Dave the motorhome is getting acclimatised to the UK weather he’ll have to face in a few days, by sitting in the rain at the beachside free parking in Criel-Sur-Mer in Normandy (N50.03234 E1.30968).
This morning I was up before the alarm, which is a first for a long time. Woken by the beautiful day and shining sun, by the time the rest of the gang had stirred I was showered and had washed the dishes from last night. I guess I’ll have to get used to early starts again soon, hopefully getting in a few weeks of daylight starts before the nights draw in.
Last night Rose and Paul booked their ferry back to the UK for Monday night, errr hang on, that’s tomorrow! The imminence of our departure once again hitting me like a punch in the guts. Don’t get me wrong I really want to go home and see family and friends again, eat fish and chips, sit in a pub, read and understand posters and newspapers, know what things are in the supermarket and all that – but still the thought of giving up our current lifestyle fills me with dread.
We delayed our departure from our grassy parking place for a couple of hours; we had some visitors popping in to see us. One of the great things about writing this blog is the emails and comments we get from people, and sometimes when the timing is right we even get to meet up with a few like-minded folks because of it. Jane and Steven had dropped us an email to say they were just up the coast in Le Treport and wondered if we fancied a catch up. Of course we did, but sadly it would only be a very quick one as they were heading south on an eight day break and we were on a mission to get further north.
We used the time well giving both Dave and Where’dmadaygo a sweep out and making up ‘for sale’ signs for Whered’madaygo (he’s on eBay, but we figured it doesn’t hurt to have a bit of free advertising too). We totally forgot to tell Jane and Steven that the village centre was closed today, so after they had reversed out of its narrow streets they called us to find out the best way to reach us.
Ten minutes later Ellie the Burstner pulled up next to Dave and we sat and chatted to Jane and Steven for about half an hour. They are on their first motorhoming trip abroad, crazily planning to do a long term trip soon (we’re so jealous!). Jane told us how she was having to stop reading our blog because she couldn’t face the idea of us coming home; I know just how she feels! Hints and tips, plans and stories were swapped, but all too soon we had to part – but of course not before we had a nosey in Ellie – she’s in great shape and has a fab layout and is only half a metre longer than Dave!
Waving farewell to Jane and Steven we headed north aiming for a free service point. Satnav gave us the run around, trying to send us up a narrow lane, but we all managed to turn around before we got stuck and eventually found it. Sadly being free it had taken some abuse as someone had decided to empty their toilet cassette into the grate which caught the overflow from the fresh water tap. Of course the gaps in the grate not only stopped the leaves from the overhead trees from going down the drain, they also caught some other solids. It wasn’t a pretty sight, or smell, but we managed to fill up service Dave while keeping our noses closed.
Without further incident we made it to Criel-Sur-Mer and spotted the free motorhome parking spot by the beach from about a mile away, the reason being the sheer number of motorhomes in it. The French summer holidays may be over, but the aires are still busy. This one has a very high proportion of Belgian vans in it, so we can only assume it appears in some motorhome database or directory in the country. We parked up next to each other and as it’s our last day together today it was an early beer o’clock.
The rest of the day has been spent walking along the beach, sitting, chatting, drinking more beer, surfing the web, drinking sangria, watching the sun set, eating spaghetti bolognaise, drinking wine and trying not to think about tomorrow.
For the last few days we’ve managed to distract each other, putting off the feeling of waiting for a flight, but now it’s here; overwhelmingly so. Rose and Paul have been brilliant to hang out with and tomorrow is going to be a tough one, but it’s time to go our separate ways.
They have a ferry to catch and Charlie has an appointment at the vets to get his pet passport treatment so he can get back into the UK. As they say all good things must come to an end, and sadly the end of our trip is looming. I’ve been through a roller coaster of emotions today, and we’ve still got a couple of days left in France. It’s going to be a tough few days ahead but the thought of seeing family and friends again is helping to get me through it.