Beta Alp 4.0

A collection of information as it arises. There's not a lot out there!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Day 1: Home to Cambrai

So back in the saddle as I make my way to the 2013 edition of the VINCE; with the now commonplace journey to Cambrai. It's been hardgoing, sore shoulders, sore ears and generally tired. To keep it simple I went to Folkestone via A57/A1/A14/M11/M25/M20. I kept to an indicated 100kph as much as possible and that appeared to be less stressful on both the Beta and myself and certainly gave better fuel economy. At that speed 200km before reserve is achieved. That means that starting with a full tank I can reach Folkestone with just one stop at the A14 services, so long as the body is willing!

I arrived in time for an earlier train but whilst waiting to embark it became clear that there was delay. Only a little after the official departure time we started to board but once everyone was locked in we were told that there would be a further delay as a train was stopped in he tunnel. Luckily it wasn't too long in the heat before we set off; midway into the journey the train slowed and swerved, perhaps using  one of the points where the tracks pass between the two main tunnels.

I'd dithered whether to use the peage to Cambrai; as it was dry and sunny I took the RN and D roads. It took 2.5 hours to cover the 145km as there are many small towns to pass through or around. The area around St Omer was familiar to me from last year's green-laning trip but then it took a few days to explore the areas I passed straight through this afternoon.

The canal basin at Cambrai

Although the D939 leads straight into Cambrai and Rue de les Docks (where I was staying; unfortunately the Beatus was fully booked) the signs led me a little astray. A turned a few corners and stopped to think "Where is the hotel?"It was directly across the road. After parking in the rear quadrangle/garden area, a quick unpack and shower I walked into town for some food. As a was to the west of the centre things were new to me and I found Chez Pino, a Pinnochio-themed pizza restaurant. They were not convinced that I really wanted a pizza sans fromage but it did arrive and was very tasty. Hopefully I'll find some other foods to eat over the next week!

537km, mostly on English motorway-class roads

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