Monday, 28 April 2014

London & Holland April 2014 Day 9

Monty the Motorhome is parked up on his home drive and telling the neighbouring cars about his trip to Holland. He’s even learnt some naughty Dutch engine noises (see below) that were tried out on the journey home today.

The day started slowly as the ferry did not depart until 2.30pm, so we packed up slowly and left at about 11.30.
The journey looked easy enough on the map - up towards Rotterdam, cross the river by tunnel, then down the other side to the port. Might as well leave it to sat nav. Mistake. The problem was not so much leaving it to sat nav, it was more the fact I hadn’t learnt from yesterday and found out how to disable certain functions on the sat nav.
So shortly after starting off we again heard the merry tone of “ now take the ferry “, only this time we were in a channel and faced with a barrier and unmanned ticket machine. No problem we thought - out came the credit card. However the machine would not accept the card, or the alternative card we had. By this time there was a car and a gang of perhaps 10 motorcyclists (revving their engines at Monty, who was quietly noting down some choice noises to use later) behind us. There was no assistance button and no English instructions. So we had no alternative but to ask the motorists behind us to back up and let us out. Luckily everyone seemed in relatively good humour and we were able to reverse back and do a U turn.

After that we had to follow signs for Rotterdam and then pick up directions for the Hook of Holland. It all seemed a bit fraught for a while, until we were certain of being on the right road. We made it with 45 minutes to spare.

Driving into the hold - it felt like Jonah being swallowed by the whale.   Sorry about the reflection on the windscreen - it's the atlas lying on the dashboard.
The ferry crossing took six and a half hours in calm conditions. We were amazed at how much marine traffic there was - mainly tankers. We never seemed to be out of sight of some vessel.
It was just getting dark when we docked and it seemed strange to be driving on the right again. Habits set in after only a few days.

Our journey home was a bit of a dog leg as we had to go down to London and around the M25 to pick up James from his girlfriend’s house. Then the long haul up the M40 and home about 1.00am.

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