Breakdowns, beaches and dodgy roads in Belgium!!!

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January 11th 2012
Published: January 11th 2012
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Bonjour everyone, we are writing to you from a bright and sunny Oostende in Belgium. Now for only being away for three days a hell of a lot has happened..from the beginning...

Our first day was not too good to be honest. As we drove onto the Eurotunnel there was a lot of white smoke coming out of the back of the van. We worried about it the whole 30 min journey and after the initial excitement of driving on french soil we pulled into an aire and called the insurance company. They gave us the address for a garage in Dunkirque so we had to go find it (!!) and that was easier said than done. We actually ended up having to pull over at McDonalds and use their free wifi so that we could get english directions! When we had found the garage there was the communication barrier but it was fine, the people were lovely and they were so happy that we were 'trying' to speak French. We called the insurance company and they acted like a translator between us and the owners of the garage, Sam went off for a test drive with the owner and I stayed with his wife at the office, where we had a conversation via Yahoo Translator so it was all good fun! haha

The insurance company booked us a taxi to the hotel they were paying for that night and it was very posh, too posh for the likes of us haha. Oh yeah and the bed was huge and there was a bath!!! I was so happy 😊 so our first night of travelling was spent with be relaxing in the bath eating chocolate and Sam lying on the bed trying to learn French haha. The next day we got a taxi back to the garage (all paid for) and picked up the van. We only had to pay for the work that was done (which was having the fuel filter changed) so we actually got more out of the insurance company than we had to pay.

On the road again we attempted to find the Dunkirque beaches which was a task in itself. We found them eventually via a tourist office and drove over, Sam said we could walk all the way to the end of the promenade where we could see some square shaped rocks so we walked and walked and walked. It was a lot further than we thought but when we got there it was amazing! Like a whole forgotten village! It was built by the Germans and consisted of lookouts, forts and bathrooms. There were even old tiles still stuck to the bathroom walls. It was really spooky but sad aswell because nearly every square inch of wall was covered in graffiti. It was like the modern day clashing with what happened years and years ago. Oh and I found a dead fish and it was all silver and blue..

After exploring we headed back to the van and drove into Belgium, please note that by this point we had still not had our passports checked at all. It took us nearly two hours to find somewhere to stay in Oostende and things got a little stressed to say the least. We pulled up in a carpark and cooked dinner and watched a film...our bed is actually more comfotrable than the hotels!

Our plan now is to head into Brugge then Gent and then Antwerp before going into the Netherlands. I know we are only three days in but its going so fast and the places we are visiting are really not far apart at all. I don't think it will take us five months to complete what we want to do all being well.

Au revoir everyone and hopefully the next blog will be a bit better for us, to say that we have been thown in at the deep end is an understatement haha! Loads to love to you all, Verity and Sam xxxxxx

(Message from Sam: Driving on the wrong side of the road isnt as bad as i thought, but the mopeds driving on the pavement is something else!)


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