I awoke in Pettleflet, the treehouse I have been occupying for the past few days here in Lappersfort. It has been a strange few days in the forest.

Pete and I left Calais on Wednesday afternoon with Noway (no idea how to spell his name), a Belgian guy. He was one of the four who brought the bikes from Lappersfort to Calais. The other three were traveling on through France in the van, so we decided to give him a lift home to Brugge where he lives, near to the forest.

After getting a tour from Noway, Pete and I decided to spend the first night in a treehouse. We got a couple of guys to give us a workshop to refresh our climbing skills and up we went to Pettleflet, where we both promptly got sick; me with some of the worst asthma I’ve had in years and Pete with a stomachey puking bug. Quite a tricky situation when you’re 30 metres up and it took you half an hour to get there! Pettleflet fortunately has a back window made of clear plastic that opens, and a naked Pete spent most of the early hours halfway out of it retching. Meanwhile, I was busy wheezing and

coughing. Neither of us got much sleep that night, partly because of the wheezing and puking and partly because of the infernal mozzies. I woke up with 17 bites on my left hand alone. Almost worse than the bites was Pete jumping around on the bed trying to catch them and winding his torch frantically zzzch zzzch zzzch zzzch…

The next day and night were spent in the van being ill, apart from a little jaunt into town on my own by bike where I got lost and looked in a mirror for th

e first time in days, discovering half of my face to be covered in red spots. Not itchy or sore or anything, but definitely there. Thanks for telling me everyone! I also have big red sores on both my middle fingers from climbing.

Pete left on Friday. He is now hurrying to Poland as his grandfather is very ill and does not have long left. He took two guys from the forest with him and gave them a lift to Nurenberg where they will hitch on to Slovenia to join a bike caravan.

Before he left Pete did a healing treatment and ritual for me. It has been an amazing couple of weeks we have shared. It seems like much longer. We don’t know when we will see each other again, but somewhere further down the road seems certain. We are both traveling now. Neither of us has any plans to go back to the UK. Funny to think that before we met, Pete wasn’t even planning to leave!

Saturday some people came from Holland to do a sweat lodge ceremony. We built a small bender and covered it with many layers of blankets. We lit a huge fire outside and put stones in it, which once heated were placed in a hole in the centre of the lodge. The whole thing took several hours. Nobody who actually lives in the forest took part, only me, Noway, the ritual leaders and a couple of other men who came from nearby. The ritual comprised of four rounds, and between rounds we were able to rest, drink water and go to pee. It felt good to have a good sweat and the ritual itself also felt very right

for me to do. I feel very fortunate to have been there at the right time and invited to take part.

This morning I am still very tight in the chest, but I feel like it’s time to move on. I feel like I haven’t really got involved with the community here in the forest as much as I would have liked since being ill has taken so much of my energy. I’ve also been quite reclusive, going to bed early and moving around slowly. I haven’t really bonded with the people here, despite liki

ng them all very much. It’s a really beautiful place. Maybe someday I will come back. People are desperately needed, especially from around October 18th when there is an eviction threat. You can find out more here:

Next stop Gent. I am hitching there today with a man named Zorro.

3 thoughts on “Lappersfort

  1. Funnily enough Mango and I were talking to a man in the Lewes Rd Community Garden yesterday who was on his way back to Gent – been living in some amazing sounding squat there. Can’t even remember his name though! Looking forward to your next missive xx

  2. Jo … please watch your asthma and do whatever you need to to stop it getting worse. That has always been my worry, given you are going to be travelling to very different climates with winter increasingly on the way.

    Wish you could have learned and got involved more in the tree house. Would have liked to know more about it. And also pictures, did you take a camera in the end with you?

    Please read my email … things are getting to an unexpected level here .. I will keep you updated in your email okay, but don’t know when you will next have the chance to be online.

    Take good care of yourself, am thinking of you always


  3. Pingback: Underground Tbilisi and a Long-Awaited Meeting | A Girl and Her Thumb

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