Discovering the world on $20 per day ......................

Post 37: Welcome to Europe

Still in the Black Forest, 2,000 miles into Poor Circulation and still no photo' to upload, ... but we'll work it out eventually. (Spellcheck still in German too, ..... but I'm beyond caring anyway).

Where was I? Oh yes, 'Next stop France and cheap fuel'. Forget it, cheap fuel is a figment of other people's imaginations and it simply dose not exist. Well, at least not in these parts. On the plus side, May 1st is a Bank Holiday in France and we shared the roads with only lycra clad racing cyclists and waving spectators, .... so we of course gatecrashed affairs and waved back with glee. We were sticking to 'B' roads and thus avoiding the dreaded motorway tolls from biting into our meager budgets and while many of them had been 'closed' for the cyclists, we were waved through with great ceremony. Our 'MO' was to wear CitySprint jackets, look confident and smile at every checkpoint, ..... maybe they thought we were 'Escort Riders', but it worked. The downside to arriving on a Bank Holiday was that France 'closes' for the day, ... and that includes petrol stations. We headed for Lille and managed 257 miles before finding a filling station that was actually open. The slow pace had rewarded us with amazing fuel economy and we actually had at least 2L left in each of the tanks, ..... good planning really.

We hadn't shown our passports on leaving England nor entering France and as for Belgium, .... the border crossing was passed at 80Kmph without so much as a wave, ..... vive la Europe. We headed for a small town in Belgium called Chimay which is famous for it's amazing brewery, .... no surprise there then. We found a camping site and strolled into a deserted town centre. On instinct, I ducked down a side lane and saw a sign in front of me, 'Queen Mary, Bikers Welcome'. We'd decided to go 'Native' and avoid such places, but on opening the door I was amazed to be confronted with a mannequin in full racing leathers, Valentino Rossi no less. We spent the night in there and listened to quite possibly the worst evening of karaoke every encountered, ... so bad in fact that it was truly amazing, .... we love the Belgium's.

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