Saturday, 13 September 2014

September 13th 2014: France: Monty va en France

Monty the Motorhome says “bonjour” from the small aire at Tardinghen, near Calais. 

Yes, we’ve got back on the road after about two months of letting him idle on our driveway.   Our excuses for such inactivity range from work commitments, children coming home for summer breaks and a Norway visit. 

So an early start this morning (5.00 am) and down to London for a flying visit to James. The real purpose was to drop off his cycle, as well as some provisions. Travelling that early in the morning meant no hold ups and we were there in just over 3 hours, which is a bit different to the 6 hours it took last time we did this journey, when it was made mid morning. 

Then on to Folkstone and the Channel Tunnel. The roads were quiet and no queues at the check in gate. Talk about being lulled into a sense of false security. We got into the terminal to find utter chaos. Apparently there had been some sort of incident earlier in the day that had resulted in the tunnel being closed; so all trains were now running on a delayed timetable. That had resulted in all vehicles due to leave on those earlier trains being held back in the departure car park. The place was rammed solid and there was a noticeable lack of Tunnel staff to co-ordinate activities. Eventually we managed to find some space in the coach parking area and settled down to wait. I suppose we were lucky as in the end we were only delayed for one and a half hours - others had been waiting over six hours!

Boarding the train was so easy - just drive on into a huge carriage and park. Just like a ferry there is a member of staff to chivy the vehicles along and make sure everyone snuggles up as close to their neighbour as possible. Then within 10 minutes we were off. Everyone stays with their vehicles, but really there is nowhere else to go and the journey only takes 25 minutes.

In the Tunnel. Noticed a big poster after I took this picture saying ' No flash photography - may interfere with fire extinguishing equipment'. Ooops

We ‘popped up’ into France and were on the road within minutes.

Our overnight stay is on a small farm which is very much like a British CL. It overlooks the Channel and is set amongst rolling countryside known as ‘The Two Caps’, which refers to the area between two headlands, known respectively as Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez. We will probably be moving on tomorrow, but this location would be fine for a few days walking.

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