We woke up in our lovely quiet aire in Gravlines knowing today was essentially the last day of our trip. I had fantasised about a final day croissant fest and so trotted off into the pretty walled town.
Often in France Monday is closing day for boulangeries, but usually there is one open in each town. I don’t whether they rotate Monday opening or one baker is always the one which sacrifices his Monday off, but usually the French are not left without bread. It caused a revolution once, so this is important stuff.
Google maps showed three bakers in the town, but a trudge round Gravelines confirmed that this town is the exception that makes the rule: they were all shut. Not to be defeated I spied a Spar and nabbed their last three croissant (not France’s finest) and a couple of baguettes and beat a hasty retreat to Basil for breakfast.
Not much later an English man knocked on Basil’s door and explained he and his wift had just picked up a kitten which had been run over on the motorway, but somehow seemed to have used one of its seven lives as it appeared to be unhurt. He was looking for suggestions as to what to do with it. I got out my vet database and gave him the address of a vet in Gravelines.
As we were talking another English couple, who were parked next to us on the aire, joined in the conversation and so we had a chat with them while the cat man disappeared to find the vet. Before long he was back saying the vet had moved but he had the new number, which he had called and they had agreed to look after the kitten and find it a new home. Someone had done their good deed for the day.
We bade farewell to our compatriots and pointed Basil in the direction of Majestic wine merchants near Calais. I usually buy my wine at home from Majestic, so I am familiar with its range. Basil is already creaking under the weight of wine picked up in France, but Sarah re-arranged things so I was able to squeeze in 36 bottles of her and my favourites.
It was then just a short hop to the Eurotunnel terminal, where we arrived an hour early in the hope of getting an earlier train. We were not in luck, we were stuck with our original time. The dogs had to go through their own separate passport control, which Sarah took them into. All that happens is that an official scans their chip and then checks their passport to ensure all their vaccinations are up to date.
While Sarah was in the doggy passport building a Range Rover pulled up and out got what I would guess was a farmer’s wife. She opened the Range Rover’s boot and out jumped two black labradors, without leads and they obediently followed her into the passport buildings. Why can’t our two be so obedient?
The tunnel was as usual highly efficient although we were surprised, given the current security situation, nobody searched Basil. The tunnel spat us out into a drizzly grey Kent and it took all my concentration to stay on the left hand lane for the fifty miles to our Caravan Club site at Battle. We will be staying here for three days to see Sarah’s sister before we make our way home.
Tonight we are booked into the local pub to ensure we feel well and truly back on British soil.
This will be the last of the posts from this trip. I had considered ending the blog completely, but Sarah and I both agree that it is a great record of our trip and it appears other people enjoy reading it. So I will post if anything of motorhoming interest occurs before our next trip and my current intention is to record our next adventure, which I anticipate being to Spain and Portugal next spring. If people continue enjoying to read it, that’s great, if not it will still be a lovely record for us to look back on in our dotage, which I hope is many many years in the future.