Friday, 10 June 2011

Wednesday, June 8th 2011 - Friday, June 10th 2011

Neufchatel-en-Bray, Camping Sainte Claire, ASCI2011-974 continued

Forgot to say, in my last post, I have had some adverse comments about the font size. Some people wanting me to pay for new glasses for them. So, I have reverted to the "normal" size font!

Hope that is better for you all.

Despite her concerns for her waistline, I convince Kathleen we should buy an apple pie from Le Clerc. They are on offer, are rather large, and look very appertising!

We buy a can of disappearing cream, to go with it.

I call it disappearing cream, because after you squirt it on your plate, it disappears faster than you can eat it!

Sunset at camping Sainte Claire.

As I have said before, this site is in within 2 – 3 hours driving distance from the ferry at Calais or Dunkirk.

However, our ferry is at 08:00 in the morning, and check in time is 07:00. This would mean leaving here at no later than 05:00 in the morning, which is not possible (Gates are closed overnight, 23:00 – 07:00).

Instead we leave just before 12:00, do some last minute wine shopping at the supermarket, and then rejoin the A16 toward Abbeville, stopping for lunch on the way.

We plan to check out upto four aires, from the All the Aires – France book, (Hondschoote, Gravelines and, Bergues, Petit Fort Phillippe) and choose the best one.

As it turned out, Gravelines is the first one we come to and it is perfectly acceptable, so we park there.

Beware if trying to find it, they have built an new roundabout on the D940, which is not mentioned in the directions, but if you keep your eyes open, you can see the campervans lined up on the quayside, so just head for them. You need to be on the East side of the small river.

Gravelines, All the Aires – France Page 450, N50 59.310’ E002 07.363’

As you can see, we are not alone, I have not counted them, but there must be at least fifty vans here, presumably all waiting to go to the ferry terminal.

We have actually overflowed the 'official' parking area. We, along with three others, are parked in an area marked "no parking camping cars". The painted lettering is faded, and hardly ledgible.

Two passing Frenchmen point out to us that we should not be parked there. One is grumpy about it, the other, on hearing we plan to be gone by 06:30 in the morning, is more amenable about it.

We get a spot overlooking the habour, this is the view from our back window.

Actually manoevering into place caused a bit of a problem.

My reversing camera (Kathleen) took fright as we approached the edge of the dock backwards.

There was a mutiny and she deserted her post, continuing the directions from outside the van, just incase I went into the dock.

We have a metre to spare, no problem.

Once we had finished parking, and Kathleen had composed herself, we discovered we had parked next to someone from Seaham, who just happened to be a patient at the surgery where Dana used to work!, small world and all that.

Sunset at Gravelines.

The evening passes without any excitement, except that, even more vans arrive.

After a quiet night, and therefore a good nights sleep, we are up at 6:00 and on our way by 06:30, to check in for the ferry.

Despite eating my usual breakfast of Cereal and fruit, while we sat in the queue waiting to board, we avail ourselves of a full English Breakfast on the boat.

The usual nightmare journey, on the M25, and we arrive at Henley-on-Thames.

Henley-on-Thames, Caravan Club - Four Oaks Site.

As is always with the Caravan Club sites, it is spot on.

The afternoon is spent in arranging a hire car, so we can travel to Windsor tomorrow and Sunday.

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