Thursday 22 June
Set off from home arriving at Marine Parade ( free parking after 6.00 for fellow motorhomes ) in Dover around 8.30 in the evening to find that the first pub ” The Port of Call” which we have visited before and enjoyed the beer had just shut because it wasn’t busy ? Come on get a life ! There are thirsty people out there in desperate need of a beer after a 4 hour drive down to Dover ! Moving on from there we visited the “Spoons” which was not the most salubrious but the beer was ok and cheap ( always a plus in my tightass Yorkshire opinion ! )
Friday 23 June
Got up at 6.00 to drive the short distance to the ferry. Unfortunately Herman the German had squeezed his motorhome in front of me leaving a Knats whisker between him and my front bumper. luckily I had left a little room behind me to reverse and pull out. Because of the tight squeeze, I had to veer out quite sharpish which resulted in the back end of “Cis” catching a Bollard and doing a little damage to the panel which I had just had replaced at a cost of 300 quid from a previous altercation with a wooden fence whilst in London last time !! Thanks a million Herman!
Having breakfasted on the ferry we arrived in Calais around 10.00 and drove incident free thank God until we found our stop for the night in a place called Coucy le Chateau. The Aire here is fairly small but great with about 6 official hard standing spaces and room for another 3 unofficially. The official ones have electricity, water and a rather nice private toilet for the princely sum of 5 Euros. Bargain !
Having connected up we wandered up into the small village which is dominated by a medieval wall which surrounds the place and had a fully functioning Chateau until it was destroyed by the Germans in the First World War. The centre is not very big but has a few bars and restaurants, one of which we slaked our thirsts in with a couple of very nice Leffes. After which we had a good wander around and found they were setting up for a medieval festival which was due to start next weekend.
We ventured into the area where they were setting up and was stopped by an eccentric artist lady who was painting the scenery. She was lovely and even though we weren’t going to be there at the time of the festival, she took us all around the stage area and eventually dropped us off at the tourist information place to get more input on what was going to happen. We didn’t have the heart to tell her we were moving on the next day!
Having completed our perambulations around the village we returned to “Cis” for tea sitting in the lovely evening sun, until it was time to call it a night
Saturday 24 June
Leaving Coucy le Chateau we drove for 41/2 hours with a quick Supermarket stop for essentials until we arrived at our next destination.
This was a little town called Laignes well inside the Champagne grape growing district. The Aire we had chosen is another fairly small place at the side of a pretty little river. We elected to stay by”Cis” for the afternoon where we chilled out and then had a nice Salmon salad for tea. I had a very brief wander with my camera but otherwise we stopped where we were because it was so beautiful. We were also rewarded with the sight of a Kingfisher zooming up and down the river but sadly no photo opportunities