France 144 - Calais /La Bien Assise/ a much long awaited swim/spaghetti junction Brussels

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May 28th 2019
Published: May 28th 2019
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Who would have thought it? A decent nights sleep on the equivalent of Cheshire Oaks. Gabby the motorhome had her last day in Germany and after breakfast was heading home. We wondered if we would be able to get home easily due to the roadworks but the sat nag proved it worth and negotiated us back to the autobahn. We could see the reason for our delay yesterday. The German government had invested heavily in renewing the roads and this one was a case in point. Not only had they scraped the surface off for retarmacing. They had taken every layer down to the subsoil and were starting again. Even the bridge had been demolished and was in the process of being replaced. All went well as we sailed past Frankfurt airport. In the short distance we drove past it I counted 20 , yes that's right 20 aeroplanes landing . One after the other they appeared in the sky . When one was above us another four we circling .

We had started out at 6.45 and with steady driving we should arrive at Guines in 6 and a half hours. All more or less motorway until the last few miles. As we approached Holland the sun came out. It felt like a kick in the teeth. Blue skies although still a little chilly. The best weather we have seen for some time. As we drove we pondered as you do. Should we cancel the train and rework a week in Belgium? Perhaps Amsterdam and Holland? If you eavesdropped on our conversation it went something like this. "We have waited so long for this trip - don't want to go home?" "A bath will be nice " "Yes and some simple food". " A catch up on friends and family " "Of course , but we don't want to go home". No sooner than we got in to Belgium our thoughts were around coming back. Weird isn't it. You so want to go home and when you do it you start to plan the next adventure. We needed to get home Glenns ankle was huge and needed some attention. We had been undone by the weather but not defeated. Confucious said " Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without" Yes a holiday with rain was better than one without.

We crawled through Brussels . I
Third time lucky - Third time lucky - Third time lucky -

A third picture of our girl Gabby in Practical Motorhome. Took this at Tintern Abbey and managed to win the star photo
once compared the roads around it to a bag of knitting wools ravaged by a kitten. Well that still holds true and throw in Spaghetti junction and the de dum de dum of the concrete. We ate dinner in a rest area , a snitzel sandwich before heading to Calais and Guines . We arrived at 3 and were welcomed as always in perfect English. "Have you been before?" Yes it is an ACSI site and one we use as the first night or the last night stop in France. It is much loved by the Brits on their way down to the south or on the way home. "Have you a favourite pitch you would like?" No not really. They are all grass. There is water and electricity on the plot . There are shady plots under large oak trees or open sunny ones. The showers are getting a bit tired but the swimming pool is inviting . I took my first swim for weeks and it was heaven.

There is a chateau here that you can stay at if you can afford the prices, a budget hotel round the corner and Eurocampings. A fast food outlet selling frites and burgers and La Ferme Gourmand - a more up market expensive restaurant. This was our destination for our last evening meal in France. We booked in and arrived at 6 to an empty room. "Take any table you like " the young man said. He brought the menu and our appertisers. Thin bread coated in divine soft cheeses . While we ate those an elderly couple turned up. He spent all night snorting like a horse . It was hard not to keep looking at him . We decided on the set menu. A choice of three - the first at round about 25 euros. A more expensive selection at about 35 euros and the most expensive over 40 euros. We picked the cheapest which we found to always be to our taste. Glenn ate pancakes in cheese and I ordered a coarse pate of the area. By the time we had finished the first course the place had started to fill up, a lady on her own, two couples with dogs . For mains I chose a stew with chips and mashed cauliflower, Glenn chose a chicken with stuffing. Our puddings were ice cream and fruit for Glenn and for me more cheeses of the region. We finished with double espressos - enough to keep us awake for some time.

As we walked back to Gabby we felt sad. Our adventure was over for Spring 2019. Had we enjoyed it ? Despite the rain, despite the cold weather of course we had. Tomorrow its is the train and Canterbury to break the journey home so the adventure is not quite over.


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