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A Return Trip.

We are lucky in that we have a quite high percentage of return bookings. During the August Bank Holiday Weekend in 2003, three Land Rovers came on the tour. All three had been before, at least once. Karl & Mel came in their Devon 4x4 modified Discovery (featured recently in Land Rover World). Karl was the very first person to book with us, and this was their 3rd tour. They have also called in to see us whenever they are in France, and a couple of times we have done some exploration of the lanes together.





Phil & Emma, who have a 50th Anniversary V8 90, now fitted with Mud Terrain tyres and a roof rack, came on their 4th tour. As well as seeing the area in the different seasons, very hot last August, cold with mud and snow at New Year, and windy and dusty at Easter, they also have a great interest in WW1 history.



Chris and Diane came last summer in their ex-military 110, and would have returned sooner had their work commitments not stopped them. This time they brought their friend Janis with them. She had not driven a Land Rover before, either on or off tarmac, but adapted very quickly to driving on the lanes.





Hopefully we will see Janis again, perhaps even in her own 4x4.













On the Saturday morning we set off, travelling to the lanes to the North and East of Cambrai. Eight months into the driest year since the 1940's, these lanes were still dry and dusty, and the farmers were busy with their combine harvesters, balers, cultivators and ploughs.

After lunching near the memorial to the 1914 Battle of Le Cateau we continued round Le Cateau to the north where we crossed a stream by Ford. This is one of the few fords in this part of France, and although there was only a small amount of fast flowing water crossing it, when the rains come it should be quite an interesting experience.

We continued on heading northwest, on a mixture or old pavé and dusty tracks. In some of these sections we could see the fossilized tyre prints from early tours when it had been muddy. At the end of the day's laning, they all returned to their accommodation to shower all the dust out of their hair before returning to Lesdain for drinks before dinner.

The Bois de Gauche (see also top photo on this page) was one of the first places to visit the next morning. It was alongside this wood that British tanks were hidden in late 1917 prior to the Battle of Cambrai. In this battle tanks were used in large numbers for the very first time. The track to the wood was used by these tanks in their attack and on this track 2 tanks were hit by German shell-fire and knocked out.

The track runs through the wood was quite dry and hard, but just off the track there is a huge crater, so we all had a little "play", driving through it. We then headed south towards Perronne, before heading east through Templeaux Gerard, stopping for a picnic lunch. After crossing the Motorway we then went to the Bridge at Riqueval before climbing an overgrown track to the Australian Memorial.

From this imposing memorial, high on a ridge overlooking the motorway to the west, and the rolling hills to the east, we crossed the Canal de St Quentin and followed the roads and tracks of the British advance of September and October 1918 to Joncourt and Ramicourt before heading back up the lanes to Lesdain.

We all met again that evening at Lesdain for drinks and dinner. It was a very enjoyable evening . Much hilarity and artistic effort went into the signing of the guest book, and the laughter and joking continued into the small hours of the morning when they left, all promising to be back again.

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4x4 Tours in Northern France 4x4 Massif Central Tours 4x4 Battlefield tours 4x4 Special offers. 4x4 5 pillars challenge 4x4 Photos from tours 4x4 Tracking the Tank photos 4x4 The Battle of Cambrai Mudplug Calendar Mudplug Guestbook 4x4 Links last minute mud 5 pillars site weekends 4x4 Special offers. off-roading, experienced and fully equipped. Land Rover, Jeep, Suzuki, Vauxhall - Opel, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi Mercedes

Site Last Updated mardi, décembre 06, 2005. 20:19:03