Thursday, 16 June 2011

Euro Trip day one... Kent to Ghent

Up at 6am. I’m confident that I’ve seen 6am from the staying-up-all-night end many times more than I have from the getting-up-far-too-early end. I’m equally confident that I’d like to keep that ratio.

It was a rush to get ready. Luckily, we have volunteered ourselves as “caboose” in the convoy. Most people believe we have taken up the responsibility of shepherding the rest of the party, making sure nobody gets lost, picking up stragglers, fixing break-downs etc, etc. Actually, it just means we don’t have to be ready until after everyone else. Which is nice.

We all gathered in the adjacent field to have our pictures taken for Caravan Finder TV. Apparently, we’ll be appearing on a screen near you soon.

And then we were off.

First stop, a local motorway services to re-group after the journey through town.

And then back on the road to Dover.

Big ferry port, but not big enough to fit all of us into one lane.

We got well-and-truly split up getting on the ferry, but spirits were high as we waved bye bye to the White Cliffs.

And fed the wildlife.

Regrouping at the other end was tricksy. Luckily, we all managed to pick the correct exit lane and gathered together in a customs area before hitting the road.

This was my first time driving on the Continent, and since all I had to do was follow the Airstream in front of me, it wasn’t too much of a headache. And what a view I had!

We managed to pick up the tenth member at a pre-arranged Aire without any difficulty. The Aires we saw seemed to range from something like our motorway services, to little more than glorified lay-bys.

We took a couple of pit-stops (in the glorified lay-by type of Aire) along the way to give the dogs a pee-break. It also gave the humans a chance to stretch their legs and have a giggle.

And so, after only about 110 miles and a ferry crossing, we arrived in Ghent. That’s where it got tricky. Things like traffic lights and roundabouts seriously dented our ability to keep together and us tail-enders became right Charlies. Despite what people might say, we didn’t take a wrong turning, I just wanted to go back and have another crack at that roundabout. Honest. As an aside, another advantage of going at the back is that no-one can see if you make a pillock of yourself.

But we all arrived safely (eventually), and the evening was spent chilling and chatting into the night.

And so to bed.

Internet access is proving to be something of an issue, but I have plans, so hopefully I'll be able to keep you updated soon. Stay tuned...

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