The sun is shining and the temperatures are warm. It seems that we could have brought them with us.
This morning there was a plastic duck race in the local stream. The tide hardly moved the test duck but once they were all placed in the water the race was soon over. All this so that we could add to the charity funds. There are raffle tickets and other assorted ways of extracting your money.
In the afternoon a New Forest DA birthday lunch was organised. Tina and Krish helped with the preparations and serving of the food. I spent some time catching up with old friends.
Summer spent the day playing with Pheobe
Up early thus morning so that we can get to the port ready for our crossing at 8am. We left the Aire at approximately 6:30 with a great deal of apprehension. We were concerned that the boys will be allowed to sail because the vet had pointed out that the passport did not gave an up to date record of their inoculations.
We arrived at the checkin desk were the guy spent an age looking at the pet passports. It was only after he started to dish out the paperwork did we feel a little easier. The ferry left on time at 8:00am with all of us aboard.
After an uneventful crossing we landed at Dover at 9:20 and was soon on our way home. It wasn’t long before we knew that we were in England as we got caught in traffic jams and delays. We made our way straight to the garage arriving at 12:30. We unloaded the scooter and the trailer and picked up extra chairs and the BBQ before doing some shopping and getting some money for the weekend.
We picked up Summer at 13:15 and soon met Andrew & Krish on the A303. We had arranged to enjoy our final few days at a DA meet at Carringtons CP, Milton on sea.
We spent the afternoon catching up with friends and letting everyone know how our last few weeks had gone.
In the evening we bought some Fish & Chips. I have to say it is something that I missed over the period of time we were away. The weather was cooler than we had been used to. The forecast for the weekend remains bright and sunny. We plan to stay for a few days.
After driving all day yesterday it was going yo be an easy day today. We had a lay in and breakfasted at around 10am. For the rest of the morning we read our books, walked the dogs etc before we drove to Auchan hypermarket to fill with fuel before our return home.
After visiting the filling station we parked up and strolled across for some lunch at “Le Flunch”. It was our final treat to ourselves. Tina wanted to look around the kitchen wares in Auchan which of course in the end meant a general look around the other aisles. We did a little food shopping before returning to the van and then travelling to Dunkirk.
When we arrived it seemed that it was full again much like the previous day however we did squeeze into a space at the end. Spend the rest of the day reading and watching some football. Big disappointment that England lost thief fame again.
Off to bed immediately the game was over as we need yo be at the port by 7am in the morning so set the alarm for 6am. Long day ahead of us and worry if we will be allowed to travel with the dogs.
Up early this morning as we knew we had to do half of the 600km drive to the channel port. We moved around to the service bay to empty grey and black water and were on our way by 9am.
After about 30mins the Sat Nav decided it had found a quicker a route. My original intention was to go through Luxembourg so fill with cheaper diesel before returning to England. I decided to accept the suggestion only to find that we now were not going to go through Luxembourg. It was 60mins shorter though.
As the route had changed I no longer had a planned overnight stop so we pressed on during the day to see how far we could get. We did get involved in some long traffic jams where there had been accidents. We stopped every couple of hours for a break…made some tea etc. mid afternoon we decided to try and get to Calais / Dunkirk this evening.
We finally arrived at around 7pm at my planned overnight stop for our last night at the Aire in Dunkirk. It was however full. No room in the Inn! Quick look at the Sat Nav and we were off for another 20km to our final resting place here at the beach car park. Tina thought that if Dunkirk was full then Oye-Plage would also surely be full. If this was so then we would go to City Europe where there is lots of space. Fortunately the beach only had a few vans and we were able to join in the line overlooking the sand dunes. Delightful!
We settled down in the end at around 8pm. Tina cooked our meal and we watched Spain get beaten in the football by Chile. I am glad that at last another team will come to the forefront in Europe.
My internet credit ran out this morning so I will have to publish this either when I get some free WIFI or we get back to England. Not long now. Relaxing day tomorrow. Filling with fuel and last minute shopping before we get the ferry early on Friday morning at 8am.
We left our spot this morning in Heilbronn thinking that we may well come back again. It was delightful and very relaxing.
We made our way first thing to Lidl to do some shopping. We gave been using up the things in the fridge and freezer and needed to get re-stocked. Slightly embarrassing when they informed us set the checkout they don’t take Visa cards. We only just had enough cash to pay for our already packed goods. We had just a few cents left in the wallet.
Next we started our journey to Mannheim. We made our way straight to the Motorhome dealer we had used a few weeks ago. After taking on fresh water and dumping our grey water we soon had the kettle on in our parking place.
Later in the afternoon our friends arrived to take us initially to the vets to have the “boys” examined and pet passports stamped prior to returning to the UK. Our Visa debit card once again was not accepted as payment for Our bill of €70. Thank goodness Hartmut and Claudia came with us. It also seems that some injections the boys gave received have not been recorded…this could be a problem when we’d check in on Friday.
Back at the house we sat and chatted before we strolled up the rise to the Greek restaurant where we were warmly welcomed on our last visit. The greeting this time was even warmer. They were very pleased to see us. Lovely evening chatting, eating and drinking.
We finally returned back to the van at around 10pm and then said our goodbyes for now. We will be seeing them in England soon as they travel to Poole on Saturday / Sunday.
We start our final journey back to the channel port in the morning which we will split over 2 days.
Another quiet relaxing day today. Tina finished reading her book on the Kindle. She has been steadily going through Sidney Sheldon novels over the past weeks so much so I am now challenged to find her a book of his she hadn’t read. I duly obliged and bought her a title from the Kindle store which was downloaded to the Kindle and the kindle app on my ipad. We both started to read the same book on our respective devices. A strange situation but quite enjoyable.
The early match today involved Germany playing Portugal. In the park here people started arriving to watch the match on a large screen. There was also a screen set up at the cafe 30m from our van. We used this facility to buy dinner tonight… Quite naughty but most enjoyable burger and chips.
We continued to read our book until we stopped at the same point. I was threatened by Tina not to proceed beyond that point.
Tomorrow we move on to Mannheim. We need shopping and a visit to the vets is also planned to get the boys pet passports signed before Friday.
Today we had a quiet day relaxing and taking it easy.
We were later getting up as we knew that we were not travelling anywhere. Tina spent a long time walking the dogs around the park. I was starting to get worried.
Later we took a walk around this huge park. People arrived all day with their picnics, BBQ and footballs. The park has everything for a family outing. A very nice place for people to meet.
Watched the football from early evening. Tomorrow we will probably do much the same.
Yesterday saw us at a lovely spot in the corner of a car park very close to the centre of the town. We had immediate access to walks alongside the river and was ideal for exercising the boys. We did not realise that it was the meeting place for the youth of the town with their radios blasting out music to the early hours. It kept Tina awake, not me as when I’m asleep not a lot disturbs me other than when I think there is someone around the van.
The second test of England and the All Blacks was taking place at Dunedin, NZ starting at 9:35am. I was able to use the same radio station I found last Saturday to listen to the commentary. Great game and in the end we lost by just the one point. It is odd how sport can be so cruel. If only we had converted one of those missed kicks…..
Late morning we set off for a site I had identified from the reference books at Waldenbuch. However on arriving the car park was being developed so we soon moved on to the next overnight stop… Heilbronn.
We are parked under some trees with access to services at a small cost. Electric is available and charged by the amount you use. Wish we had this in the UK. Site owners wouldn’t be able to rip us off with exorbitant charges especially in the height of summer when we don’t need heating. We are next to a huge public park with crazy golf, picnic area etc. seems like a lovely place.
Due to the need to get some telly I made sure that I could get satellite reception and that the trees were not blocking the signal. Had to move twice but managed to get a nice spot. Mixture of nationalities here:- Norwegian, Dutch, Swiss, Belgium, German and of course English.
I connected up to the electric and benefited from the remaining credit left by the previous van. I watched a lot of the football especially staying up until 2am to see the England game. We are one hour ahead of UK time. Unfortunately we lost but we still have two further games to gain qualification from the group. Roll on Thursday when we will be in Dunkirk ready to catch the Friday early morning ferry home and watch the match in the evening.
Slow start as we had not made a decision whether we should move on. There are no services available so we eventually decide that it would be better to continue our journey north. The TV picture on itv1 was still not available and itv1+1 makes it so late as we are adding 2 hours to the time being broadcast in the UK. Was not able to watch the opening match of the World Cup last night.
We stopped en route at a Netto supermarket and whilst Tina grabbed some essentials I went and looked at some trailers. There was one I would have loved but not the price at €3300.
We arrived at this small town and parked up. Relaxing afternoon. Just checked the TV reception and ITV1 is better but not brilliant. Will try watching the football on BBC1.
Tina has done a little washing and it has dried in the warm breeze. Should be OK now until we get home. I changed our ferry crossing to 8am on Friday next. Will have to get Tina up early that morning. We should be home around midday. Pick up and drop some stuff off and we will soon be off to Carringtons with Summer, our grandchild. Looking forward to meeting everyone again.
Today we retraced some of the journey we made a month ago. We showered, breakfasted and serviced the van as not sure when we will be on a campsite again. We set off at around 10am.
On route we stopped at the same restaurant and gift shop we had bought our new coffee mugs previously. We had strict orders to buy some more as gifts. We also bought some small keep sakes for the grand children. It was 11am so we decided to push on and not eat lunch quite that early…much to Tina’s disappointment.
The trip today encapsulated all that is good about Austria and Germany. Unlike Italy the roads were good and I was not forever driving along the edge of the road to avoid the potholes. The scenery was stunning and we soon found ourselves entering Germany. Tina actually stayed awake.
Our chosen overnight spot has good walks for the boys and last time we were here we were able to pickup some television. Success as the World Cup starts tonight and England are playing in a couple of days time.
With the help of our friends, Claudia & Hartmut, I think we have sorted out where we will get the boys looked at by a vet and their passports stamped. Let’s hope it will be cheap enough.
Our plan is to stay here another night and relax. Tina has promised to walk into the village and buy a cake. There have to be some advantages of being on holiday!!!!