France, Belgium, Netherlands in one go from the 14th to the 19th of mai 2013 ... and 327 kilometers along the coastPar Marie Chiff mine dans Programme du guidon conteur pour le dernière ligne droite le 17 Juin 2013 à 12:03
A WEEK OF TRANSITIONS, OF CROSSINGS AND OF GREY MOOD INTO THE SKY !
In Calais, the clouds are as heavy as my bike ! It' s raining cats and dogs !
My bike and I will find a shelter to the Youth Hostel of Calais ! Then, I have sent 4 kilos of uselessl things at my home in France. Do I need everything ? What's the difference between a need and a need ? Great question of the life !
There are many quotations all over the walls of the youth hostel like that one : (See the picture in french, of course, which says : "The table is the mediator of friendship ")
Now, I am feeling as light as the clouds and I ride the next day to Dunkerque.
Lovely road ! I discover the flat countryside and can see lots of birds. I stop in OYE-PLAGE ! (=Goose-strand) There are fresh, french fries ! Fred and Françoise, the owners, spent a long while with me, talking and dreaming, sharing with me their french fries ! Many thanks for your smile !
Close to St Pol sur Mer, I met a tricycle ! Let's go for a drink and a great talk about bikes and philosophy ! His retirement concentrates him on making tricycles for fun. Henri is very proud of his creation made with recycled iron ! Well done, Henri !
The Youth Hostel of Dunkerque is nice and friendly ! There is a special room for bikes ! It's close to the Northern See ! Its waves and its wind will join me a long way as a company.
The ancient belgian doll has been replaced by a chocolate shop Leonidas ! If all the borders could melt like chocolate, it will be perfect ! Here I am in the flemish part of Belgium, The Flanders !
Rain, rain, rain, again ! Sometimes, there are some drops of rain, sometimes there is rain in one go, sometimes there is a whole delivery of many clouds full of......grains of rain ! I deal with it and I enter the dunes . The names on signs become foreign names with very special pronounciation ! It's in dutch ! Nobody is outside on those enormous dykes ! Just me and my dreams !
Even with the weather in bad mood, I ride with the tought of Julos Beaucarne, belgian singer : "Go with the discovery of the inner sun,...we live often under the shadow of ourselves; "
Many cycling roads ands paths welcome the cyclists. Dutch and french languages are often heard. Ostende is my last belgian stop before Netherlands. I had some troubles sometimes for a shelter for my bike at night but my blue horse and I have always found a safe and warm place each evening.
Look at the sunset ! That's the only one I've seen for so long ! (Look at it as long as you can !)
In Netherlands, bikes are kings ! I've met lots of students and pupils riding with their whole classroom for class outings.
Vlissingen....I am really in Netherlands....Bikes, bikes, bikes ......everywhere !
Cycling roads everywhere ! That's fun and that's safe ! My bike is flying and rolling like the wings of the mills (=molen in dutch) or the wings of the wind farm !
One cyclist asked me the road for Outdorp ! Of course, I know perfectly that way ! I just crossed Outdorp before we met ! I was proud of my information to a dutch cyclist with very large bikes bags ! Oh, he is bilingual french and dutch ! We have exchange good adresses ! We'll meet again soon in Amsterdam where I'll be for four days.
Human kindness and generosity are not legends !
I tried a "mini-camping" in Tinte. It's a tiny campsite of 12 or 15 places. We're not many on that one ! But my neighbours, specially the dutch ladies Ingrrrrrid and Jose came to see me and asked me a few existential questions : Where are you from and where are you going to ? They made me my roadmap for the next day. We celebrated that with a glass ! They asked me questions about my job...What ? Storyteller ? What's the activity of a storyteller ? I wake up a few stories in english and they were very impressed and happy ! That evening was very special ;
As Paul Eluard (french poet) says : "There is nothing at random, just appointments".
I left the mini-camping with my precious roadmap. I will meet an other Jose on my way to Delft. She will be my guide for the afternoon ! I can't be lost with those wonderful ladies !
The days are full of surprises. Many Thanks to Fred, Françoise, Henri, Marnix, Ingrid, Jose, Jose and all the anonymous people who gave me an hand or a smile...on my way !
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