The temperature on Tuesday morning was definitely on the chilly side and the drizzle soon turned into rain. Ruth sent photos from Bude, sunshine! Fiona sent a photo from her walk in Crieff, blue sky and sunshine! Emma, like us was getting Yorkshire weather. Steady progress down the A1, past place names familiar through horse racing on the tv: Thirsk, Ripon, Doncaster, Leicester, saw us stopping for lunch at Long Bennington and a walk to stretch the back. Just a 2 hour drive from there to Canterbury helped the decision to continue south with one more stop at Bishop Norton services where I walked while John chatted to another motorhome which parked up along side us. The M25 was busy but steady and in no time Satnav was directing us to the Aire at the Park & Ride on New Dover Road, Canterbury. We headed to the overflow parking area as the fenced area was full and we had the kettle on by 4.30.
John poured the wine whilst I cooked.. chicken in a shallot sauce tonight and definitely no pud!
We watched yet more motorhomes arrive, French & German mainly, together with GB and then we had a last walk before heading to bed and the luxury that is sleep.
Wednesday first thing was to be wet but by 11 the rain cleared and we took the bus down into Canterbury, had a wander (tried to follow phone directions to Debenhams, the scenic route 😉) picked up Euros, bought some books from a charity shop and Waterstones, forgot to buy a new gaslighter and headed back to the van for a late lunch and ready for the last leg of the journey this side of the Channel. A 35/40 minute drive and we were ready and waiting for our 5.20pm shuttle train.
Sometimes we get lucky and get boarded for an earlier departure, but not today. There were masses of motorhomes lined up in rows alongside us and behind. I had plenty of time to change maps, get familiar with our route etc whilst John fitted the headlight deflectors and we settled down with a cuppa and a Tunnocks teacake each!
Come 4.30 our group, C, were called for passport control and checks. No problems there. We were queued in Lane 14, which I reckon meant only board them if there are spaces left. There obviously wasn’t as we and another dozen vehicles were left sitting after boarding had closed! How rude!
No info, no reply to my tweet.. but we were boarded on the next shuttle half an hour later. Phew! I’ve included random photos of driving the motorhome onboard the train. It’s straightforward, but alot of up one lane along another, over a hill and round a bend!
France, when we arrived was wet and dull, yuk! John remembered to ‘drive in the ditch’ without his daughters there to remind him, and on to the A16 followed by the D901 at Boulogne (to avoid the Toll ) . The rain dried up to a light drizzle and the roads were very quiet compared to our normal middle of the day arrival time. We drove in to Montreuil sur Mer within the hour. The Aire which accommodates 8 was full but a few motorhomes were parked up in a large area of ground next to it, so we joined them! France is an hour ahead re time so we quickly popped the Fish pie in the oven and sat down to wine and nibbles and a chance to relax. A stroll into town before bed identified a boulangerie for next morning’s croissants. Sorted!