it out of bed so far - still, some seemed more awake than others...
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    Everyone with suitable technical equipment was browsing the weather forecast to find an area slightly drier than our current one. I remember that Wiltshire was mentioned several times... :augie
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    ... and in the meantime the water level kept rising...
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    ... giving Clive the opportunity to show us some leg... :huh
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    Ok, what do you do when you really don't feel like scuba-trail riding - and you still want to spend time with your Belgian friends, preferably in the warm and dry?

    You could retreat to your van and slowly get tanked up together - or you could drive into the countryside and take some parking lessons... :augie
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    ... but no, we went shopping instead! :D
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    I am DuibhceK, the Prince of Darkness - be afraid, very afraid...
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    With her other half busy, Laouen embarked on the quest of getting a whole week's shopping done in under 15 minutes...
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    Funny things they sell in French sport shops - Canard au Caoutchouc... :scratch
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    Here we see Strobingred and Blackbert doing their best to look really, really nice - whereas Possu is just plain rude... :rolleyes
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    Karin showing us what to wear on the French trails this season
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    And with the offerings of Decathlon exhausted, we headed to the mother of all Calaian shopping centres, La Cité Europe
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    Soon we had figured out where to get the best value for money - one of Possu's specialities - and settled for a fully loaded baguette including drink and pudding... :dg
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    Oh well, there is always one... :rolleyes
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    Of course, the chances of finding a bike dealer in such an entertainment complex are slim, but with our combined female ingenuity, Karin, Laouen and I were able to coax the desired information out of two very helpful shop assistants - who were only too happy to leave their squealing BMX clientele wait until they had given us 'proper bikers' detailed directions to Motoland Calais.

    Here, Karin and Laouen took the opportunity to have a look at next year's trail fashion
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    Possu seemed less enthusiastic about the men's style...
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    But then - the sun came out and we hurried back to the campsite, hooray! :clap

    Would we still ride some trails that afternoon? :evil

    To be continued...
    #25
  6. Blackbert

    Blackbert Factory Rambler

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,068
    Location:
    Belgium, wrong side of the river
    Some shocking images you have there. I hope it gets better soon ...
    #26
  7. Pumpy

    Pumpy Exiled Pumpernickel

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,147
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    Don't you worry, Bert, it will get better -

    maybe not in the direction you are hoping for... :evil
    #27
  8. Pumpy

    Pumpy Exiled Pumpernickel

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,147
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    Back at the campsite, we were greeted by a phenomenon very common to Northern Europe during the cold season (which is most of the year in the UK, actually...): as soon as the sun comes out so do the deckchairs!
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    In the meantime I quickly carried out some damage (and risk!) assessment - the little brook running alongside the road
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    View from the bridge
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    One of our nearest lanes
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    With these observations in mind and only a few hours of daylight left, no one was really keen on changing into their trail riding gear - maybe we are getting old? :dunno

    Anyway, some restless scouts decided that further exploration on foot was required...
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    And while the locals were still reluctant to set a hoof outside...
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    ... we enjoyed the beautiful countryside
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    Gunni and Wilma walking yet another flooded trail
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    It's not as flat as you may expect in Northern France :nod
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    ... and once we had reached higher ground, our little excursion became even more pleasant
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    Another one for the list of houses Possu could buy me for Christmas... [​IMG]
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    Lovely period features
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    At the end of our loop we met the first drowned lane again. "We will make it through dry-shod, girls, just trust me..." :evil
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    And so we did! Back at Le Canchy, two more gnarly Adventure Riders had arrived
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    Not sure what had taken Stuart and Matt so long... :augie
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    Soon it was time to head into town for dinner
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    The sun still kept a low profile
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    There is something very special about these little French towns...
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    The next morning we wouldn't be served breakfast at the campsite, so alternative plans had to be made
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    Why don't we go here? Should be able to get some mates rates... :evil
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    Downtown Licques
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    'Le Tacot' - offering everything a biker can possibly ask for
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    We were the only dining guests that evening (photo kindly taken by Clivie)
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    The service was friendly and efficient, the wall decoration rather unusual...
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    ...but the food bordered on the experimental... :scratch
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    Not really what you expect from 'la cuisine francaise'... Still, we had a good time...
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    ... and not too late we walked home through the nocturnal peace (and dry!) in the most considerate and well-behaved manner... :rolleyes

    Surely we would finally go trail riding the next morning, wouldn't we?

    To be continued...
    #28
  9. ChubbyThumper

    ChubbyThumper Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    474
    Location:
    Co.Antrim, N.Ireland
    Great stuff Pumpy. I sure you weren't too impressed with the calf's head decor.:cry:cry
    #29
  10. duibhceK

    duibhceK duibhce Kaelann

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    444
    Location:
    Chapel of the Well
    :ear:D
    #30
  11. IamTRooPeR

    IamTRooPeR TRooPER from Belgium

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    East Flanders' Ardennes Belgium
    .....one year later......

    are they still in the restaurant doing the dishes ?
    #31