Awake at 6 am, quick wash and we were away before 6.30 to catch the 10.50 Chunnel crossing. The trip was uneventful with much of the road empty of traffic except for one hold up caused by a broken-down lorry on the M25, and rubber necking drivers a mile on who were looking at a van in a seemingly impossible position on the embankment above the barrier of the M25. Travelling on a weekday is always faster than the weekend. Weekend delays often caused by inexperienced drivers slowing the traffic flows down. We arrived in plenty of time and were offered an earlier crossing than our booked trip. Yes, I had already bought my Thames crossing. Did that back in March!!!
We parked at the terminal and availed ourselves of the hospitality offered by Starbucks, coffee and pastries. Last minute loo breaks and then we were back in the van to board the train. One little break as we were taken aside to have our gas cylinder inspected, seemingly to check it was turned off. Soon we were moving off and left the terminal ahead of schedule.
We headed off south using toll free roads in a route planned by Google, passing by Boulogne, Montreuil, Vron, Nouvion, Abbeville, Blangy-sur-Brestle, Rouen, Evreux, finally stopping for the night at the campsite Camping Des Berges De L’Iton in the town of Breteuil where we arrived at 16.39. We overtook a Number 9 Routemaster bus on one road, seemingly devoid of passengers and conductor.
The final 100 yards to the campsite was fun, all roads to it were closed, but we worked around and came to the site from the opposite direction, only to find a Dutch couple coming in from the original direction. The works for the night had just stopped. One of the workman who had seen us attempt access from the other side smiled, grinned and laughed at our arrival.
On checking in we were told by Madame we could camp anywhere, so preceded to a nice spot overlooking the mill pond only to be told by some towel waving Dutch that the two pitches were reserved for their friends. So, we generously moved on to another pitch, and then I laid a long cable to the nearest power point, only to be told by Madame that I could not use that point. The other nearest power point had two spare slots, but these were for the towel waving Dutch. Rescue came from another Dutch couple on our other side who offered to plug us into an adaptor they had. This put a kibosh on the planned chicken meal as not sure we could cook while the Dutch couple were also using the power. We decided draft beers were needed from the campsite bar. Later, we ate emergency rations for the night, being tuna , pasta, pesto and cheese.
After dinner, we took a walk around the town, but it was totally dead, all bars and restaurants were closed-up tight. The only people we saw were workers taking down the funfair.
R not happy about the site, saying the very few toilets had no seats. (this became a common refrain during the three weeks). The showers I thought were rather primitive as well. The washing-up kitchen was rather chipped and worn, too. The disorganisation of allocating pitches and power points was also rather a downside. The pitches though are of a reasonable size, all delimited by low hedges. As is usual now, there were quite a few static caravans here. The site is not up to the cleanliness of many British C&C Club sites, and nowhere near the best sites like Fforest Fields.
Not to worry, we are here just for the night, before we rush on for the next 5 hours on toll free roads to Arçais to meet up with Linda and Mike.