Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Thursday 6th June 2013 - Tuesday 11th June 2013

Marboue (N48 6.744' E1 19.722'). Another Aire. Toilets and emptying facilities for free, but Electricity and Water are chargeable (Electricity 2Euro for 55 minutes, extortion!). There is space for about ten vans, and, by evening it is full. Not surprising really, it is a very pleasant spot, on the banks of the River Loir and off the busy main road (N10).

It is here, I find, the helpful French people at Uzerche did not do the internet registration correctly, so, I have no internet. I try the French couple parked next to us. They fiddle about with it, but, seem to think it has not worked.

I cycle the 2 miles back down the road to McDonalds, to use their Wifi to do my essential banking transaction.

When I get back, I fiddle around some more with the Orange SIM card, suddenly, it works, problem is, I do not know what I did to make it work!

Turns out, that was a false alarm, still not working!

An early start on Friday (well 09:00), and we are in Neufchatel-en-Bray by lunch time, for our regular stop over at Camping St Clair.

This place just gets better and better, but, the downside of that is, it is becoming very popular. A queue of campervans and caravans waiting to check in when we arrive!

We will have to stop recommending the place!

I find my Orange-France SIM card is not working after all, this is beginning to be very irritating!

Fortunately, there is an Orange Shop in the town, and the problem is soon sorted. It would appear you cannot register a top up from a non-French telephone number.

Only a one night stay, we linger until just before lunch time and then we are on our way towards Calais.

Picnic, French motorway Aire style.

Toilets, plenty of parking, neatly mown grass, no litter, picnic tables provided, and, sunshine of course.

But, the French do not get everything right... we arrive at Gravelines to find it is almost empty, clearly levelling a charge of 6Euro per night, with no facilities except parking has driven people away.

A lesson to Politicians everywhere, if you drive up the price, you do not necessarily increase the income!

We amuse ourselves by watching the street entertainment from a pavement bar. 

Next morning, the plan is to have breakfast as we wait in the boarding queue for "Le Shuttle", but, we are whisked onto an earlier train, before we have even had time to have breakfast!

Once in Dover, it is a short, and almost traffic free (well it is only 8:00 Sunday morning!) drive to the Caravan and Camping Club site at St Neots, to meet up with Gary, Susana and Gabriel.

Here are the "boys", it was both Gary, and Gabriel's birthday, a few days ago (June 2nd and 3rd respectively), so, this is a belated "birthday meeting", plus, Gabriel and Susana plan to return to Baku with Gary next weekend.

Our last chance to see them for a while.

Gabriel has grown a lot since I last saw him, and his talking has come on leaps and bounds (in both English and Spanish).

He is currently fascinated by spiders and their webs.

Here he is studying a spider in it's web, you can just see the spider above and to the left of his right eyebrow!

We visit Cambridge, and take the obligatory trip in a punt, but, not even a family of swans can keep Gabriel awake!

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