It was another late rising, this time due to the beer last night!! Wanting to visit Brugge’s Fish Market, we hurriedly dressed and set off for town. Another 8km round trip walk so hopefully now counter-acting all the beer from last night although I don’t know about the cheese/salami snacks.
We arrived at the market to find tumble weed blowing through it. Seems that even the “What’s on in Brugge” don’t get it right all the time. Hey ho, onward to breakfast for a strong coffee and Goat’s Cheese, ham & tomato panini eaten whilst we were making our way back to Kaya. We weren’t inteding to shop but fickle people that we are, we passed a shop where the Hoender Roti (fresh rotisseried chickens) were due out in 1 min. Well, quite frankly, it would have been rude not to stop and buy one for supper. On to Carrefour for a few extra groceries, a boulangerie for a small loaf of bread and finally back to Kaya to set off to our next destination, Givet in France chosen primarily because of free parking on the banks of a river and the great reviews.
We had decided that our last motorway trip would be from Calais to Brugge, so we modified the GPS to avoid all motorways and toll roads and set off. There’s a lot to be said for travelling “off piste”, mainly the lunch stops (always look for the busiest place from 12 noon where you see the most trucks stopped – a pretty sure indication of great food and low prices), the choice of local markets for stocking up and the views of the changing countryside – all not to be missed. The downside, we have discovered with Kaya, is the fuel consumption has increased by a significant amount due to roundabouts, slow trucks & tractors and frequent stops at traffic lights and stop streets as opposed to motorway driving at a steady 60mph. In addition the off piste driving is a bit more stressful for the gorgeous Mr T. So from here on in we’re going for a mixture of motorway and off piste depending on the weather, how early we want to reach our destination and the contents of the fridge!
…..right next to a machine dispensing fresh loaves of bread (on the left), snacks including cooked meals and drinks (on the right). We have come across some amazing dispensing machines in Holland previously dispensing kroketen (meat croquettes), chips, deep fried chicken and pizza to discerning gourmands but this one was the best!
Across the road we entered ‘T Hoekske (the kiosk) and finally after weeks of hunting in April and in Brugge, we found the legendary frites of Belgium. The menu was all artisan food with a hippie twist featuring a giant gourmet hamburger on multi-seed roll with frites for €6, rare steak sandwiches, Brussels Stew & kroketen to name a few. We settled on sharing an Americaineschotel (American platter) of steak tartare, various salads and an enormous bowl of frites! With our diet cokes (wouldn’t want to get fat LOL) for princely sum of €12. Yes please! And I can say with a clear conscience, it was bloody fabulous…..despite being served from a kiosk.
We finally reached Givet late afternoon, chossing our spot on the river bank and reversing into it so that we had the best views of the river and castle on the opposite bank lying in our bed. A rest for the gorgeous Mr T whilst I worked on the website and wrote the first blog….all very exciting (for me LOL).
The weather started to close in but we were undetered and set off just across the river to a bar on the opposite bank for a refreshing sundowner…. to find out that it was Bastille Day in France. Just in time for us to celebrate the day as a public party had been arranged with music and fireworks for the locals. It was at this point we realised that we had landed in a very French speaking area where none of the locals could speak English and we were the lone representatives of our island. Luckily our Fench is good enough to get by so back we went to Kaya for a light supper of rotisseried chicken, fresh tomatoes, the best butter we’d tasted for a long time with salt crystals interspersed and a dressed green salad and prepared ourselves for a celebration.
Moose was nearly uncontrollable with excitement when he found us a spot on the river bank next to the Swedish flag. The gorgeous Mr T had prepared our liquid picnic with our polycarbonate whiskey glasses, a bottle of Jameson and cold water – flash, huh?!!!! But then had to keep hauling Moose out of our glasses …such a party animal!
The music was superb, thumping with a rich base from massive speakers and we agreed that it was the best local fireworks display we had ever seen.
We went to bed very, very happy on our first wild camp.