|Tiger on a train|
Unfortunately the train then didn't move for the next three and a half hours as the one in front had broken down in the tunnel, so I just sat on the floor and waited. Eventually we got through and I was faced with a night ride. So I wimped out, rode into the centre of Calais, found a Holiday Inn and stayed for the night. I felt much better Sunday morning, got up late, had a huge breakfast and set of mid-morning to ride up to Holland. France was dispatched quite quickly as I decided to ride down to Ypres in Belgium to visit the First World war military cemeteries dotted all around the area
|Tiger in Belgium|
I must admit I'd hoped for lots of twisty little roads to enjoy and get used to the Tiger on, unfortunately Belgium's main scenery seems to be lots of fields with dead straight roads running beside them. Not a bend to be seen. I visited a couple of cemeteries; with the hot sun blazing down on the rows and rows of gravestones recording the thousands of young men who died in those pointless I became pensive and a little depressed. Such a waste of life.
|Allied troops cemetery at Passendale|
I soon headed away across country towards Ghent, keeping to the minor roads I was enjoying the ride, starting to open the Tiger up having kept the revs down to 5000 for the first couple of hundred miles as advised by the dealer. A stop for petrol and a roadside snack saw me sitting in the sun pondering on the friendliness of the Belgians - well the young lady in the burger van smiled at me, at least. Realising I'd spent half of the day without getting much closer to my destination I joined the autoroute and headed north towards Antwerp. Using an iphone for a satnav does have its drawbacks (must get more organised!) as I had to keep stopping to figure out where I was; once on the autoroute a couple of hours of boredom soon saw me across the border into Holland, heading for Breda. Thinking I was quite near home I turned off onto a minor road to (hopefully) enjoy some twisties - yeah with my luck I'd turned off onto a cycle race route, all roads blocked and manned by police. An interminable time spent riding round in circles saw me finally back on the motorway, only to be confronted by a massive traffic jam caused by roadworks. On the bright side, it did give me a chance to practice filtering; I quite enjoyed sailing along between 10 miles of fuming motorists! Eight hours after setting off from Calais I arrived in Dordrecht and my little apartment in the city centre. No street parking allowed, so I managed to squeeze the bike in through the front door and left her parked in the hallway. A mini adventure indeed