After leaving the hostel, which rather forlornly bears a For Sale sign (apparently a replacement is planned, but there will be a gap during which the current staff will all be made redundant) I crossed to Dunkirk (or rather, a place somewhere near Gravelines that Norfolk Lines calls Dunkirk, but I already knew that); after a couple of hours on a mirror-calm sea (the way I like it) it started raining seconds after I got through the bow doors.
It was only a brief shower that time and I headed inland through Boubourg across the polder landscape with a brisk tailwind. Just before Arnèke I stopped at the first of many military cemeteries I was to pass (I have a contractual obligation to do so, you understand); shortly after that the heavens opened properly and it was in a raging thunderstorm - slightly scary in that flat landscape - that I climbed into Cassel - a three-arrow ascent up the highest of the outlying Flemish hills - utterly sodden. I spent an hour sheltering in the Lion des Flandres bar and then, realising that the Tourist Office was still open decided to call it a day, finding a chambre d'hôte run by a local sculptor. I then fell asleep in the bath and woke up too late to find anywhere to eat, which was a bit of a drag.