Thursday 11 July 2013

European Bug In 5 Chimay, Belgium.

You might be thinking that It's gone a little quiet on the blog lately and that is because I have been off on my travels again. I have just returned from a quite epic road trip from Cornwall to Amsterdam with a good few detours thrown into the mix, including European Bug In at the Chimay race circuit in Belgium and the Pitch music festival in Amsterdam.

Leaving midday on Wednesday the 26th June we started our holiday driving from Cornwall to Essex then spent a few overnight stays at a friends house in Essex. We were then up at 3am on the Friday to drive the seemingly short 90 minute drive down to the docks of Dover. After the previous 6 hour drive from Cornwall to Essex this seamed a breeze even at that hour of the morning.

We boarded the ferry and set off for Dunkirk, all catching up on a bit of sleep on the ferry. After a 2 hour channel crossing we arrived at Dunkirk and followed our friends with the Sat Nav to the Chimay car show.

Arriving in the small town of Chimay the roads consisted of only classic air cooled Volkswagens, and it was such an amazing site to see. The rev of engines filled the air and the excitement and the atmosphere for the weekend's festival ahead could be felt everywhere.

European Bug In Chimay

With the show open there were plenty of shiny cars to drool over, and lots of examples of rare and extremely old cars to admire. 
European Bug in photos

EBI photos Chimay

European Bug In, Chimay, Belgium

Although as the evening arrived so did the rain. This did not deter us at all and with the gazebo up we had a BBQ in the rain and a few local Chimay, La Chouffe and Hoegaarden beers and an early-ish night after the extremely early start.
Camping in the rain

On the Saturday morning we woke after a good nights sleep to realize that we must have had a lot more rain in the night as the camp site had actually turned to a mud bath and a scene more common at the Glastonbury festivals. 
Festival mud

 Muddy festival photos

Waterlogged festival
We decided that with the weather so poor and there not being any racing activity we would take a walk into the local town where we could also find more solid ground and dry ourselves off a bit. We had lunch and several more drinks at a local cafe and took in the local sites. The sun then began to break through the cloud and the weather cleared up so we headed back to the camp site and festival ground. 
Holiday in Belgium

Chimay Belgium

European Bug In Chimay vw beetle

When we headed back to the festival site the racing was about to begin. so we headed up via the baja and off road course and watched some drivers try to brake their vehicles ;@)

Volkswagens off road at European Bug In 2013

At 4pm the racing finally got going, although off to a slow start is was better than nothing and great to see old Volkswagen's tearing up the drag strip.

Drag Racing at EBI

VW drag racing

VW Drag racing Chimay

European Bug In Drag racing

With the drag racing over for the night it was time to head back to the soggy camp for some food and see the carnage that the mud had created. Lots of cars were getting stuck in the mud and lots of people were going past covered in mud. The guys in the T25 synchro and the beach buggies were all having fun driving through the mud with ease but lots of others got stuck and created our dinner time entertainment. After a BBQ and a sunset we headed back to the main arena to check out the festival entertainment. The main music from the marquee was a combination of pop, techno and European drum and bass and was certainly not to our taste so with several beers and conversation flowing among friends we settled for the evening by the burn out track and watched cars late into the night creating some amazing burn outs.  

Sunset whilst camping

Today might have been the last day of the festival but it sure didn't disappoint. With the sun shining the show and shine proceeded with a massive turn out. Some very rare and very well looked after cars and some that were more fun than a concourse show car but all in all it was a very good turn out. 

European Bug In Show and Shine

European Bug in five
My favorite Volkswagen of all time is the Razor edge seen above here in the Karmann Ghia line up..... Drooool.

As well as the show and shine there was still lots going on with the burn out track open as well as the final races of the day. Although some needed a little more help getting there burn outs going. 

VW Beetle burn out

VW Karmann Ghia Burn Out

With the show coming to a finale the trophies for the racing and the show and shine were given out and the crowds started departing. Our friends that we traveled over with left the festival returning to Essex and we were left at the camp site for one last night. 

Making use of the quieter camp site we firstly moved our bus out of the muddy bog and found slightly dryer ground to camp on and used the festival showers whilst it wasn't busy and utilized the facilities whilst we had them. We ventured back into town for a meal in the local restaurant together in the evening before our next adventure the following day driving up to the Netherlands.

Thanks for reading this blog post and remember to like my facebook page and follow me on Twitter to keep up to date with the rest of my road trip adventure travelling into the Netherlands and onto Amsterdam.

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