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Published: June 27th 2006
We have now headed out of London to stay with my cousin, Phil. He lives south of London in the countryside just north of Brighton. To get there it was a few trains and trams to meet phil who would drive us the rest of the way. We stopped in Wimbledon on the way. It was a week before the tournament and Dave tricked me into believing he saw Pat Rafter. Well it was only a week before, but then i caught on when he said, Oh and Leyton Hewitt was with him!!! We also found a place there called Jumbuck's that is exactly like Jester's, we were stoked. Pie's for us!!!!! Once we met Phil we drove through the country to his lovely little cottage thats overlooks fields and hills. It is so nice and quiet here, much better than busy London. We relaxed and waited for Phil's partner Deb to finish work then we left for a little town on the coast called Rye. It is very English around here with lots of little villages and very green countryside. Its also very expensive to live around here and there are a lot of rich people. Where Phil and Deb
live it is owned by a very wealthy Dutch man who owns a lot of land in the area. He took us to his 'Manor' which is like 100's of years old and huge, very nice. Anyways.....that afternoon we were chauffered around the area. The wind was nice and strong by this point and it started to get just a little chilly.
The next day involved more driving and sightseeing of the seaside. The area is reknowned for the chalk cliffs along the coast. We went to a place called Birling Gap. It was windy and freezing but there were still people on the beach and one guy surfing. The waves were hardly even breaking but it was enough to get Dave sad about the fact he has had only 2 surfs in 2 months, not good. That evening we were treated to a Lamb Roast, our first roast in more than 2 months. Probably one of the best roasts we have ever had.
Thursday we went to Gay Central and headed to colourful Brighton. World reknowned for being full of Gay and eccentric people who like to party. Also home to Fat Boy Slim and Paul McCartney (sometimes throughout
the year). We walked through the North Lanes that are good for shopping then headed back home again as Australia and Croatia were playing in the World Cup. We also couldnt have a late night as it was off to The Continent the next day.......
The next day we were up at 4am and in the car to make our way to the Eurotunnel and across to France. Phil wanted to show us all as much as possible in one day and planned to do Belgium, Holland and France all in one day, so we did!!! The train in the tunnel takes a quick 30 minutes from England to France under the channel and spits you out at Calais in France. We headed for the motorway and straight up to Holland. there was not a whole lot to see along the coast of all 3 of these countries at it is very flat, just the usual farms and small towns. Our first stop, after the tobacco shop and chocolate factory in Belgium, was Sluis in Holland. It is just across the border of Holland and Belgium but it is a very dutch town. Small and full of Dutch tourists. We
ate what everyone else was eating for lunch, Mussels and Frites (Chips). They give you an endless supply of chips, it was crazy. We thought, how are all these dutch people quite slim looking when they eat chips all the time?? it's because the buggers cycle everywhere!!! the rest of us are just slackers. From there we hopped back into the car and headed back towards Belgium. Poor Phil had to drive the whole way while the rest of us kept falling asleep from our early morning. Our stop in Belgium was a pretty coastal town called Oostende. Very busy and full of nice Yachts everywhere. Phil and Deb did a spot of shopping before we were back in the car to jump across yet another border back to France. The town of Calais was our stop as it is close to the train and has good shopping. A lot of English make the cross to the Continent for shopping. I dont mean girly shopping, more grocery and grog and tobacco shopping. It is very cheap for a lot of that over there so its worth their while to go across and buy it there. So we did a little
shopping and had a beer. We didnt have long until the train was due to leave so Phil took us to a lookout. From here we could see England, and it was 8pm at night. We could just make out England but it was more the line of yellow smog that we could see, mmm suck it in. Then it was back to catch the 9.30 train before the drive back to the Cottage in Etchingham. 4 Countries later it had been a very long day, out at 4am and home at 10.30pm.
To recover from our long day we spent the Saturday doing absolutely nothing. The weather was nice and hot so we sat outside and drank a bit of beer and worked on the tan.
The following days were spent doing a little sightseeing but mainly relaxing. Dave and I have slipped into the time zone finally after a week and a half and have a minimum of 10 hours sleep a night. Maybe its because we are sleeping on the best bed we have in 2 months.
The weather turned a little english over the next couple of days and there was a constant drizzle for a
whole day and probably nights too. We spent the days relaxing and enjoying the quiet and beautiful countryside before heading back to London.
And........7 days and counting until we are off to Run with the Bulls, well Dave anyways!!!
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