Le Grand Voyage 2017 | Day One - Travelling to France

Having waited patiently whilst everyone else reported back on their holidays, it's finally time for my family to go on our 'summer' holiday! I'm referring to this as our 'summer' holiday, because we're now in to September and there was a distinctly autumnal feel to our journey south.

As is usually the case, I left my packing to the last minute and, at the time of writing this, I'm sure there's something on the sideboard at home that we are going to need. I packed the car on Thursday night with as much I could and grabbed things as I passed them in the early hours of Friday with the intentions of getting on the road as early as possible (our plan was to leave at 06:00).

Shortly after 06:00, we realised that there were some bits that we still hadn't got, so I had to do an emergency run to the shops to grab those bits. We finally got on the road by 07:30, which wasn't too bad, especially as Nikki told me that the journey should only be four hours to Dover to catch our ferry. It was nice to be the passenger for most of the British leg of the journey as Nikki took on driver duty.

Having made two stop as the services, the first for breakfast and the second because we were quite early, we got to the port in Dover at about 13:15 in plenty of time for the ferry which was due to leave at 13:55. As we checked in, we were told that due to the weather there was likely to be a half hour delay to our departure. As we joined our queue we tried to keep our sons spirits up by telling him that we were going to be getting on the big boat in front of us. After about an hour of waiting, the boat started up and soon afterwards started to leave the docks. We were shocked.

Thankfully a few minutes later we were beckoned forwards and directed to another ferry that had come in. We drove aboard and got our little boy out to let him start enjoying our holiday. He had been very patient considering we were sat in the car park of the port for a long time, with rain lashing down outside meant that no one wanted to leave their vehicles. He ran up the stairs and we soon found ourselves at the Kid Zone of the lounge area. Our son soon made friends with another little boy and they had lots of fun playing together for the whole crossing.

The captain spoke over the tannoy to apologise for the delays which were a result of gale force winds in the English Channel. We soon left port and hit the waves, literally. I've been on ferries before, and our crossing did leave me quite queasy, but it became a more smooth we go closer to Calais.

We were advised not to go to our vehicles until instructed, so like good passengers we waited for the second announcement as we watch the ferry enter the port. When the second announcement founded we mad our way to the staircase to find it extremely busy as people wanted to get to their vehicles. We finally got on the stairs and to our car where we had planned to add the light deflectors required for continent driving. This was a bit of a mistake as we couldn't work out what we needed to do and ended up causing a bit of an unnecessary tailback (oops), but we weren't the only ones having this trouble.

We left the port and got on our way. After a short while the bad weather we had hoped to leave in England caught up with us as the rain started to fall. Even with dealing with driving on the wrong side of the road, we made good time along the toll roads. That was alright, until the skies darkened and the rain got heavier, I dropped my speed but still ploughed on with the journey. With the delays that we had encountered it meant that we got to the campsite a lot later than anticipated, but we found our way to the Eurocamp reception and then to our caravan just around the corner. After bringing everything in, we settled in to our surroundings.

For Saturday, the plan is to use the day to recover, let my little boy use up all his pent up energy from today and visit a supermarket to get some meals in.

Until my next post, au revoir.

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