Mon 16 May.....We left our loyal blog followers in Audresselles, near Boulogne on the Sunday night. Monday was cool and chilly.....getting us acclimatised for Pommyland! We drove out to Cap Gris Nez to see the far-reaching views...NOT! and after being blown to bits meandered along scenic roads into Boulogne, heading straight for the tyre garage, in a dock-side/industrial area.
Arriving at lunchtime, they were of course closed, so we lunched at a trucker’s cafe (tarted up with window boxes of plastic flowers). Using best French to acknowledge the arrival of two beefy, tattooed, hairy-chested, jewelleried lorry drivers...........but only getting the word Eck-oss, Eckoss repeated in reply....... it turns out they were Scottish! (Ecosse). We had a long chat but their accents were so strong, it would have been easier to understand them had they been speaking French.
Anyway, tyres were fitted, the weather had improved and we took pleasant cross-country roads cack towards Caliais, stopping for a mooch around Cite de Europe, then parking up in a designated area at Sangatte (almost next to the tunnel entrance) for our last night.
Tues 17 May.....Up and away and even after a cafe-au-lait and a pain-aux raisin at the terminal,
we were able to take the earlier train (9.40 instead of 10.20). Just over half an hour later we were back in Blighty for a long, gruelling motorway trip to Long Buckby, Northamptonshire......often being sandwiched between huge, thundering lorries. One of us (the driver) has nerves of steel....the other (the passenger) had to shut her eyes!
After our longest drive on one day by far since February....we arrived at Claire and Paul’s lovely new house to be greeted by a very excited Joshua and an extremely pregnant Claire (Paul was at work). Needless to say it was wonderful to see them all again and we enjoyed our two day stay with them before returning to Billingshurst on the Thursday. Joshua was particularly taken with Hymie....spending hours putting the step up/down, climbing up to bed, weeing in the loo and insisting we all have our meals around the table!
And so the end of a wonderful trip.........................(where next?)
Our Route (overnight stops in capital letters)
Since Audresselles.....Cap Gris Nez; Wimereux; Boulogne-sur-Mer; Desvres; Guines; Cite-de-Europe; SANGATTE (Calais)
Tunnel crossing to Dover; LONG BUCKBY X 2
P.S. To add to the novelty of being back....unpacking, cleaning the van
etc, not only do we have the excitement of a new grandchild.....due this Friday, 27th May.....but Tom has come home for a flying 3-day visit (arrived 7am LHR on Monday 23rd, up to HQ in Suffolk on Thursday and flies to Nairobi on Friday). He finished his 8 month tour guide/driving circumnavigating India on 12 May, had a week’s R & R on Sri Lanka and on Friday starts a 3 month Nairobi to Cape Town and return, before coming home again for a month in September. Great to see him, he’s well and happy.
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