The day has been long. Travelling to Amsterdam in the morning, working, heading home, eating, driving to the Dutch-Belgium border in Breda to meet up with Jeroen, and then a loooong time on the highway down south. Talking, music, a beer, another one, and than we reach our destiny for today, Dijon. At around 1AM we turn off the highway and drive towards a quiet place next to a dirtroad to park Jeroen’s van and go to sleep. Not much of an effort to fall asleep after such a day..

Suddenly, at 5AM (it is completely dark outside), we wake up because of loud knocks on the outside of the van. Not once, but many times. Jeroen says ‘what’ and then a cracky voice says in French ‘Open the door, there has been an accident’ and ‘People are going to die’..

What would you do?!

We decide not to open anything. The guy keeps on knocking and seemsĀ  to talk to another person, further away from the van. We are not able to simply drive away, the cabin is separated from the ‘sleeping room’. Quickly we turn on our clothes, in case a ‘confrontation’ is needed. In the rear mirrors I vaguely see the guy standing in the dark night next to the van. He wears a hoody and his face is suddenly lightened up by the screen of his telephone. Who needs help if you have a telephone and can call the police?!

A decision has been made quickly after we discuss our options. We call 112. I am glad to be in the middle of a French course, so I can make myself (kind of) understable. We are being reconnected a few times, untill we are talking to a local policeman. In English. Very polite, professional and helpfull. After he finds out we are not being able to explain our location to him, he gives his private e-mailadress, and we send him a screenshot of Google maps. He promised his colleague’s will be there soon.

Let the waiting begin…. we don’t hear anything anymore, but we suspect people to be waiting for us to go outside. No chance! We just wait for flashing lights… and after 50mins of waiting, the flash lights are there, behind the van… we get out of the car and look around together with two (again) polite French police officers. Nobody’s there, except for an abandoned care a few hundred meters away..


After this interesting start of our long weekend to Presles, we deserve an extra croissant.

Some pics of our climbing in Presles:

Topomaniak (7a, 250m)

Presles with a view

Singes en hiver (250 m. TD+/ED-, 7a max.)

Singes en hiver (250 m. TD+/ED-, 7a max.)

Topping out




1 Comment
  • p,Zwaan

    1 november 2018 at 3:35 PM Beantwoorden

    klimcapaciteiten staan buiten kijf, echter wat in mij ogen belangrijker is : Vriendschappen welke ontstaan voor “eeuwig” door het volledgevertrouwen in elkaar en
    de afhankelijkheid van elkaar gedurende deze tochten. Nog veel succes

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