So this was to be a trip along the Western Front on the 100th Anniversary of the end of The First World War. It wasn’t my first trip abroad by Lambretta, but it was the biggest I’d done. It wasn’t just the long mileage, but planning the stops and stays in the right places en route had to be taken into consideration and trying to plan the visits at important places that were relevant.
Riding The Western Front: Day 15 – Monday 9th July
Today I got up with a fuzzy head. My brother was also leaving for home at Lascours in the south of France and so he needed an early start for the long drive. We said our goodbyes and I then packed the Lambretta and then said goodbye to my nephew Benoit and his girlfriend Eva. They were to carry on their European tour (which was to end up taking nine months). Now it was time for the ride back. I originally planned further stops in Belgium but I was faced with some personal dilemmas. I made the hard decision to head back to Dunkerque for the boat to England, but not without stopping along the way at Bethune Cemetery to get a photograph of a friends relative who is buried there.
Riding The Western Front: Day 12 – Friday 7th July
Awake at the later time of half seven. This for me was a lie in. As stated, the Lambretta was rested for a few days as we used the car my brother hires to get around. We still had places to go to, so after breakfast with my brother, we headed off to visit more cemeteries.
Riding The Western Front: Day 10 – Wednesday 4th July
Today was one of the longer runs for the day. It was approximately 170 miles to my next hotel at Saint Quentin with a couple of diversionary stops along the way. There had been rain overnight. But already the roads were drying up from the morning sun. Once I loaded up the scooter I headed off.
Today I got up a bit later. I decided to go to a local store in town for some Combat trousers. I only had jeans as spares and they were just too hot. I had the usual breakfast of yoghurt, Orange juice and coffee with my travel mug topped up with coffee. So, now with new combats purchased I was looking forward to getting to Pfetterhouse, the end of the line, so to speak. The end of The Western Front on the border with Switzerland.
Riding The Western Front: Day 6 – Saturday 30th June
I woke at the sound of the alarm at 5.30 and proceeded to load up the Lambretta and leave as soon as possible. Today I was heading to Verdun, it was only around 130 miles but with the temperatures constantly rising, I felt it better to be away early and try to spend some more time in Verdun. I was having problems with the GoPro yesterday, so today I just packed it away. One less thing to worry about.
Riding The Western Front: Day 4 – Thursday 28th June
I got up at 7 a.m. But it wasn’t a good sleep. A couple of doors up from me was a French family who didn’t seem bothered about anyone else trying to sleep. I loaded the scooter up and got my breakfast which consisted of a double Espresso a couple of glasses of orange juice and my travel mug filled with a triple Espresso.
If everything goes to plan. Monday 25th June 2018 I will be boarding the Belfast to Liverpool boat to do myWestern Front Run on my Lambretta, where I’ll be riding to Dover. Then riding from Dunkirk in France up to Nieuwpoort in Belgium and on to Pfetterhouse in France by the border with Switzerland.