Travel StoriesD-Day And A Bit of Belgium
Day Eight Friday 6 June - D Day
We set off Mid-morning, we wanted to get to a small village near Omaha beach then make our way back to Ryes Cemetery where Mrs Bogger's Grandfather is buried. We'd aim to be finally back into Arromanche for the afternoon.
As you can imagine the roads were bursting. Luckily we had managed to obtain vehicle passes from the Mayor of Luc-sur-Mer via the campsite, so we thought great, access all areas. No chance, at every major cross roads there were police blocks barring the way to almost anywhere along the coast. We rode inland then back towards the coast on a different road. We couldn't make the village we were after so we turned back and made for Ryes cemetery. It's in the middle of nowhere but immaculately kept. We spent half an hour looking round and made our way back towards Arromanche.
We stopped at a Supermarket for some butties and a drink then carried on. The police were still in evidence and as we approached a road block they waved us through. The only thing I could think was that in the morning Arromanche had been full to bursting and the word was put out to let no more in, but as the day wore on they were letting people back in.
It was heaving with people and vehicles still, more than the previous day. Every where you looked there were vehicles that I had only seen before in films. Again it was information overload but fantastic at the same time.
The modern day landing craft had turned up from out of HMS Bulwark and some of the up to date vehicle were on the beach. Folks were paddling out and given a guided tour of the landing craft. The tide was on the turn coming in and there were some of the remnants of the mulberry harbour laying in the sand.
Images of the Mulberry harbour on the beach
It was scorching hot as we made our way off the beach into the village. Here I met the proper Prime Minister. Mr Churchill, don’t you know.
There were loads of veterans there proudly displaying their medals on their chest. It brought a lump to your throat to see them and you can only imagine what they went through. After a few hours we were not only sunburned but knackered as well. It only takes Ironsides eight minutes to select a gear, obviously the wrong one and we're on our way back to the campsite.
Home tomorrow, booo.
Again that night we pack away most of our stuff ready for an early start as we are catching the 8.00am ferry. I casually ask Ironsides "you know your bike, does it start up in gear." "Yes of course it does". "Oh good, can you try and select a gear now as it'll save us half an hour in the morning". He actually laughed at that one.
That evening myself and Ironsides took a short walk to the sea front to witness the synchronised fireworks display that was taking part all along the D-Day coastline. It was well worth the walk and each display was exactly the same. Impressive. During the night there was a massive thunder and lightning storm. Great, wet tents in the morning again.
Total miles for the day 60miles
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To French France and Guines
Perfect planning prevents pee poor performance. Someone should have told these chaps. Throw in some Alchemy and carnage and come up with gold, comedy gold.
Easily Into Belgium
Not too much malarkey today, the lads manage to sidle their way into Belgium with minimum shenanigans. There's a moment for reflection betwixt the brews 'n' beers.
Ypres, Museums, Memorials And Muppetry
Bogger and co are mixing a heady brew of malarkey and educational museum visits. Hasn't Ypres already suffered enough?
A Crash And Other Antics
Bogger and pals have reached the age of maturity and yet maturity seems to have escaped them. More high jinks from those who ought to know better.
Gear Selections in Compiègne
It's a lazy day in Northern France for Bogger and pals. Only a short exploratory ride, mostly spent in search of Ironside's elusive gears.
Rain, Misery, Laughter and Puppetry
It's not the best start to Bogger and pals' day. And yet a bunch of middle aged men clearly demonstrate they haven't grown up at all.
Arromanche With Some D-Day Thrown In
The Motley Crew spend the day enjoying the D-Day events with the weather on their side and only 1 minor mechanical issue. Remarkable!
During the D-Day commemorations Arromanche is bustling and bursting. Bogger and crew do their best to navigate the beach, the town and the machinery on their last full day.
It's Home Time
A brief note from Bogger on the last day, the homeward bound leg. Tired little teddies, awwww bless.
Ian Soady said :-
I have huge respect for those who took part in D Day and other campaigns. It always makes me wince when people talk about a "Dunkirk spirit" when the shops run out of toilet rolls.... My dad was a teenager in a County Durham mining village when Dunkirk happened and he often talked about the train that arrived packed with exhausted and wounded Tommies who'd been plucked off the beaches. Apparently trains were just sent off anywhere in the country to get the lads away from the coast. Many had lost all their kit - some had no trousers - and they were all completely shattered.
What I can never understand is those folk who dress up in WW2 costumes and parade about. Still, it takes all sorts.
19/06/2020 10:32:48 UTC
Bogger said :-
Mrs Bogger has some official paperwork from her Grandfathers Commanding Officer regarding his unfortunate death a few days after D Day.
He was in the Royal Engineers and was killed along with a number of his comrades by a marauding Hawker Typhoon.
The Pilot mistook them for Germans and they were killed by rocket fire.
A 'Friendly fire' incident (stupid term if ever there was one).
How sad/bad is that. He was no spring chicken either, he was 37 yrs old and could have avoided joining up due to a medical condition. But he wanted to 'do his bit'. He certainly did that.
19/06/2020 11:59:27 UTC
Upt'North said :-
For somewhere so flat Northern France can be quite attractive.
19/06/2020 01:04:07 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I'm certainly not a brave man and I will never comprehend the notion of going into battle. Mind-bending to even imagine it.
19/06/2020 03:02:22 UTC
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Travel StoriesD-Day And A Bit of Belgium