After having spent only a day in Antwerp and after attending the morning interview for the documental made by Maurice, around 13:00 hs I took off to Dunkerque. I wanted to arrive the same day because the following morning I had reservations at DFDS to take the ferry to the UK.
I crossed three countries that same day: Belgium, Netherlands and France. It was raining again, even though it was not heavy, its always hard to drive under the rain, as all the senses have to be alert, more than normal.
Finally I was approaching Dunkerque, but my stay was in Saint-Pol-sur-Mer, 15 kms from the port. It took a little work to find the cheapest hotel, called Formula 1 as I had not found hostels available. This is a lodging that I will try to avoid in the future because the rooms keep a smell of cigarette and moisture, a bad combination. In the parking lot I found another rider and just greet us. What I most wanted was to go and rest.
The next day in the morning I woke up early because my ferry was leaving at 10 to Dover, but I had to get there before because I had to go through immigration. That morning I met a group of motorcyclists UK who were very friendly, talked to them my story and I think that gave them tenderness.
That morning it was raining again, and when I entered the ship, which was big enough to be a ferry, I was excited, it was like a dream.
I sat at a table in the cafeteria and reached the motorcyclist who had greeted the day before, very friendly invited me a coffee and a croissant. His name is Nils, he is a German musician, motorcyclist and photographer.
We had an excellent discussion and agreed to roll on our bikes together when we lowered the boat. For both it was our first time in the UK and were a little nervous about driving on the left side. Plus I felt so tired that week had handled a lot and had not been able to rest. I had been in Tervuren, Ghent, Antwerp, Dunkerque and now UK.
When leaving the boat I felt anxious. Motorcyclists were the last to leave and besides us there was a guy from Poland. The truth was exciting to start this adventure in Britain and part of me was relieved to begin it with someone else.
We headed to the cliffs of Dover, and found a group of people with colourful t-shirts that were to start a career. The scenery in the area was so beautiful. You could see the green countryside, the sea and clouds … with signs of rain, but very beautiful. Oh England, crazy weather !!
Then we went to a beach in Saint Margarets, near the cliffs. To get there, there were many closed and sinuous curves were super heavy for me and cost me a lot of work. I was feeling very tired, stressed and unmotivated for not having taken the best way those curves. I had also noticed that I brought a lot of weight on the bike and therefore felt it unbalanced.
After that, we went to a supermarket “Tesco” where we were told to go to change money.
At the end, Nils accompanied me to Canterbury because I had booked a hostel there, and we went to the Cathedral and to eat. He is a regular photographer and I was explaining many things about this subject.
Almost before nightfall we said goodbye because he was staying in another town.
That day Nils became my friend besides acting as a great protector and advisor for me at all times, helping me with the bike, giving me advice, being very friendly, with excellent conversation. I really appreciate meeting people like him.
That night in my guest bedroom in Canterbury, where I was sharing with room along to 6 other people, I fell slept at the window side while listening to the English seagulls.