Friday, 30 July 2010

Day 14: Belgium to France

This morning something extraordinary happened. We awoke only to the sound of people, laughter and the packing away of tents. For the first time in almost a week, it wasn't raining!! Mind you, within an hour of getting up there was an half an hour lambing shower, but that's nothing to write home about....oops.

Despite having no rush to get away, we were in the car before 10 having filled up on coffee and croissants. We headed to the Belgian coast and took the minor roads to Dunkirk through lots of little seaside towns. This was far more stressful than it sounds. I had to contend with constantly changing speed limits, pedestrian crossings every 10 yards (or 9 metres since we're in Europe), cyclists and, most importantly, trams! There are tons of crossroads here, and nobody seems to have a clue who has right of way. I've taken to heading towards them at speed and crossing them with gusto. Seems to work, cos everyone else stops.

We had a lucky win heading into Dunkirk. By chance we turned onto a road filled with tobacco shops in the middle of nowhere! Same tobacco road that sarah went to on her booze cruise with dad. What are the chances! She's now beaming at her massive savings. We're going to pop to lidl cos they seem to sell well cheap liqueurs and spirits over here. This road trip around Europe has kinda turned into a tour of lidl. How depressing.

We stopped off at Dunkirk for a walk on the beach, and a garlic chicken baguette for bargain prices. Tried to top up our tans for the last time before heading to Calais.

We arrived in Calais and decided to head for a carrefour warehouse thing that Dan suggested, so that we could get some cheap booze. I cursed him as his directions lead me to drive through central Calais, and we couldn't even bloody find it! Convinced he'd given the wrong directions on purpose (although we found out later that they were right, we were just being blind. Whoops) we googled it for ourselves, and headed for one near the euro tunnel. Carrefour is now Sarah's favourite place. As big as a macro, but everything is individually stocked, and so cheap! We only did the alcohol section, cos I banned sarah from looking at food. We would have been there all day. It was so big the shop assistants scooted round on rollerscates, and they used a road sweeper to clean the floor. We got some cheapo liqueurs, 97cent wine, sangria and some beers, for a grant total of €20!

After our spree, the sun was still out so we thought we'd use our minging towels for the last time and have a bit of a sunbathe on the beach before going back to our hotel. Sarah thought it would be funny to bury my legs and make me look like a mermaid, unsuccessfully. Then we built a castle, complete with fag end/sea weed flag and stick drawbridge. For a moment we could've been in Brid.

Today has been a good day. We were lucky the sun was out all day, otherwise it would have been so depressing. Nice way to end our travels.

It turns out the Calais we were bitching and moaning about on the first day cos everything was closed wasn't actually Calais at all. It was a suburb, so no wonder everything was closed! Calais is actually lovely, and has a very pretty beach. Apologies.

We have a massive €50 to spend on tea tonight! This is exciting, and might mean sarah gets her long awaited steak for tea.

Tomorrow: get the ferry at the crack of dawn and head back home!

Miles: 2602
Savings made: frigging loads! Sarah even contemplated setting up and import/export business to make a bit of cash.
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