Published: January 25th 2011January 25th 2011
So, the day finally arrived. I got up at 4.30am to pack the car up with my life!! Saying goodbye to my 2 Al's was very hard. Driving to France to start a new life without them seemed very strange indeed. But, as they know, it is only a short term thing til I decide if France is a place I could live in - then, who knows?
So I drove to Dover, in the pouring rain, at 5.30 am, to catch the 08:20 ferry to Calais. Arrived in plenty of time at 7.20, and drove the car on and found a comfy (!) seat for the 90 minute journey. It pulled out on time, which was a pleasant surpise. I tried to get some sleep, as had not got much the night before. However, a couple sat next to me, with 2 kids, one of whom could not stop whining. Arrggh! So I moved to the other side of the ferry, which was quieter. Until some guy started talking at
his companions, telling them all they needed to know to make their visit to the hypermarket in France a profitable one. He knew all the answers. Sadly, he also
loved the sound of his own voice, so I didnt get any sleep that side either. Hey ho.
The ferry arrived on time, and within 10 minutes I was in Calais, programming my satnav with the address in Limalonges. It told me the 650km journey was going to take just under 10 hours! Yeah right I thought - i'll do that in 6!!! So I set off, feeling a little less anxious now I was actually in France. I was looking forward to meeting my hosts, Mike and Maria, and especially the Alpaca's. So i had plenty to refect on whilst cruising through the French countryside.
the journet itself was very pleasant. I drove through many smalll vilages and hamlets, and a couple of biggish towns. But mostly it was countryside - just lots and lots of fields. And the lack of traffic was brilliant. Having spent what sometimes feels like half my life on the M25, in traffic jams, this drive was close to utopia. Hardly another car in site for most of the time. And not a single traffic jam in 650kms. Perfect!
I stopped a few times for a coffee (mainly to keep me
awake) and for short food breaks. I had packed a load of chicken drummies, cooked sausages, and 8 boiled eggs!! Plus some crisps, 10 mars bars, and some apples. So plenty to get me through the day!
After what seemed like an eternity, I finally arrived in Limalonges at 20:45 - nearly 10 hours after arriving at Calais. That damned satnav was right! Maria was getting worried, as she thought the journey would only take 7 hours. But I made it, and when I got into the house I was mobbed by 5 small westy terriers, a collie, and 5 cats, who all wanted the sole attention of the new visitor. And there was a massive vegetarian lasagne and several bottles of wine waiting on the kitchen table, so the animals would have to wait!!
Anyway, after eating the lasagne, quoffing 2 bottles of wine, and geeting to know my hosts, it was time for bed, and a well earned rest. I am going to miss Allie, and Alex, lots, but it seems like I have made a good choice of host here in France.
Til the next update, au revoir!
There are more photos below