TTFN Britain and Bonjour France
As this great adventure comes to its sunset, we head back to France on the Eurotunnel, the same journey we made in January 2020, this time it is so different. Now we must present certificates to prove that we are jabbed, and Karen’s passport is stamped. How the world has changed!
Because of Brexit we were also nervous because we had overstayed by 24 days when we finally left Spain in April. Though I am Irish the 90 days now allowed per 180 applies to Karen. We had many write to us warning of trouble ahead, we need not have been. It turns out that if you are going to be in trouble it will be when you leave. It seems it is at the discretion of the border person you deal with when you are leaving. That said this trip will be all done by the 12th of October, and it will be the end of the adventure. Perhaps not the end of adventuring in a motorhome, we will have to see how we work this out with Elddis and we will let you know.
But back to the journey, this week we visited friends, first stop Fenny Compton to visit my old boss Michael, fantastic hospitality and lots of memories revisited. It was only one night but we covered a lot of ground we were able to park on his drive and slept like babies. It was with real sadness we headed on to London loaded with lots of homemade jams and marmalades, to see more friends and family before our journey back to the ‘Mainland’!
For me it was out with the boys, and golf, for Karen out will the girls for a bite to eat. You really forget just how much you miss your friends and family. It was a joy to spend time with them, I think we will never go away for so long again as we missed so much.
Finally, we met up with Pat and John near Ashford we enjoyed a lovely lunch and again with sadness we set off to our final campsite in England and reminisce on what was a glorious three-month tour of Britain. So many lovely places great people and lots of fun.
Our original tour was to end by meeting up Karen’s brother in Champagne for his 70th birthday, and then do a quick trip to Spain to meet up of David’s family. Well, all we have done is move forward one year.
Though our arrival into France was uneventful, going to Holland to see my nephew was a different matter. Covid rules in every country are different for people coming from the UK, essentially Holland requires 10 days quarantine with 2 tests for us. This seemed to mean that our plans to visit him was not going to happen. On the other hand, we have been negotiating the Covid rules for the past year and a half and so I settled down to have a read on the Dutch government website and found that as we were going to see a relative this was allowed. We had to be double jabbed and have an antigen test no more than 24 hours before arrival and make a declaration on the website. We got our email, and we could go. Ah no the Belgians say no as well, but with a bit of reading on their website we fond as long as we did not stop all was good. The moral of the story is that Covid rules will plague our lives for a long time going forward. Travel will be difficult even if you are vaccinated, planning is the way forward, know the rules and follow them.
Oddly enough this was my first visit to Holland, and we had a lovely time with Kevin, Eveline and Aiden. It was also a very quick reminder how easy motorhoming is in Europe. Our parking was provided by the town free with fresh water and waste disposal available as well. So a big thank you to Bergen op Zoom for that plus it was a wonderful town too boot. We had heard of how the Dutch favour cycling and to see this in action was amazing with dedicated cycle paths everywhere to everywhere was an eye opener. It is not that they don’t like cars, they do it is just they separate them from bikes, and it works. Everyone cycles everywhere in Holland and it’s great, mind you it is very flat which helps.
We had a wonderful two days exploring the area and it was fantastic to see their new home with all the Eco items we will have to have pre-installed, or as Kevin would say ‘Unbelievable’.
But rules are rules and we had to leave and head back to France and we stopped off at one of our favourite Christmas places, Wimereux. It is just down the road from Calais, and we have always gone over in December to get some Christmas cheer. With the sun shining it was busy, but luckily, we were able to get a pitch at the municipal campsite. The sun shone and we were able to eat outside the van and later we were treated to a massive fireworks display. No idea why but very impressive.
We have decided to visit Brittany for the first time so we are heading that way for two weeks before meeting Karen’s brother in Versailles on the 28th. So we got up early and headed to the gem that is Honfleur. This is an amazingly cute town, and it has an aire that can take 200 motorhomes. For €11 you can park get electric hook up plus the usual fresh water and waste disposal. To say it is industrial would not be an understatement, and it was rammed, we were lucky again because we pulled up an Italian van pulled away.
The town itself is picture postcard beautiful, but it is simply too busy and the aire is like a bus station so it will be one night and on to Mont St Michel for a quick visit. Covid may be on the back foot but it still controls our lives to do anything we have to follow rules and will do for many months to come. It is sort of mask off mask on all the time. But you learn each countries way and roll with it. If you want to tour around, you must follow the rules it is that simple.
Our Route This Week
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