8th April 2009
They said the weather today was rain. They were wrong! A bit cloudy at times yes but otherwise clear and blue. Woke after another late night of work. Tired, miserable and scared. Scared of the unknown that lay ahead. It felt like Isabel had done all the preparations and I had done none. Oh well too late to dwell on that now. Rode down into Pangbourne to fill the bikes with petrol before we loaded them up. Before we even set off we had problems with the communications that we needed to sort out. We also had problems deciding where to put Mr teddy – he wanted to ride in style and we just wanted to get on the road. Anyway eventually we did set off, albeit a bit late which added to the stress/worry/nausea levels. However as soon as we set off all worries were quickly forgotten. Down the M4 (the traffic was not too bad) onto the M25 (who ever thought that road was a good idea? – the traffic was horrendous) then the M26 (what a nice little road according to Isabel – me I just nod for the sakes of marital bliss) and finally on to the M20 counting down the miles to the Channel Tunnel – 50, 46, 37, 32, 10 and then into the maze that is the Eurotunnel terminal for the first time. I have to be honest but it didn’t make sense to me at all. Oh well we go onto the train on time in the end and 35 minutes later we were in Calais. Amazing!
Then we were out of the station and onto the A16 heading North remembering to drive on the right (i.e. wrong) side of the road. Navigated through some delightful small towns on the way to the Camping Pommiers Des Trois Payes in Licques. A very nice small campsite with very friendly hosts. The journey there also included the first set of hairpin bends I have ever negotiated. I apologise to all the experienced bikers out there but I went through them extremely slowly with extremely clenched buttocks. The campsite itself is mainly for caravans with some empty pitches for tents with well provisioned facilities and a small restaurant. Using our own totally arbitrary and highly open to bribes grading system (otherwise known as ‘The Sarges’) it gets a well deserved:
After putting the tent up we got back on the bikes and went looking for a local supermarket for some food. Bit of a mistake – quite expensive but everything seemed of good quality. They even had horse sausage we think but since neither of us can speak let alone read French we could be wrong. Got some bread, cheeses and cold meat for breakfast. All for 18 Euro – Ouch!.
I made some tea and coffee when we got back and Isabel sorted the tent out – Much better that way because if I had done it it would have been chaos! Had tea/coffee, bread and some cheese in front of the tent under a beautiful warm sky – heaven, this is what we went touring for. Even Mr Teddy had cheered up when we had offered him some tea.
After we had sorted everything out we went for a meal in the campsite restaurant. Isabel had a very nice Mushroom Omelette and I had a local meat terrine (for those interested it contained rabbit, chicken and pork and was delicious!) and the biggest plate of French Fries (naturally :)) I have seen in a long time! Excellent especially considering this is a campsite and not a hotel.
After the meal it was back to the tent and bed. A long day but a good one.
- Make sure you know where everything is to go before the off
Fill up with petrol the day before the off
Adrian & Isabel
& Mr Teddy
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