Saturday, 19 March 2022

Saturday 19 March - Bergues

Where's Bertie? He's at the free Aire in Bergues. It's his fifth time here, as it's a handy stopover pre- or post-Channel crossing.
Weather: Wall-to-wall sunshine. A bit of a cool breeze, but lovely when in the sun and out of the wind.

Mick and I stepped out of Bertie together this morning, but he soon trotted off ahead of me whilst I maintained a fast walk. 3.5km in I started introducing short (60s) stints of running, and when after another several kilometres that hadn't caused an adverse reaction, I started to increase the runs and decrease the walks. Then the top of my quad started complaining. Harrumph! I think this is a clear lesson that I am now at the age when I can't neglect strength and conditioning work for 2 months.

Our route went around two ponds/lakes (when does a pond become a lake?), and the 'moat', which included going under the Menin Gate.

I cut short my outing to 2 hours. Mick was back in 3. Showers, breakfast and stowing the huge amount of stuff that had spread itself around in the short time we had been stationary, and we were on the road - good timing for the motorhome that arrived a minute later, to find a single space now available. 

Immediately after the French border, we pulled into a petrol station, where we successfully refuelled with diesel (184.5 - odd how that suddenly seems like good value, having seen prices at 229.9 two days ago), but found the LPG pump to be out of order. Not to worry, the station next door also sells LPG and their pump was working ... but once again it refused to fill Bertie's tanks. I'm not sure what the problem is; it's something we've encountered a number of times before, but never multiple times in a row at different stations. We've still got over a week's worth of gas left, so it's not urgent, it's just that it's gas stations are far more prevalent in Europe than the UK, so we usually go home with full tanks.

Onwards to Bergues, where we found there to be plenty of capacity. There's even more now, as people have left during the afternoon. A contrast to our summer visits when vans have taken to parking in the middle of the large dirt car park, as all sides have been full.

As we've ambled around the town before, this afternoon I took myself for a walk around the outside of the walls. It's a nice place, particularly on a day as fine as this one.

That's pretty much it for this trip, as we're on the Chunnel early tomorrow morning. After two years spent mainly sitting in one place, a two-month trip sounded plenty long enough. In reality, it went in a blink of an eye, and I'm sure we could have amused ourselves for much longer in Spain (although, if we want to grasp a silver lining, the weather up here is much better than in southern Spain just now). Fingers crossed that circumstances don't conspire against our summer plans to return in this direction (before which, plans are afoot for some UK trips).

Bonus snap for Conrad, after tree-related content on his blog a few days ago. Maybe in summer I would have thought "That's a mighty fine tree", but at this time of year it wasn't clear what made it worthy of the award.


  1. Thanks for the tree. Good job you're not with P and O. I too have not been so active on a regular basis and have felt the burden of extra weight huffing and puffing up the hills. I am now determined to walk somewhere, most often from home I reckon, every day, but as you say advancing years make it more difficult to retrieve fitness.

  2. I enjoyed following you around. Assume you are now at home, loading up for the next trip!