It has been a hellish few days with no internet. I never had myself down and such a techno groupie but I can’t live with my communication tool ! I have a lot to catch up on so brace yourself.
The 4 hour journey down to Folkestone went smoothly but my mind was working overtime having serious 2nd thoughts about what the hell I was doing. After a trauma trying to find the site – the entrance was something that only warped Army personnel could dream up when high on Crack – we arrived at Folkestone Warren. A truly stunning site at the foot of cliffs and just above the beach. No wonder they say ‘no caravans’ as it’d be suicide trying to tow one down there. I had white cliffs to the back of me and a view of the ocean and France, how splendid. Only downside was no internet connection (cliffs) and dubious mobile reception. I lost count of how many people I saw aimlessly wandering around waving their phones in the air (me included). The weather was beautiful, amenities lovely and clean and the dogs loved our strolls along the beach. I met a Lady whose home was her flower power van ( I’m jealous). She travels the UK and Europe with her JRT William and gave me some advice but also said it could be lonely (great, just when I was having 2nd thoughts). I also found it ironic that there was crumpet on site. This guy was probably about my age and there camping with parents (v.friendly) Got chatting to him on the beach and he was OMG lush. Typical.
Saturday I was sad to leave such a lovely site. We arrived at the Eurotunnel terminal early and were out on an earlier shuttle. A very bizarre experience to be moving but not moving if you get my drift. I sat there eating my sarnies without a care in the world. Driving on the right came fairly naturally as we headed to a municipal site at Bleriot Plage which overlooks the port at Calais and is near the beach. It was a bit tatty and the ‘facilities’ were the most revolting I’ve ever seen. All in all it was probably not a great place to stay as it was lonely and I spent 2 days feeling dreadfully homesick and wanting to get on one of the ferries I sat watching leave for Dover! This is me who for the past 8 years has despised the UK and most of its inhabitants and couldn’t wait to leave. Europe was never going to be easy after a lifetime of longing to escape to the USA and never return. Still no internet connection left me feeling like I was in prison on the moon at a time when I really needed to reach out and talk to someone. The one saving grace was finding Absolute Radio on MW – great music and stupid English chatter. I also met a great bunch of people who had just completed The Landy Rally – 11 countries in 8 days for charity. The guy from Bristol will never know how much that conversation meant to me when I was feeling so bloody low.
Monday saw us pack up and bid farewell to crappy Calais and head down the A16 to Ypres in Belgium. Several people I’d met had said it was a great historic place to visit and there was a lovely site in the town. Good old Sat Nav can’t be relied on when they do stupid things like close roads so I ended up asking for directions twice as the stupid Tom Tom kept sending me through the Menin Gate and round the one way system. At last we arrived at the campsite and huge sigh of relief they had vacant pitches and all for the bargain price of 12 Euros all in. Upon discovering I could get free wifi I’ve made my mind up to stay a week. We’re 5 minutes walk from town and all of the historic WWII sites but in a pretty wooded area. There’s a great bunch of War Vets here so couldn’t be in a better place right now. I love it.