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 Belgian Winter Rally

This years winter rally took place on the 3/4/5th Feb, in Houffalize, the usual place in Belgium just on the border with Luxembourg, and 15 mins drive from Bastogne, the famous place at the centre of the 'Battle of the Bulge' We had 20 bodies and 8 jeeps entered for the rally which took place over three days.
The trip is very theraputic for all concerned, it starts with an overnight crossing from Hull to Zeebrugge before a steady drive with the Jeeps ( all on trailers ) into the Ardennes region. 

The accomodation is in a specially reserved hotel opened for the winter rally, which had 197 vehicle entries ( all pre 45 ) and over 480 people ( of which quite a lot were post 45! ). 

The two day rally follows a route through the countryside following a premarked route at your own pace along small single track country roads, through small villages (many of which were involved in the battle of the bulge and so have lots of history), and along forest roads and tracks.

At lunchtime there is a communal stop with a free visit to a museum ( all of which are very good in this area ), which is a different one each year (I've been going for 11 years and not been to the same one twice!). the day finishes back at the hotel, and is followed by a full evening of entertainment and merry making in the bar and disco. More of the same on Sunday, usually crossing the border into Luxembourg to call into a petrol station for cheap fuel. We usually go and have a play in the local woods on Sunday afternoon as the rest of the rally pack up and go home, but we stay over as our ferry is not until Monday evening. The play in the woods usually brings out some good off roading for those who are adventurous enough to try it ( as you can see from the pics ).
In all we drove around 160 miles in the jeeps over the weekend which is pretty good considering this year the temperatures were down as low as minus 19 during the day on Saturday. On previous years we've had a variety of weather from deep snow to freezing ice and fog to warm sunshine, every year is different. There are some great views of the remote Belgian countryside during the drive. 
Needless to say we had to spend some time in the bar getting warm at the end of each day! and the trip home on Monday is again usually very relaxing with a steady pace on the drive back to Zeebrugge for the evening ferry.

I've been going to the Winter rally organised by the BMVT for 11 years now and can say I've thoroughly enjoyed every one. the BMVT are great hosts and certainly know how to organise a nice relaxing enjoyable event.

If you have a wartime MV and fancy doing something more than sitting in a rally field drinking tea, then why not join us next year?

Brian Slingsby