Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Belgian Goose alarm clock

Day 125 14.03.13 Ostend and Dunkirk

We’re woken up early by the riverside Geese, one of whom is particularly feisty!  We’re up and on the road sharpish as there’s a long drive ahead.  We’re aiming to get close to the ports to minimise the amount of travel and therefore Ali stress likely to occur before the ferry home!  We plot a course for Ostend where we spent our first night on this trip.  The drive gets very hectic around the major cities and some discarded bits of wood(?) lying on the jam-packed ringroad around Brussels make for a hair-raising experience!

We make it in one piece and pull up alongside a row of campers in the park beside town.  It’s a great spot and much busier this time around.  Ostend is however brutally cold!  The bitter sea air has frozen everything in sight, even droplets of rain on cars has frozen into an icy layer.  The morning dew freezing around the plant stems makes for a very attractive sight.  We walk into town and grab some lunch.  Some very bizarrely dressed men from a local tourist scheme give us a single red rose for Chris to give me as its Valentine’s Day.  How very lovely!  I get lots of jealous looks from female passers-by who clearly think I have a super romantic boyfriend (how little do they know haha ;-p).  We get rid of some of the last of the euros on ingredients for a nice dinner, nothing too spectacular but in comparison to our usual tight budget it’s practically haut cuisine!

After reminding ourselves of the town’s sights we head back to the van to defrost!  Looking up the distance to Dunkirk shows we still have a 50 minute drive to the port so we decide to move a bit closer and get to Dunkirk itself.  We park up in an aire beside the beach.  There are a couple of campervans there already including one I assume is there permanently and belongs to an elderly man and his two cats who leap in and out of the camper and scamper around in the sand.

We secure the van and head onto the beach front for a walk.  It’s nowhere near as cold as Ostend and the sun setting has turned the clouds beautiful shades of orange, pink and red.  It’s a gorgeous spot for an early evening stroll and a wonderfully romantic end to a chilly Valentine’s Day.

We settle down to a wonderfully filling dinner and some films for our last night in Van Diesel.  It’s a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions today! 


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