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The Drive Up Through France – Day 37
Tuesday 18th August 2009 – France
I had a plan to do about 6-7 hours driving today to get me closer to St Malo, where I presumed I would be getting a ferry from to get me back home. Nothing was booked yet as it was a sudden decision to cut the trip short, but it was more than likely that this would be the travel point.
Super-mum was at home frantically ringing around, trying to get me a ferry across in the next few days, searching the Internet for the best deals. There is no-one better at this sort of thing, so I knew it was in capable hands.
The journey was obviously long, and quite tedious at times, but I had regular updates from home, informing me of the progress. After a while, I got a message from mum detailing a ferry crossing for tomorrow, it sounded perfect. This way I didn’t have to wait around for days for the next available crossing. It was from Le Havre, and was quite cheap compared to initial search results. I told you mum was good at this sort of thing 🙂
My plan changed now, and I programmed the sat nav to take me to Le Havre. The idea was to stop when I was tired of driving, and look for the nearest campsite. Then I could set off early the next day to get to the ferry crossing in good time. So on I drove.
It became apparent as time went on, that I wasn’t going to stop anywhere. I just kept going as it seemed to make more sense to be in Le Havre ready. The last thing I wanted was to be stuck in traffic somewhere trying to get to the ferry port, then missing the ferry altogether, so I ploughed on towards Le Havre, and stopped at a 4 star campsite about 10 minutes away from the port. The drive took around 10 hours altogether, but it was worth it.
The campsite may have been 4 star, but it was actually rubbish for camping. In the entire campsite there was only a small piece of grass for all the campers and their vehicles. The guy at reception was asking for a punch in the nose as well. I asked – in the same way I have all throughout France, without any previous problems – if I could camp there for a night, and after I had finished, he looked at me, shaking his head, and said “What!”, as if he hadn’t understood a word I had said. He then proceeded to laugh at me in front of everyone else in the queue, then shared a joke in French with his colleague behind the desk about me. Most of the people in reception were English, and were speaking in English to the reception. I like to try and speak the language wherever I go, but in this instance I really couldn’t be bothered any more. He obviously didn’t appreciate it, so I just spoke in plain English. Only then did he understand me.
I got to the over-crowded plot of grass, and pitched my tent in the long grass, and judging by the looks coming my way, I figured I had put the tent in the place people use to empty their bladders in the night. Again, I just didn’t care. I got in the car ready to search for the nearest supermarket, and it turned out it was right next door, which is handy. I got food and water for the evening, got back, had my meal and took a much needed shower.
I was glad to be in bed that night. All the noise from the nearby tents, that went on through the night, didn’t bother me any more. I just looked forward to being in my nice comfy bed again.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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