03 June 2016 | June 2016
Many years ago, I was hitch hiking with my best friend at the time through northern France and Belgium. We were traveling light with just a small tent and sleeping bags and so in back packs. As often happens when hitch hiking, sometimes lifts were plentiful and then other times none existent meaning that you had to trudge along the road side until late into the night to reach your planned destination. Sometimes, you simply didn’t make it at all and had to find a place to camp in a field by the side of the road.
One evening, that was entirely the case. Despite it having been a nice sunny day, we had no luck obtaining a ride and by about 7pm it was becoming obvious that we wouldn’t make it to the camp site as we had planned. To add to our problems, the sunny day had given way to cloud, fog and drizzle that dampened our spirits and made for a gloomy atmosphere. As a foggy darkness closed in, it got to the point that we could barely see a few feet in any direction. Around 10pm we simply gave up and pushed through the bushes that lined the side of the road into what we believed to be a farmers field on the other side. We quickly put up the tent and tired, we soon fell asleep after a couple of beers and a snack.
My friend awoke first the next morning. He peeked out of the zippered tent door and hastily pulled his head back in. He looked at me in dismay.
“What’s wrong?” I asked a bit concerned.
His face was pale and he couldn’t or didn’t want to say anything. Instead, he motioned for me to take a look.
I peeked through the front door of the small tent expecting an angry farmer, a bull, or something that would explain the look on my friend’s face.
Row upon row upon row of small white tombstones for as far as the eye could see. We had camped in a WW1 cemetery.
It is just a good job we hadn’t known that.
Submitted by Anon.
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