After two peaceful nights by the Seine, interrupted only by the occasional ‘thrump, thrump’ of boat engines, we reluctantly left for the last leg through France. We stopped en-route to stock up on wine and a few foody things we needed and steadily made our way towards Calais. There are a number of aire’s we could use around the Calais area, some are free but most make a charge of €7 or thereabouts and there is always the risk of undesirables lurking around the channel ports. Instead we went back to a pleasant little site we have used before, just to the south of Calais, on the edge of Escalles. With views over the channel and the French downs Les Arables (GPS 50° 54’44.24″N 1°43″13.95″E) is a handy and popular stopover with good sized pitches, plus electric for €13.
After another peaceful night and our last in France we drove the short distance to Coquelles to load up with more booze, coffee, cheese and diesel, plus lunch, before trundling round to the port for our late afternoon ferry. As we were early we managed to get on an earlier crossing which seemed to be carrying half the population of Germany in a fleet of coaches. We went straight to the Club Lounge which, as usual, was an oasis of calm and quiet.
A good crossing and despite Mrs Garmin saying there was a blocked road somewhere on our route home we sailed along the M20 at a fine rate of knots without even the Dartford Crossing holding us up.
By 7:30pm we were back home and wading through the pile of mail on the front door mat.
It had been another great trip with good weather for most of the time. As always France didn’t disappoint and we discovered another area in Gascony we hadn’t visited before but will definately return to.
We covered 2029 miles at a very reasonable 25.9 mpg. There is now a total of 13228 miles on the clock. Despite being 26ft long and well over 4 tons the Auto-Trail is getting more economical on fuel as we put more miles on and the engine loosens up, although there are still a few minor issues for the dealer to sort out while it is under warranty. Now it just needs ‘mucking out’ inside, the crop of French flies washing off the outside and turning round ready for out next trip………..which won’t be too far ahead, with luck.