Oh hum. ‘In the Old Days’, I’ll tell the grandkids, ‘We had paper maps, with lines all over them, and you had to learn to read, and hold them the right way up, and memorise 6 digit locations, all at the same time!! And bugger GPS, ’cause most of the time Nana got us there.’
Leaving Nonancourt for our ferry at Dunkirk we used the GPS locations provided by the ferry company. Then proceeded to get lost at consecutive roundabouts as both directions on signboards and our GPS insisted on sending us either to Dunkirk itself (wrong) or back to Calais (WRONG!!!). Following our GPS took us instead to a campsite in the middle of a town that required more one-way traffic negotiation, raised eyebrows and lots of shrugging. Arrived safely to find that we were nowhere near to our ferry stop. Some helpful Brits provided us with very detailed directions, which proved to be of no help at all. So, stuck (again) on a narrow road with no opportunity to turn around, cursing the GPS (need to find a name, not complimentary, for her) we kept going in a deepening silence … to arrive at the ferry port. All forgiven! However, now that we had arrived, hours early, we decided to take an earlier ferry, had a bit to eat, and went to sleep.
Wide awake (not really) at 1:30 am we passed through Customs (one lonely Brit), through inspection (one lonely officer), and boarded in a very orderly fashion. Methinks that Brexit might create some complexity in this process…
Arrived in Dover to a beautiful sunrise, a bit of mist, and traffic chaos. Made me wish I was back in Chartres Cathedral … Proceeded slowly down the M20, slowed down on the M25, and then cam to numerous halts on that and every subsequent road. Ouch!!! 2 1/2 hours to travel just over 65kms, and then another 300+ after that, all on 2 hours sleep. A conventional 3 1/2 hour drive turned into a 8 hour marathon. The last 40km were on delightful country roads – please add your own intonation to this, to aptly convey roads that wind, are not quite wide enough for 2 vehicles, and then pass through villages where a single vehicles’ progress can be inhibited by Mrs Smith opening her front door.
Nevertheless, here we are in that most delightful of British institutions, the Country Pub, in this case, the Blue Anchor outside Watchet, right on the coast. We are making use of the Britstops scheme that sees lots of places (mostly Pubs) providing limited parking for a few campervans, with the mild expectation that you’ll have a pint or a meal. We’ve filled up with water, I’m planning on a veggie/sausage/couscous dinner while Niki salivates over plates of prawns – let’s see how this ends. We’ll post some photos of the region tomorrow. For now – internet, great cider, soccer on the box, beach right off the van… Ah, I can cope with the pressure!