(For those asleep at the back in last week's lesson, Daughter No. 2 and I are going on a bike tour in June. She had never been on a bike until last Summer, when she stayed with me for a weekend and we joined the TOMCC on a rideout to Mid-Wales. She loved it and subsequently we agreed that this year we would do something more ambitious.)
I said up there ^^ somewhere that plans for the continental trip were well-advanced. I was lying; they are not. What they are is real, i.e. we are definitely going. I have booked the bike (and up to 9 passengers!) on Eurotunnel and have started to get it fettled for two-up touring. All luggage now fits and works, probably needs two new tyres, perhaps an oil and filter change. Other than that, nothing but email ping-pong about this and that - oh, and fatherly enquiries about passports and EHIC cards and the like.
We are starting and finishing in Calais, six days apart, so working on a 200-mile-a-day limit that gives us about 1000 miles total. This covers Belgium, the Netherlands, some of Germany and the Northern half of France. I don't want to try too much for the first time. If she likes it, we can always go again next year, but a week of head-down, arse-up blasting might bore her to tears and put her off ever going on a bike again.
1. D2 is interested in all sorts, from wartime history to Gothic cathedrals to grot like Festyland (dinosaur playground thing near Caen), and is keen to just 'chill', which I translate as having a good time without exerting herself too much. For me, just being with her will be a pleasure. After my marriage broke up, D2 and I spent a long time in separate
cells, tapping the heating pipes to communicate, and spending quality time together will be fantastic.
2. I love France, and my French is reasonably good. OK, rough but effective. I always love the chance to practise it. She didn't do much French in school, but did quite well in German. So going either way would be a challenge for one of us, and either would be fun.
3. I know part of N France quite well, and told her about some of it. Her next reply was 'shall we go somewhere that's new for both of us?' which made me think that perhaps visiting Normandy and hearing about 'when I was here last year' might not be the most fun.
In the end, she will probably dither and leave it up to me, but I'd rather plan something together that would please us both. We'll probably stay in pensions and/or cheap hotels, so any clues on that would be good too. When I go to France, it's usually camping.
So, ladies and gentlemen, any ideas?