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Four countries in one day

I woke in Dunkirk on Monday 28th June with a sore, scratchy throat, the sure sign I was getting a (fairly rare) cold. I struggled across Europe that day through France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany, stopping far more than usual to rest, as my body was getting sore in the heat and my throat was aching. The coughing was also starting. Not the best of riding conditions, believe me.

I called it a day after about 350-400km, and headed to a campsite near Datteln, in Germany, not too far off my route north. This turned out to be the best thing that had happened to me all day! The camp is set in a rural area, on a farm. There are 170 permanent caravan/mobile home sites out the back in beautifully landscaped gardens, with quiet inhabitants. The casual campers can choose either shade all day, sun all day, or part sun and shade. Naturally, I chose shade all day! There is free wifi available in my tent. The showers and toilets are scrupulously clean and fresh smelling. Loads of birds and rabbits are everywhere. There are goats, one of whom tried to eat my finger when I stupidly stuck my hand through the fence to pat it. There are two beautiful young yearling fillies in the paddock next to my tent, one brown and the other a lovely deep chestnut/grey roan. There is a skewbald miniature pony stallion, who screams out his desire with blasts of shrill neighing every time one of the filles makes the faintest sound. It's a farm, after all.

And the best part? All this for only €6 per day!!!!!!! And the good sized shopping centre of Datteln is only 5km away, along gorgeous shaded laneways with little or no traffic. I did a quick run into town on Tuesday to stock up on needed supplies, getting plenty of nice fruit etc to batter the cold into submission. (And it seems to have worked, as I'm much better today.) And there is a shaded outdoor lounge, with tables and chairs - and a power point, that I can use to type on till my heart's content!

My cold, and health and temper, got worse on Tuesday, so I opted to stay for another two nights, thinking I'd be able to get some of the website backlog done. Nope, didn't feel all that good and the cold got even worse, so spent most of the two days trying to sleep in the excessive heat. Then this morning I decided to stay a fourth night (tonight, 1 July) as I dare say I won't get much better conditions and accommodation than this further north. And I really wanted to get the website back up to date if possible, as things may get worse up north, internet-wise.

And, hey! It's up to date at last! So just bear with me when it gets a bit behind. It has taken me the best part of two whole days here to get it up to date, but I really can't afford to be spending two full days every couple of weeks doing the website, now can I?

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