12 March 2018

Vimy 101

Vimy on 2017
Time has moved on since the last update on this potential run and I have heard back from the Vimy people in France.

As with most years that aren't a big anniversary there will be the usual smaller scale commemoration at the Memorial. So I expect  numbers will be back into the hurdreds if not tens as previous years.

The ceremony itself usually takes place on the other side of the memorial itself to that in the picture, although this side allows for a far larger flat space for the visitors!

Last year there were many thousands and thousands of people. Mostly Canadian to celebrate a date that many see as "the birth of a nation".

In 2014 there were maybe 100 people, no more than 150.

So the plan. Unlike 2014 I will entrust my route to a TomTom. Which one I haven't decided but I have yet to try the 410 on the bike. 

Once one gets used to it, it is a better piece of kit than the old Rider. I have fitted a new Bosch style plug to the end of the OEM wiring loom and have got all the new fangled locking gear and RAM mounts out and set up ready to go but haven't done it yet.

I have used it in the car and it is really good.  Such a shame that most mobile phone contracts don't include tethering when outside the UK,  as then it would use the phone to pick up road holdups and closures and automatically alter the route to avoid them.  As it is, it does that over wifi so a stop at a service station en-route can assist.

Anyway, back to April 9th.  My shuttle should arrive about 0955 local time in France and once clear of the port area I can have a relaxed (and no doubt Jean Pas D'Amis as usual) ride down to Vimy with a lunch stop on the way.

So stops on the way to Vimy: Access will be down the A26.  Then a first stop at the Loos Battlefield and the Memorial before lunch (place to be decided) and then I'll head down to Vimy.  Afterwards there are two craters I'd like to have a look at. Both are war graves.  Lichfield and Zivy Craters on either side of the A26 just to the north-east of Arras.

As for the return. The ceremony is at 1500 and lasts about an hour. Factor in travelling time back to Calais and walking on site as parking may be a way off, I have a Shuttle booked at 1950 local time and that arrives back in Folkestone at 1925 UK Time.

Then boom, Rocket back up the A26 to the train home.

This Maple Leaf pin was given to me last year by a lady on the walk from the bus drop-off to the memorial. I'll try and fit it somewhere on my gear on the day.

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