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September 10th 2010
Published: September 12th 2010
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Truck got stopped at CalaisTruck got stopped at CalaisTruck got stopped at Calais

Don't know what was in there but customs found it very interesting !

Home again


Wish we could ‘teleport’ ourselves from Dover. That drive home is always rather a drag. Boring for me as passenger and quite stressful for Bob, after the calmness of the French roads, the M2, M25 and M1 lorry queue is a most unwelcome change.
We caught an early ferry at Calais with a nasty shock as we booked in via P&O. We always buy the cheapest ticket and we were booked for Sunday first thing. This was Friday and we thought there might be a little extra to pay but they surcharged us £60 which was £20 more than our original cheap ticket (£40.50). Hindsight says we would have done better to have booked a more flexible ticket this time. Moment of excitement on the dock before we boarded when a foreign truck was surrounded by police, customs and a barking sniffer dog. Don't know what was in the truck but it wasn't allowed onto our ferry.
Once in Dover I got out my knitting and Bob fought the never ending line of trucks on the motorway. Just stopped once for lunch at the services and a stupid truck driver parked so close to us that Bob couldn't get down the side of the Tandy to turn the gas off.
Home mid-afternoon and everything as we left it. Grass is a bit longer, garden a little wilder and the sunflowers are definitely taller. England has not been having very good weather while we have been away according to the not very exuberant floral display in the garden and my non-flowering roses (no idea why as they have been fed) are covered in aphids. Note to me : give the birds less bird food as they are obviously too full !
Another note to me : Try to ignore the fact that the garden needs a good late summer tidy. It is just not going to happen !
Have some urgent things to do now we are home as I leave for a month in Australia in less than 2 weeks. Must get all the washing done and need to make some meals to put into the freezer to keep Bob going in my absence. Must also sort out all the things I have to take with me for Jenny, Izzy and the baby. It rains a lot in Melbourne so think I need to buy myself a raincoat
A 'hedge' of sunflowersA 'hedge' of sunflowersA 'hedge' of sunflowers

plus poppies, cosmos, lavatura and a few sweet peas still
!
One of the first things I did when we got in was to open my Folksy shop and to my delight someone bought an aeroplane suncatcher only a couple of hours later. Not sure how much glass I am going to have time to make before my next trip but must make some as the Xmas fairs will start as soon as I get back.
Must also send a link to this blog to the campsites I have mentioned, favourably, as they might like to have the good feedback.



Final check after filling in our accounts spreadsheet and this is what we have done :

Total spend £ 1245 (of which £940 by credit card) (£73 / day)
Total holiday coast £ 900 ( ferries, fuel, campsite, tolls,out of pocket)

Miles travelled 1728
Litres of diesel used 274
at cost of £ 283

Average fuel consumption = 27.67 mpg (fantastic)
Total spent on ferries £ 185 (includes £60 surcharge for taking early ferry)
“ “ “ housekeeping/food £ 222
“ “ “ Entrance fees / tolls £ 69
“ “ “ Campsites £ 184 (Ave. £11.50 per night (was £18
Giant SunflowersGiant SunflowersGiant Sunflowers

All flowering beautifully but all turned their faces to next door. Maybe they resent us going away !
in Scandinavia))
“ “ “ personal £ 120 (Includes Bob’s wine for home !)
“ “ “ out-of-pocket £ 170 ( Food and drink out )


Weather = Pretty lovely and unexpectedly so - with :
Sunny Days 12 (therefore =70.5%!s(MISSING)unny)
Wet days 2 (wet enough to stop us doing what we want to do)
Ok days 3 (Neither sunny not wet)

Days we swam 12

Campsites we used (have included this just in case anyone reading this is wondering where / where not to camp) :
· My rating is based on how much we liked it, whether we would recommend it to others
· Price is after rough conversion to ££PP and includes electric where we paid using ACSI out-of-seasondiscount as it is included in the price, otherwise we didn’t have it as our solar panel and two leisure batteries provide all we need. First few nights we were too early to use the ACSI card.


* Town Campsite My rating My Comments ££.PP
*1 Boiry-Notre-Dame near Arras La Paille Haute 8.5 Very pleasant. Pool really warm. 17.39 without electricToo early for ACSI
*2 Beaugency Aire by the river 9
Sunflower and a beeSunflower and a beeSunflower and a bee

There are also lots of aphids on the stems
Lovely spot. Used several times. Easy walk into centre. Free
*3 Loches La Citadelle 9.5 Superb site with pool, wifi. Easy walk into town to see the chateau. Can't fault this site in any way. 14.71 without electricToo early for ACSI
*4 Batz-sur-Mer Les Paludiers 7 Closed everything 4 days early. Kept waiting ages to book in / out. Staff didn’t care. Would have rated 6 but pool was excellent (and only facility open). 13.38 ACSI €15 + tax
*5 Quiberon / Kerne Aire overlooking Cote Sauvage 9.5 Stayed here in May 2008. Even bigger now but just as good a seaview and lovely spot for a cliff top walk with a drink at the end !Even has 8.30am bread van 4.20 €5 ticket
*6 St-Nic / Pentrez beach Campsite Domaine de Ker Ys 9.5 By the sea, lovely beach. Superb pool. Great location. 9.78ACSI €11 + tax
*7 Carantec Les Mouettes 9 Superb pool complex. Absolutely excellent. Everything still open. Lovely coast. 12.61 ACSI €15
*8 Saint-Cast-Le-Guildo Le Châtelet 9 Wonderful. Lovely sea view. Pool super. Layout / facilities excellent 13.15 ACSI €15 + tax
*9 Calais Aire on the harbour 8 Used several times. Bit quieter re ferry
George Alexander BaddeleyGeorge Alexander BaddeleyGeorge Alexander Baddeley

My grandson born 25/09/2010 in Oz
noise than last time.Great access to boulangerie, bar 5.93 €7 payable at campsite



Must add a final note. My lovely new grandson George Alexander Baddeley arrived safely on 25th September in Melbourne, Australla just 9 hours after I landed at the airport. Great timing and made our dash up France all the more meaningful.




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