Visitors as the end draws near; Criel-Sur-Mer, France

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!

Jane and Steven - a great couple who we hope to meet again soon

Jane and Steven – a great couple who we hope to meet again soon

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.

Whered'madaygo takes to the fields on the narrow lane

Whered’madaygo takes to the fields on the narrow lane

Yes they have painted that tower with trees to try and hide it, then stuck a huge mobile mast on the top!

Yes they have painted that tower with trees to try and hide it, then stuck a huge mobile mast on the top!

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.

Dave settling in for his last night next to Whered'madaygo

Dave settling in for his last night next to Whered’madaygo

Criel-Sur-Mer beach, all of 20m away from Dave!

Criel-Sur-Mer beach, all of 20m away from Dave!

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.

Paul and Rose on the beach

Paul and Rose on the beach

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Nearly all of the huts are locked up - summer is over!

Nearly all of the huts are locked up – summer is over!

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.

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What are you looking at? Is there something in my teeth?

What are you looking at? Is there something in my teeth?

Where'dmadaygo is now signed up and ready to sell

Where’dmadaygo is now signed up and ready to sell

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.

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We're not at Dover yet, but the white cliffs are making us think of home

We’re not at Dover yet, but the white cliffs are making us think of home

Another glorious sunset

Another glorious sunset

Ju x

Clinging to the Emotional Rollercoaster; Dover's in Sight
North Normandy, Etretat, Fecamp and Veules-Les-Roses
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7 Comments on Visitors as the end draws near; Criel-Sur-Mer, France

  1. I know how you must feel, we have been back a week after just three weeks away and still have the post holiday blues.
    When you finally do land back in the UK, do you plan on touring the UK or heading straight back home?

    • We’re heading straight home for Dave’s MOT. Once that is done we hope to squeeze in a little tour of the UK to delay finding work – but we’ll have to see how finances etc go.

      Julie

  2. Oh bless you both, looks like I sent my email at the right time! Don’t see Wednesday as anything other than the start of the next Buckley journey! The Stevenson’s can’t wait to see you all…..boys know you are in France and are coming home! Safe travelling guys xxxxxx

  3. So sorry your journey is coming to an end. Have really enjoyed following your trip. Please keep the site alive! I’ve missed loads and will catch up when i get a chance.
    We spent last winter in our van ‘Heidi’ (Hymer B574, mainly in Southern Spain. Back to the UK in July – what a shock! ..be prepared for everywhere to seem REALLY BUSY! ..and take care driving! ON THE LEFT!!
    Best Wishes,
    Peter and Elaine

  4. Well, unfortunately all good things have to come to an end. Sorry to have missed you on a couple of occassions but if you are ever in West Sussex on your UK trip pop in for a slurp or two of the red nectar.It’s been great following your escapades, an inspiration to us al, going to miss it.
    Hope to catch up with you both at some point.
    All the best

  5. Thank You Jay for your encouraging email Ialso wish You both many years of happy wandering and Ihope you dont lose the passion
    regards tom

  6. Just got back from our trip and are catching up on your tour. We were just across the Channel from you on the Isle of Wight at White Cliff Bay when you were here and Criel Sur Mer was the place we stopped at last year after leaving Ypres.
    Hope Dave passed his MOT and you are over the shock of the price of beer.

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