Dance in the Storm

Summer 2010

14th August 2010

Today was the first day of our holiday, the four of us have not gone anywhere together for probably 4 years. Originally we were planning to go to Scotland until Thursday afternoon when a colleague at work asked what our plans were and after I said we were planning to go to Scotland she asked why we weren’t going to the Continent. I said it was because of the dogs…then it hit me…we had a dog sitter so really there was no reason we couldn’t take advantage and go for it. I went home that night suggested it to all and at the very last minute we decided we’d go for it. I booked a ferry for Saturday afternoon and then panic set in. We’d never been to the continent with a motorhome and I’d done all this research on Scotland but knew nothing about the continent!! We didn’t even have EHU adaptors! We decided we would go as far as Salsburg, Austria via Belgium and Germany and return to the UK via France.

Our journey started off a bit shaky when Jess realised at 9am today that she had run out of her pills. A quick call to the on call surgery led to an appointment an hour before we were due to leave. Half hour behind schedule we set off. The trip to the port was uneventful. And getting onto the ferry was a breeze, no hold ups, no questions just drove right through.

The fun started when we arrived in Calais. We had decided that we would head to Brugge but realising we would arrive in Calais at 6pm, thought we’d drive an hour or so and find a place to settle in for the night. Roger had pre-loaded ‘aires’ and some campgrounds in the satnav and other than that we had no idea what we were doing. Our first stop was a small town just north of Dunkerque, our trusty satnav told us there was a camping site so off we went. God only knows why it chose to take us off the motorway so early and make us take single lane tracks but after about 6 miles we happened upon the site. When we entered the sign said no vacancies but with no obvious way for us to turn around we thought we’d have to drive through the site and circle back to the entrance. Little did we know it was actually a static site and very narrow tight corners. As Roger was trying to manoeuvre a tight bend avoiding a parked car the warden of the site ran up to us looking extremely unpleased. His shoelaces were untied so he had obviously seen us pass reception and had gun booted it towards us. He came running up to us shouting that there were no vacancies. We said we knew that but were trying to leave…he shook his head and motioned for us to follow him and he slowly….very slowly walked us through the park. He walked straight in front of us and I burst out laughing when I saw that he was walking with his head bowed forward. It felt like we were being led in a funeral procession.

When we finally left the site we were all in stitches…and what I found amazing is that none of us were stressed about it, we all saw the humour. Things happen for a reason I’d say as shortly afterwards we came upon Nieuwpoort, a very pretty town with 3 locks in the centre. Just as we were wondering where we were going to go we saw to the left of us several motorhomes wildcamping on the side of the river, so we headed on over. It was terrific, we were greeted by several people all offering us advice on where to park up etc. So after having some dinner we walked through the gorgeous village and on our way back to the motorhome fireworks started just over the water. Our new satellite dish worked a treat plugged into 12v the only problem we had was figuring out how to heat the water by gas, but that was quickly resolved. I think the decision to come to the continent was going to be a good one. But I’m still a bit apprehensive about were we are going to park the next time! Lol

Brugge Escort

Our Belgian escort

Nieuwpoort 2

Nieuwpoort, Belgium

Sunday 15th August

Well second day and we couldn’t wait to see what the day would bring. First thing after having breakfast we were wondering how we were going to empty our now full Thetford toilet. I had read on the forum that you could use public toilets but the only rest areas we found on our way to Brugge were way too nice for us to do that so we held off until we arrived in Brugge. The weather was overcast but it hadn’t started to rain so that was a good thing. We had a nice walk through Brugge but I must say it is losing it’s charm to me. We much preferred Nieuwpoort the night before. The aire was good except I do think it rather cheeky to charge an additional .50 cents for water and to empty your toilet but oh well. Roger was rather tired so went back to the motorhome rather early while the girls and I toodled around Brugge…we found ourselves walking through what I think was the convent until we were told the area was closed and for the second time during the trip we were escorted off the site. After heading back to the motorhome we settled into a quiet evening, no satellite tv this time because we were parked by a row of trees.

For Summer 2010 part 2 please click here.

Summer 2010 photos here.

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