Sunday 12 September
Went off early again on my bike at 7.00 whilst it was still quite dark and very misty. This mist and cloud hung about until about 12.00 when finally the sun came out
I cycled again to St Gilles and crossed the river to the other side of the estuary. Unfortunately when I arrived there I couldn’t get very close to the sea front as they were setting up for a local Triathlon. I did decline to take part as I had not got my swimming cossie with me and didn’t want to ride my bike Au Natural ! ( not a pretty sight !)
On my way back I had a run around St Hilaire looking for the Hyper U so I know where to go tomorrow morning when we want to stock up on the years supply of wine. I found it but got a little lost on the way back ( should have paid more attention to tracking when I was a Cub !! )
Finally arriving back at the campsite, we had a bacon butty again on the outdoor camping kitchen and then moved up to the pool to catch the last few rays before our return home tomorrow.
As previously said the sun took a while to come out but finally it did and we spent the day chilling around the pool until dinner time. We ate the last of the lovely steak we had brought cooked once more on the outside kitchen before packing everything away ready for a quick off in the morning. Following this we retired once more inside and settled down for the night.
Monday 13 September
We woke up, had breakfast and were away for 8.45 stopping briefly to retrieve my 10 € deposit for the borrowed electrical lead before driving to the Hyper U to buy a few bottles of wine and provisions for the journey home. Unfortunately the wines we had chosen on the way down were not particularly apparent in this store so we had a few less to pick up than we thought ( oh no we need another stop tomorrow ! )
We had decided to stop at an aire at Guiberville but when we came to the junction on the motorway we found it was shut due to roadworks and so we bypassed it and continued on, reaching Villers Bocage, which did in fact appear to be a good choice as the free aire is pretty good and we are parked at the bottom end of town.
Having parked up and nearly forgetting which side of the road to turn as there were some roadworks ( Big Oops, especially as a policewoman was directing traffic ! ) we had a gentle stroll up into town. This was ok but not a lot to write home about but has plenty of restaurants and bars should the urge occur with you.
We had a wander around and then succumbed to said urge briefly before returning to “Cis” and had an aperitif before my travelling Chef knocked up a pretty good Chicken Curry which went down a treat.
Having eaten that we settled down again with a reasonably early night because we have a long drive tomorrow and I want to get away fairly early to bypass any stupid protest driving by truckers etc on our way back
Tuesday 14 September
We set off as soon as it was light and drove to Hardelot which is about 35 minutes from Calais.
We stopped once for breakfast and twice for Supermarkets to stock up on wine to last us for the year ( just a few bottles then ! ) until we return to mainland Europe next year in June again.
The journey took us, including stops, 7 hours which I didn’t think was too bad. I would like to say the journey was uneventful but that would be a lie. Firstly I got a stone chip on my windscreen which I think is going to be a problem as my MOT for “Cis” is due on the 26th and I don’t know if I can get my windscreen changed before then.
Secondly, our route took us through the middle of Rouen which for a vehicle over 3 1/2 Tons is an absolute nightmare. Mrs SatNav decides to start resetting half way through and it is only by ignoring her because I recognise where we are and see signs for Calais that puts us on the correct route. Trying to suss all this out unfortunately made me miss the Red Traffic Light and Janes warning came to late to brake in time. Luckily the road junction was clear and we made it safely across. I will await any official letters from France with baited breath !
Having safely negotiated Rouen although my elevated heart rate would say otherwise, we continued on to Hardelot. We normally stay at a large area away from the town which has no facilities but gets a few motorhome parked overnight. This means a long walk or cycle into town. We decide to chance finding a nearer spot to park and find a small aire near to the sea front in the dunes area. This again has no facilities but is a much nearer walk and as it is in the 30’s in temperature anywhere nearer the shade of a nice bar is a good thing.
We had a drink in La Grand Cafe which although quite pricey hit the spot perfectly. Whilst here Mrs Muppet got her portable fan caught up in her hair ! After disentangling with the odd lump being pulling out Ouch ! we had a walk round before returning there for a really delicious dinner a little later.
On returning to “Cis” we opened up all the windows and roof vents to dissipate all the built up heat and sat out for an hour or two in the shade of the side. I had a wander down to the sea at sundown to see if there was any interesting photo opportunities before returning once more to “Cis” and settling down for the evening.
Wednesday 14 September
We set off again at first light to see if we can catch the earlier ferry and just in case there are any problems on the roads leading to Calais. We passed by the migrant camp but there was no problem reaching port and having been checked inside “Cis” by the Army and Police to ensure we had no unwelcome guests we did in fact catch the 9.20 ferry.
It is obvious that the children have now returned to school because the ferry is virtually empty, which gives us the opportunity to be first in the non existent queue for breakfast.
On arrival in Dover we return home in reasonable time.
Our next trip in “Cis” will be in October when I will be working in London. Jane will join me for the weekend and then we aim to travel around Kent to revisit some places we last went to some 30 odd years ago. Catch up with us then
Hope you are still enjoying the tales of our travels. Until the next time
Cheers Pat & Jane xxx