I had faced several issues with my motorcycle battery the day before. I had been arguing about whether to purchase a new battery or not. However, I realised it was probably best not to buy a new battery for my bike. I was becoming concerned about my time constraints to catch the Eurotunnel. With the decision made, I rushed towards the Eurotunnel, now commonly known as LeShuttle. The roads seemed to blur past as I raced against time, my heart pounding. To my surprise and relief, when I finally pulled up to the terminal, I discovered I was two hours early. The day’s stress had skewed my sense of time.
I pulled up on my motorcycle at the Eurotunnel terminal building. As I biked along the lanes towards the train, I noticed all the various people. They were from different walks of life. However, they were gathered together in one place with a common goal – to reach France by train.
Boarding an earlier LeShuttle Train
The staff at the Eurotunnel were accommodating and allowed me to board an earlier train. This was the first time I had ever taken the Eurotunnel, and I was way earlier than needed. I was grateful for their flexibility and understanding. As I rode onto the train, I felt excitement wash over me. This was my first time on the Eurotunnel, a new experience adding to the many firsts this journey was offering me.
Sitting on my bike, secured in the belly of the train, I looked around at the other passengers. Fellow bikers like myself all share the same journey. Whilst English was not common, the other bikers were extremely liberal with packets of biscuits and sandwiches. I sat on the floor beside my bike, suddenly aware of my hunger and gratitude for the food.
The LeShuttle started to move
The hum of the train as it started its journey under the English Channel was oddly soothing. Despite the day’s challenges, I was here, on my way to Nordkapp, and I couldn’t wait to see what the road had in store for me next.
As the train journey through the Channel Tunnel, I couldn’t help but think about how this incredible feat of engineering connects two countries and cultures. The tunnel is a symbol of collaboration and unity, transcending borders and bringing people closer together.
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Riding off the EuroTunnel
The journey through the channel tunnel was smooth and quick; before I knew it, we were emerging on the French side. As we rode off the train and into France, I felt a sense of excitement and adventure.
The unfamiliar landscape, road signs in another language, and different vehicles on the road all added to the exotic feel of being in a new country. As I rode towards the exit of the Eurotunnel, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for this experience and all the opportunities it was bringing me.
The French Motorway
After crossing the English Channel via the LeShuttle Eurotunnel and arriving in Calais, it was time to embark on the next leg of my journey: riding to Antwerp. The route from Calais to Antwerp is typically straightforward, a direct drive of 127 miles (204 km) that would ordinarily take around two hours under normal traffic conditions.
Having said that, nothing can prepare you for the reality of the motorway. It’s long, monotonous, and can be incredibly boring. For miles on end, there’s nothing but asphalt stretching out in front of you, flanked by the occasional trees and bushes.
The motorway is a necessary evil, a means to an end, allowing me to cover large distances quickly. However, the lack of scenic views left a lot to be desired. The dull greys of the motorway replaced the vibrancy and charm of the towns and cities.
Despite the monotony, the ride was not entirely without its merits. There was a certain tranquillity to be found in the rhythm of the road, the steady hum of the bike beneath me, the wind rushing past as I navigated the endless stretch of highway.
Making my way to Antwerp by Motorcycle
As I neared Antwerp, the monotony of the motorway slowly gave way to the bustling cityscape. The sight of the city, with its historic buildings and vibrant culture, was a welcome change. It was a stark contrast to the long and uneventful motorway ride. Despite the initial tedium, the ride had brought me one step closer to my final goal.