I start the first proper day of travel in relaxed style, making the most of kid hotel buffet breakfast. The relaxation does when I put my back out while loading the bike. Great. A few painkillers and I set course for the Mosel valley and some surprisingly scenic roads. I pass loads of nice looking camp sites, guest houses, and picnic spots, and know all too well that when I need one later, there won’t be any. And late,, when I want to stop, there aren’t any, so I keep riding. By chance I spot a camp site and pull in, feeling quite lucky, until I notice it’s like a scene from deliverance. When the "receptionist" starts talking about death and making throat cutting gestures, I decide to try my luck elsewhere. I think he was saying that the owner had died and if was filling in, but still. Some time later, I find another, and this one is great. The receptionist is lovely, helpful and speaks English, and the place is clean and tidy, although it’s yet everywhere from the rain. I select a pitch and park the bike, only for it to immediately fall on top of me when the side stand sinks into the wet ground, proving that the extended stand foot I fitted wasn’t worth the effort. Levergmg the bike up by the bars as I often practiced on the first trip, I rescue the situation with a handy flat rock under the stand, set us the tent, put the stove on for some military rations, and discover that the bottle of locally produced wine I bought earlier, is in fact Spanish. Never mind, after a long first day in the saddle, it’s great to be in camp, and the wine is bound to better than that horrific sweet stuff in Kyrgyzstan. All day while riding I have flashbacks to the first few days of the last trip, with fond memories of how amazing it was. So I fish out my chicken and dumplings and offer a toast to Dave with memories of our first camping in France, back in May 2009. Cheers!