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   The Second Belgian Indian Rally 1998.
   By Caryll Chriss
Thursday 27 Th Aug. 
De Blekken Pot (tin can) at Diksmuide is a campsite for motorbikes only, no cars allowed in so we are directed with our van to a field around the back of the kitchens. On the other side of the field is a paddock with three sheep and a donkey, on the side of the field is another paddock with two pigs, in the corner are some hens in a little run, so I feel very much at home. 

Today it is grey, showery and very very windy - long face weather. Ray parked the van on the least bumpy bit of ground and we unloaded and put up our awning (the mobile bike and people shelter). The winds instantly filled it up ' till it looked like a hot air balloon ready to take off. We took it down and turned the van around. We put it back up again and the top flapped up and down with enough force to knock you out. We took it down, kicked it under the van and put the bikes into the marquee. We put up the tents, fortunately by this time some friends had arrived or we would still be they're flapping in the breeze. Having achieved this much we went to the café/bar for lunch, wonderful place Belgium, they sell beer all day and night. Had a shrimp omelette, which tasted of cheese, very odd. 
At 5ish we went for a little ride, Chris on Sam's Junior Scout which he had trouble starting until he found out that the "on" position of the switch was in fact "off", Robin on his yellow 741b with siren going, Marcel and Roly on Marcel's Chief, Ray on "Sven", his Sports Scout and me on Pimple (the Prince). The roads were flat and quiet and we roared along, at one point we nearly touched 40 and then Pimple expired. A quick investigation showed that the vibration had turned off the silly petcock. Stopped at Marcel's bike emporium for a look round then on to Ieper (ypres) to see the Menin Gate and hear the Last Post which is played every evening at 8 in memory of those who died in the First World War. It was almost dark as we road back to camp, I had to take my sunglasses off to see the potholes in the lane. 

Friday 28 Th Aug. 
Everywhere is having a heat wave except De Blekken Pot. But it's dry, windy and even a glimpse of the sun occasionally. Lots more people have arrived and almost everybody went on a ride to Nieuwpooryt. I mooched around and had a look at Colin Christie's beautifully restored Scout, helped Roly put dozens of Tee shirts into plastic bags. Then went for a chat with the animals, gave the donkey some bread and one of Ray's viagara pills (I need some rest sometimes). 
Later on after an enormous helping of spagbol at the cafe we all went to the marquee where two chaps dressed rather like onion sellers with a guitar and a bongo drum gave us a jolly good musical evening and sing-song. Doesn't Jess know a lot of songs: - Tom Dooley: - Tom Dooley: - Tom Dooley! The line dancing was wild (Craig) and we finished up line dancing a circle as we had to hold each other up. Someone said about midnight that the donkey was trying desperately to get into Robin's tent, whether or not he succeeded I didn't like to ask. I am requested to add that half way thought the evening Ray got up and sang his favourite song "There was an old farmer", this was good but the audience couldn't quite get the chorus. 

Saturday 29 Th Aug. 
To the café for brekkies, 2 eggs sunny side up on cheese on ham on 2 slices of bread, Ray looked at his and left hurriedly, Chris ate it, he hates to see food wasted. Had a hot shower and felt almost human. Outside I found two chaps with an enormous pig impaled on an iron bar over a roaring fire - the hog roast! Sam arrived with the blue Chief on the Ute. He was a bit miffed as he had to pay commercial fare on the ferry, so much for having his pickup sign written. The ride out left at 1.30, lent Sam my crash hat as he'd left his on the kitchen table. I didn't go as I'm too slow on Pimple, too slow off him as well ! 32 bikes on the run and they made a lovely noise as they went. I went for a walk down the lane and back then gave the hens some water, a rare treat I should think by the way they went for it. Bikes all back at 6. Excellent hog roast, cooked to perfection and served with salad and bread, then to the marquee for what should have been Blues and Soul but turned out to be 90 decibel rock. A quiet interlude for the prize giving :

Ufo - The longest distance travelled. 

Ray - Greatest combined age (bike and rider).

M. devarennes - Best restoration.

Stood the noice for a while then adjurned to the bar where the music was loud but bearable and we could bellow at each other and be more or less understood. 

Sunday 30 Th Aug. 
No wind! A few of us had a short ride out to the Trench of Death, where soldiers fought and died for 50 months. The trench is a good ¼ of a mile long and 6 feet deep, it has been preserved and at the far end is still being excavated. They often find shells, sometimes unexploded, bones and shrapnell. Recently they dug up two gas canisters, still intact, dangerous work. After lunch we went to see an open air museum. It was all very interesting. Back at the camp Craig and I helped Roly prepare to cook mussels for dinner and later on Jess was the outright winner of the mussel eating race. A last boozy evening in the café, trying not to think of going home and back to work. 

Monday 31 St. Aug. 
So came the end of a super rally, many thanks to Roly, Claude and Marcel who organised it all so well and to Steve who runs De Blekken Pot, I hope they're having a rest now, they're certainly earned one. 

Sitting Duck  
(Caryll Chriss)
Thanks to Caryll Chriss and John Wright of the Indian Club UK for sending this great story to the VI!

Indians in Belgium

Dutch dealer & Indian Club prez Tony Leenes with "well worn" Chief...


Indians in marquee




 Indians rolling out for the ride out

-And more..

-And more..

Blue Chief with sidecar