Bergues to Ypres

Today started with customisation of lots of my accessories, mainly camera bag and handle bar bag. As a result, I’m more comfortable, gear changes are easier and everything seems to fit better. Also some of our bits and pieces were binned. Its beyond difficult to pack the right amount of stuff for such a long time, but we’re quickly realising that we’ve had too much. And so the purge started. Goodbye second bottle of suncream, we can get more on the way. We also had some delicious noodles for breakfast, more room straight away!!! 
The most important job this morning was Sam’s tyre. With seven punctures already mended and his tyre flatter than a French crepe, we had to find what was wrong and fix it. 2 more tyre patches later, we were dubious we had found the cure. But with no more options or ideas left, we loaded up our mammoth panniers and got ready to roll. 
We made progress today….. so much better than yesterday…. we are now in Ypres. Our cycle was difficult at times with a headwind that makes you feel you’d be better off just pitching the tent and having an ice cold beer at times. But we made it. 
Slightly pinker (Sheena) and with a sore bum (Sam) we arrived at the campsite. In contrast to the offerings of the bouffant lady, today we paid €11 for our pitch and didn’t have to pay for showers,  winning! 
Risotto was a winner and we ate like an Irish man given a plate of chips during the famine. We followed our dinner with listening to the last post at the Mennin Gate. We were a wee bit tardy but heard most of it. It reminded me of Willie McBride. Listening to Danny Boy on the fiddle made me think about the number of young Irishmen that fought in the first world war and never made it home. You couldn’t move for people, it was packed to the rafters! 
Following that, we wandered through Ypres in search of refreshment and happened on a stage being played by an American blue grass/rock band and apparently attended by a bunch of zombies. I think they’d have looked more enthusiastic if they were told they were about to be wormed. We got a couple of beers and enjoyed the show which, in fairness was pretty good.
This is the first post I’ve written (ironic as I’ve just heard the last post), but Sam’s ability to make me stick my chin up when I want to kick the shit out of my bike, or to laugh about 7 punctures in a row is something not many people are lucky to have. Sometimes I feel little, but with Sam, I know we can tackle the world together. Call me blessed, anointed or lucky, whatever is your leaning, but I feel like we are facing so many new challenges together, and that is the most exciting thing I could wish for.



The Menin Gate
The Menin Gate
Ypres cloth hall... rebuilt after WW1 and quite stunning.
Ypres cloth hall… rebuilt after WW1 and quite stunning.
Fixing one of the days many flats
Fixing one of the days many flats
The border guards were a touch stubborn
The border guards were a touch stubborn

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