It was the birthday of Waffle. Yes, even Waffles grow older. Not that you notice it too much. Waffle’s birthday happened to be during a low coef this year. So as always, we were planning to go to Les Hemmes.
First though, there was a hot air balloon festival to attend to in Sint-Niklaas. Waffle is such a celebrity that cities organize things like that in his honor.
I am kidding of course.
We met up with some friends, listened to couple of bands and had a nice evening all together being tipsy in rainfall. It was a balloon festival with no balloons, which was a huge disappointment to me. But those things, just like kiting, is really on the mercy of nature.
Came a hangoverish and rainy Saturday. We packed, picked the trailer and drove to the beach. I was trying to be excited through my dagen efter. It would be my first ever North-Western session! How amazing would that be! North-Western wind in Les Hemmes means driving on hard sand banks alongside the beach, long distances and high speeds with very stable wind!
I had arranged a couple of my colleagues to come with us as well; it is always so nice to introduce the sport to new people. We met those guys at our regular camping, dropped our things, popped up the tents and assembled the buggies. The wind was good and there was still daylight left so off to the beach we marched with the buggies and small set of kites.
I was puffed! The were kites flying in the air and it looked like nice and speedy going. I really was looking forward to a nice session of seaside driving. We climbed the dune, got the beach on our sight and were devastated. There was no beach. The sea was all the way up at the dune. The North-Western had raised the waves over the tide line and drowned the beach. The kites we saw belonged to kite surfers. The second disappointment for this weekend. The gods were not on our side this time.
We went to search for a small dry strip of beach, where we could show some kite-handling to my colleagues. The sea was going down so that was eventually an easy task. We pulled out a training kite and attached the colleagues to it. That was fun.
Takes me always back to the place where I started from. Being slightly afraid of the kite, trying to figure out how on earth is it possible to control such a thing. Bit of excitement, one fall and a lot of sliding later the sun was setting and we needed to get pack to the camp. And have some beers. And hope that the beach would dry out during the night.
The relaxed side of buggying. Everybody gathering around the fire sharing inappropriate jokes an beers. You meet people you have never met before, or haven’t seen in a long time, and there is this one thing uniting all of you.
The few loosened screws, a passion for a sport that requires you to be slightly mental to do it. We sat together long to the night until crawling to our tents and falling into a nice calm coma.
Sunday woke us up with a little bit of sunshine and still a nice wind. Everybody headed for the beach as soon as possible. Curious to see, whether it had had the time to dry. The sea had gone, but it had left behind quite some puddles, there was a dryish highway alongside the dune, a bit too soft to get up to good speeds, but never the less better than nothing.
I worked on my turns, and managed to get them quite right. I don’t stop anymore after turning my buggy!
Few hours of driving, tandeming and sun and sea breeze we were all done and tired. I wish we could have stayed for one more day to have a nice dry beach to drive on, but at least there is a reason to wait for the next coef!