02 Mar 2008
Eastbourne - Calais
The last week has been absolutely manic. Handing over the Harlequin 1 Project, farewells, preparing for the trip, arranging Egyptian visas and packing up our UK lives and sending them back to Durban. It was a relief when Sunday came and we saw it all come together. Se and her folks focussed on the house and Ron, Malcolm and I packed the Landy. We had a great surprise when Darroll, Jax, Connor, Was, Mands, Stof, Craig and Jo came down to see us off! They all left at about 3pm and at about 4.30pm Se and I hit the road seen off by a gathering of all at Leighton Lodge (who had lived through months of early morning and late night noise while preparing Ubhejane).
The trip to Folkstone to get the channel tunnel train was uneventful with only a short stop in Bexhill to check the tyre pressures. Train was great, really easy and we soon found ourselves in France!! We booked into a Formula 1 hotel which we managed to find really easily, with only a slight tour around the retail park to find the entrance! We parked Ubhejane right under our window and locked him up nice and tight! Now enjoying a cold Fosters, writing this entry and watching some French football. Big push tomorrow as we hope to make it as far as Dijon.
03 Mar 2008
Calais - Dole (between Dijon & Geneva)
We decided to get up early to make the most of the day. The alarm went off at 6 and I managed to get Se out of bed by 6.30. Showers, dressed and packed and we were the road by 08.00. We'll need to improve on this as we go on. Hardly an early start! We headed back into Calais and then down the A26 towards Reims. We stopped on the way for the worlds most expensive breakfast,1 coffee, 1 tea, 4 croissants 9 euros!! Mymymy! That is the last one of those!
Se took over the driving shortly after to get a fee for the fully loaded Landy. We stopped for lunch, homemade baguette at a services and then pressed on towards Dijon. For the last 100km or so into Dijon we went on a beautiful A road that followed the Seine. Stopped for a quick shop on the way, bought pasta, cheese, sauce, coffee, mango juice and rocket to keep our supplies up. Also picked up a beautiful pair of Mepps spinners that Se does not know about - the tiger fish down south are going to love these bad boys!!
We had hoped to overnight in Dijon but could not find a Formula 1 hotel, or any other hotel anywhere! So it was push on toward Geneva. We stopped at a toll and Se asked the lady if there was a Hotel Formula 1 around and there was, only about an hour down the road from Dijon. We booked in and then went to the cheesiest steakhouse for dinner. (Steakclub - this would have hit rockbottom - not even up to Santa Maria, with only the wine breaking into a score above 3 - although not a wintering in sight!). The steak was not as bad as the décor and after a 3 course meal we paid out bill and headed back to the hotel.
Tomorrow we head into Italy through the Mt Blanc tunnel. Ubhejane is running well, just a constant whine from the fan belt that is annoying me.