Wild Camping & Heading for Denmark

Saturday 21st May 2016

We left ‘La Licorne’ Campsite in Dunkerque for Belgium and  then into Germany toward Hamburg. At Gent (Belgium) we popped into Touratech to purchase our final luggage accessories, pannier brackets to hold our 3Ltr Jerry cans and 2Ltr water containers which we soon found very useful). The owner, a really nice guy had a rare collection of bikes we drawled over before making our way to Antwerp in the Netherlands. That evening was our first wild camping experience. We found a small hidden corner at the end of an industrial estate at Malle. Whilst it wasn’t the most scenic of views it felt safe and discrete enough that we both felt we could get some decent sleep for the night. It was a muggy evening and the mosquitos closed in with a vengeance just before we managed to get under canvas. It looked and felt like a storm was looming in our direction and indeed it was, it rained on and off throughout the evening and into the morning but thankfully only lightly. I managed to get a pretty good nights sleep but unfortunately not so good for Suzanne who was on edge with this new experience that is to be expected.

 

Sunday 22nd May 2016

We packed up our wet kit early that morning and got back on our way; fortunately the rain had cleared the air but it was cold and drizzly all morning. By midday the weather had turned for the worst with it being torrential rain, cold and gusty. Not quite the weather we anticipated for of our trip in May! We rode on for a couple of hours hoping it would clear but our optimism was wasted. We pulled over under an underpass in Apeldoorn, to consult the smartphone to see if it was about to clear up. As I stood by the bike, a river ran out from my textile clothing from both my arms and legs onto the concrete road beneath. It was like a torrent to the amusement of suzanne.

The weather forecast for the next two days was terrible so we agreed the only practical option for us to our kit dry, (including the tent that was packed up wet from last nights wild camp) was to check-in to a hotel for a couple of nights (Mon 23rd/Tue 24th). Thanks to good old TomTom (sat nav) a quick search of the hotels in the area we managed to get checked in to a rather nice hotel only a couple of miles down the road on the outskirts of the town. We both enjoyed the trappings of modern convenience living we left behind for two nights before moving on with a completely cleaned and dry set of luggage/camping kit.

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Tue 24th May – 27th May 2016

Back on the road we left the Netherlands, which we both enjoyed our short stay and headed for Denmark (via Hamburg – we swiftly passed through here).

We spent the next few days travelling north, up the west coast of Denmark before heading east, across the top of the country and then made our way down the east coast. We followed what’s called the ‘Marguerite route’ as recommended by various tourist guide sites. This covers some 3,500km of twisty country roads across the entire country. Fortunately, we hit Denmark just as the weather improved, summer was on its way. The sun was out most of the time albeit gusty a lot of the time which was fine after the wet start. The more we explored the country the more we liked it, the people, towns and countryside are lovely. The people seem a lot friendlier and happier here than in the UK.

We wild camped at the back of an industrial estate on the Tuesday 24th before finding a beautiful old village called Mogeltonder to wild camp for our second night. It was in a small parking area that was shared with a field of inquisitive sheep who provided the evening entertainment for us as we did for them as we set up our tent and sat out cooking our evening meal.

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The following morning we headed for Randers, a city on the north east side of Denmark. Whist we are not city lovers, the online tourist guides recommended the Tropical Zoo. On arrival we popped into a McDonald’s to use the Wi-fi to check out our options of where to stay the night and popped across the road to check-out the zoo . On returning to our bikes we were greeted parking tickets. Fantastic, how i love cities; you can travel all over the country using their facilities as long as you like without any problem but the minute you step into a city its different rules. The zoo was ok, given i have mixed views about them but at least some of the animals could roam relatively free as they wanted.

Sunday 29th May

Onto Aahus, where we met 3 Danish bikers on route at a petrol station who invited us to join them for dinner that evening and told us about a classic car event that was currently on near the marina in Aahus. unfortunately, we were 6hrs into our 8hrs route that day and we wanted to see as much as we can whilst in the country, so we kindly declined their invitation but we did go to the event the following day along with walk around the lovely city. Like everywhere else in Denmark we had come across it was clean, pretty, a relaxed atmosphere and the people are very friendly.

Monday 30th May

Summer appears to have arrived here now. It’s mid to high 20 degrees Celsius and sunny, perfect for walking around the city in Aahus and the classic car show before moving on towards Middelfart. We changed our intended route for a from a 6-7hr long twisty, stop/start route to a more direct 2.5hr country route because Suzanne’s bike had developed a bit of problem. It would cut out when rolling off the throttle and it had been getting progressively worse over the last five days or so. We didn’t want to push our luck so it was booked it into a garage when we arrived at Vordingborg in a couple of days.

We stopped for the night wild camping deep in a forest, which I think was part of a National Park. Either way we had a good night sleep and moved on early the following day just in case!

Tue 31st May 2016

First stop was a visit to Egeskov Slot, a castle tourist attraction which had a variety of play areas and activities for kids to explore in the grounds along with several exhibits for all the family, including a motorcycle museum. Although there is enough to entertain a family for a whole day we wanted to make tracks whilst the weather was good (rain was forecast early in the afternoon but not further south) so we moved onto Nyborg on route to Vordingborg and then Copenhagen.

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Over the past week or so we’d been exchanging emails with a Danish couple we found Horizons Unlimited who we plan to meet up with in south of Copenhagen. (Horizons Unlimited is a website for Adventure Travelling that contains all sorts of information from planning, budgeting, routes, to advice on kit to take and much more). It has a forum of people from all over the world offering all sorts of advice and help to fellow travellers). They had very kindly offered us accommodation for a couple of nights and show us around the area which we were both looking forward to it.

 

 

On the road at last…

Finally after months of organising, my partner (Suzanne) and I started our RTW motorcycle adventure this week. On the Thursday 12th May 2016, we headed off from the UK on our bikes for the channel tunnel at Folkestone on route to a campsite in Dunkirk, France. The M25 didn’t disappoint with it being gridlock from the M11, Stansted turnoff all the way round to Dartford. Thankfully, the rest of the way was straightforward arriving at the campsite around 10:30pm. We passed the first test by putting the tent up in the dark like seasoned pro’s, and it was still standing in the morning as it has done all week.IMG_1060wordpress

As you can see from the pic below we’ve been flat out recharging our batteries mixed with plenty of walking around the town. The weather hasn’t been great (mainly cold and blustery) but at least it has been dry most of the time.

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We are now coming to the end of our much needed ‘chill-out week’ in Dunkirk.  We plan to move on at the weekend heading through Belgium and the Netherlands before starting the Nordic loop around the Baltic Sea through (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland).