Thursday, 24 July 2014

Goodbye England - Bonjour France

Wednesday 23 July

We woke early to get the 8.25am crossing to Calais, had our porridge in the room, packed up and dashed for the ferry before the check-in time expired. Rachel went one way on her bike and paid £10 less for the ticket and I headed off as a foot passenger.

O what a palaver….firstly we all got on the bus with our luggage to be taken to the ferry. Why do travel organisations not provide adequate transport for people who have got luggage? This was an ordinary bus with limited space for cases so it was a bit of a free for all.

The first stop we all had to get off, troupe through the front door to customs wave our passports at the uninterested officials and then troupe back out of the back door and back on the bus. Off we go again…

Second stop, everyone off this time with cases, through the metal detectors, a quick frisk…ooo er misses!! if the detector beeped like it did in my case, and then back on the bus.

Rachel and I rendez-voud on deck 8 and with the £10 free voucher each (I don’t believe it was free, Rachel does so the jury is out on that one) we loaded ourselves up with packup stuff for the day ahead. Rachel survived the ferry journey and we did not capsize - she does not like ferries now either.

By midday we were in Calais, had purchased our French SIM cards to save our mobile phone bills and were soon on our way.

The path took us along two canals with very little shade in the 27+ degree heat. Rachel followed alongside on the bike until the final section and at that point headed off to locate our first French campsite. After only 7.5 miles I reached the village of Guines and met Rachel and then proceeded to check in at the campsite. This one was a 5* campsite with swimming pool, a peaceful and secluded pitch for us and ample shower blocks.

Needless to say that once the tent was pitched everything was discarded at the back of the tent and we both raced off to cool down in the pool………..o what heaven!! After a quick dip to cool down, we showered, ate and retired to the cafe to commence charging my phone and the GPS…..o and a small beer for me.

Distance - 7.5 miles
Total since Helmsley - 508.25 miles

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