Tag Archives: Tournehem-sur-la-Hem

Via Francigena, Day 2/29: From Alembon to Bruay-la-Buissière

"Life is a pilgrimage. The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns. He marches direct to the illimitable domain of eternal bliss, his ultimate destination", Swami Sivananda

In this post…

  1. Introduction
  2. The statistics and metrics of the day
  3. The most memorable occurrences, moments and thoughts
  4. Video of Lightfoot Guide Stage 05, from Guînes to Licques
  5. Video of Lightfoot Guide Stage 06, From Licques to Tournehem-sur-la-Hem
  6. Video of Lightfoot Guide Stage 07, From Tournehem-sur-la-Hem to Wisques
  7. Video of Lightfoot Guide Stage 08, From Wisques to Thérouanne
  8. Video of Lightfoot Guide Stage 09, From Thérouanne to Amettes
  9. Video of Lightfoot Guide Stage 10, From Amettes to Bruay-la-Buissière
  10. Pictures of the day.

Introduction

Via Francigena Post from 2nd August 2016
Via Francigena Post from 2nd August 2016

This post complements the post I published on the 2nd of August 2016 in which I described the experiences I had while riding between Alembon and Bruay-la-Buissière. I am not going to repeat the contents of that post in this one again, but I will add a few highlights for each stage below. I would strongly encourage you to ready the August, 2016 post before continuing on this one, though.

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Statistics and metrics of the day

  • Date: Sunday, 31st of July 2016
  • Route: From the Rural Gite in Alembon to the Ibis Style Hotel in Bruay-la-Buissière via Licques, Tournehem-sur-la-Hem, Thérouanne, Amettes and Bruay-la-Buissière
  • Distance: 86.02 Km
  • Departure time from Alembon: 10:29am
  • Arrival at Destination: 5:58pm
  • Duration of day’s Journey: 7h 29min
  • Expenses this day: Total = € 99.00
    • €30.00 – Food
    • €69.00 – Accommodation (Ibis Styles Hotel Bruay-la-Buissière)
  • Overnight Location: Hotel ibis Styles Bethune Bruay, (+33)3/21011111
  • Type of Accommodation: Hotel
  • Lightfoot Guide Stages:
    • 05: Guînes – Licques (portion between Guines and Alembon done on previous day)
    • 06: Licques – Tournehem-sur-la-Hem
    • 07: Tournehem-sur-la-Hem – Wisques
    • 08: Wisques – Thérouanne
    • 09: Thérouanne – Amettes
    • 10: Amettes – Bruay-la-Buissière
  • Physical and Body Stats: Link to the Garmin Connect Page for this ride
    • Time of non-stop cycling: 7h 29m
    • Average Speed: 11.5 Km/h
    • Max. Speed: 56.8 Km/h
    • Total Elevation Gain: 805 m
    • Average Heart Rate: 135 bpm
    • Max. Heart Rate: 168 bpm
    • Calories: 2762 CAL
    • Number of Pedal Strokes (Cadence sensor): 15,771

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Most memorable occurrences, moments and thoughts:

  • Everything was going well, until… The unexpected, yes the unexpected again… By 9:30am I had packed everything and was ready to leave the Gite. I then realised my CatEye cycling computer was missing. Looked in the front bag, as I was certain I had put it there the night before. Wasn’t there, of course. Went back to the room and looked everywhere as I thought it might have fallen of the front bag during packing. Wasn’t there, of course. So all what was left was to look for it in the panniers, which were already neatly locked to the bike. Well, a pilgrim has go to do what a pilgrim has got to do. Looked for it in the front panniers as these were a lot easier to remove. Not there, of course. Took everything off the back of the bike again and looked in one pannier (not there, of course) and then the next, and bingo! It had fallen into the pannier as I was packing my things. I was happy not to have lost it, although I knew it was with me the night before, but the unpacking and packing took me almost 1 full hour. I didn’t do that mistake again…
  • Do not underestimate the SUN! The day before had been rainy and not particularly hot.
    20160731_202656
    50 Shades of Red

    I had seen on the phone’s Weather App that this day was supposed to be cloudy, but not rainy. It didn’t occur to me that I no longer was under British Weather. The day turned out to be very hot and sunny and I hadn’t passed any sunscreen on my skin. By the middle of the afternoon I was already feeling the damage the sun had done to my skin, which now looked very burned. The sunscreen was on the very bottom of one of my rear panniers. I should have stopped and passed the sunscreen on, but the thought of removing everything on the back of the bike (I had an intricate system there) was not appealing, so I continued. By the time I realised my mistake it was too late. The result was some heavy sun burns and sun fever by the time I got to Bruay-la-Buissière. As it was Sunday I knew it wouldn’t be easy to find accommodation and I wasn’t feeling very well so I used Google Maps to show me the available hotels nearby and the most affordable was the Ibis Style hotel 5 Km away from the town centre.

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Video of Lightfoot Guide Stage 05, from Guînes to Licques

Video Length: 5 min and 26 sec
To skip introductions and recommendations jump to time stamp  0:52 in the video timeline.

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Video of Lightfoot Guide Stage 06, From Licques to Tournehem-sur-la-Hem

Video Length: 3 min 12 sec
To skip introductions and recommendations jump to time stamp  0:52 in the video timeline.

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Video of Lightfoot Guide Stage 07, From Tournehem-sur-la-Hem to Wisques

Video Length: 3 min 12 sec
To skip introductions and recommendations jump to time stamp 0:56  in the video timeline.

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Video of Lightfoot Guide Stage 08, From Wisques to Thérouanne

Video Length: 3 min 49 sec
To skip introductions and recommendations jump to time stamp  0:36 in the video timeline.

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Video of Lightfoot Guide Stage 09, From Thérouanne to Amettes

Video Length: 4 min 02 sec
To skip introductions and recommendations jump to time stamp 0:35 in the video timeline.

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Video of Lightfoot Guide Stages 10, From Amettes to Bruay-la-Buissière

Video Length: 6 min 05 sec
To skip introductions and recommendations jump to time stamp 0:48  in the video timeline.

The next video was recorded as I was crossing the town of Marles-les-Mines, between Amettes and Bruay-la-Buissière and their  Folkloric group parade was about to start at the town’s FÊTE FORAINE.

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Pictures of the day.

Click on any picture for full detail

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If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment or send me a message through the contact form.

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Via Francigena, Day 2 (31 Jul), From Alembon to Bruay-la-Buissière

Expect the unexpected!

As suggested by my host in Alembon the day before, 8:00am I was downstairs for breakfast. Got to taste all the home made compote she does and home baked cake as well.

After breakfast I started packing. I confess, this is one of my weak points and something I definitely need to get better at. The Camino de Santiago has taught me a few lessons last year, which I seemed to have forgotten, but the Via Francigena is being quick at reminding me of them.

Before I left home I packed everything according to item type, e.g. clothes and footwear all in one pannier, electronics in another, 1st aid kit and items of personal hygiene in another and so on…

The thing is, when you are on the move and need something you don’t want to be opening several different panniers to get items you may need. The lesson I learned on the Camino was to pack a pannier with the most likely things you are going to need during the day (in the case of the Camino I packed it in a rucksack, as I had only 2 panniers then, where I now have 4), so you’ll only need to open one bag during the day, unless something out of the ordinary happens, which is not uncommon. I am, therefore, attempting to change the packing accordingly and moved several items around the panniers.

When I finished packing everything (took me about 25 min… yes, I am slow) brought everything downstairs, where the bike was, and started to load them in the bike. About 15 min later, when all panniers and the camping bag were loaded and fastened, I realised I was missing my Cateye cycling computer, which I thought I had placed in the handlebar bag together with the Garmin Edge 810. It wasn’t there. Went back to the room and searched everywhere as I knew I had it the day before… couldn’t find it. There was only one option left: Search in the panniers, which, as I mentioned before, were already loaded in the bike. I’ll give you one chance to guess if it was in the 1st pannier or in the last. Did you guess? Of course it was in the last. It must have fallen in the pannier as I was rearranging the packing. Altogether, I literally spend 1h looking for the damn thing. That meant I left the B&B only around 11:30am. For a pilgrim this is almost time of arrival, not time of departure. Anyway… need to give no excuses to anyone as I am alone, but it was a bit stressful. My own fault.

From Alembon I rode to Licques, where I managed to get a stamp from a water park there, as everything else was closed. Then to Tournehem-sur-la-Hem, where there was also nothing open. Not to say nothing, the church was open, but there was no one in it. From Tournehem my next destination was Thérouanne, where, according to my host the day before, there was a pilgrim’s hostel, but… everything was closed. I wasn’t planning to stay there anyway, as I wanted to ride more, so I rode further to Amettes where there is another hostel with special rates for pilgrims (€13/night). Guess what? Closed!

In all the villages I rode through everything was closed. Even the petrol stations were closed. if I wanted to setup camp somewhere I would have to go hungry as I couldn’t find anything open to buy food. I also couldn’t get any stamps on my Pilgrim’s credential which, upon arrival in Rome, is the document you have to show.

So I decided to continue riding to Bruay-la-Buissière as I knew it was a bigger town and there was bound to be something open. As I got there I asked several people about “auberges” or hotels but I couldn’t find any near, so I turned to Google which offered me a few, with one of the cheapest being the Ibis Style in the outskirts of town. Had to ride another 4 or 5 Km to get there and the daily rate wasn’t the €53 Google suggested, but €69 with Breakfast. By that point it was late and I was too tired to go searching for something cheaper, so that is where I stayed. The room was great and the hotel was near several restaurants. Had a really good meal at the 3 Les 3 Brasseurs.

When I left Alembon in the morning, the day was a bit unsettled and that made me forget to pass on the sunscreen on my skin. I live in the UK, so this is something we use very little there 🙂

The sunscreen was on the bottom of one of my panniers, which I really didn’t want to take off the bike again. The result was a really bad sun burn and fever at night which made for an uncomfortable night. I should have stopped to get the sunscreen… lesson number… ? (who’s counting anyway).

Well, that was it. I’m attaching a few pictures to this “post by email” which I hope will be self-explanatory. If you have any questions, just drop me a comment.

Before I close the post, have you made your donation to Mind UK, which is the charity I am sponsoring during this ride? Common, 20 quid will not be much at the end of the month and it’s all for a good cause.