Summer 2008, somewhere in the depths of a Belgian forest, a few miles from the German border. We (Sarah, her brother, and I) are a few days into a two week spin through Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France.
We hadn't got off to a great start. The GPZ500S that Sarah was riding - that's her in the picture - had blown an exhaust header gasket on the way down to Dover, leading to us spending an extra day on the French side of the channel applying half a tin of exhaust repair putty to stop it sounding like a tractor. After this delayed start, we'd ridden the width of Belgium in a day, including a stop at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit along the way.
Our aim had been to get across the German border, then find somewhere to camp. Embarrassingly, we had a bit of trouble actually finding Germany - our desire to stick to minor roads despite only having a very large scale map of Western Europe meant these things happened occasionally. Eventually, after a long day on the bikes, our patience ran out just as a sign for a campsite appeared at a junction.
We had some misgivings as the road left the town and plunged into the forest, getting narrower and narrower and with no more signs, but after a few miles there was indeed a campsite, and after an interesting conversation with the proprietor - me trying a mixture of French and German, him what I assume to be Flemish - we were rewarded with a place to pitch our tents.
I took this photo as we were riding back out of the campsite the next day. Don't worry, we managed to find Germany at the second attempt.