Friday, 15 June 2012

Crossing the Channel

We arrived at Dover's ferry terminal in good time for the 07:35 crossing with a few other motorhomes in the queueing lanes. Joan decided the 'van needed a last brushing of the carpet whilst we're waiting to board, so I got out to take some pictures. Getting back inside I noticed that I was treading seagull poo onto the newly swept carpet. Joan's comments cannot be printed.
Onto the ferry and we are right in front behind the bow doors, gathering flask and sandwiches for breakfast, when a lady approaches me asking whether we have a dog in the motorhome.
"No" I say.
"Well we have one, should I leave a window open?"
"Not a good idea, open windows can trigger the vehicle alarm" I respond. Their windows remained shut and pooch was fine when we returned after the 90 minute crossing. The tea and sandwiches were good too, saving us £20.00 on a ferry fry up.

The White Cliffs of Dover

Yes, raining .... exiting Dover, taken from inside the ferry lounge.

Approaching Calais

The road to the Belgian border took us past the beaches of Dunkirk and it was rain all the way into Brugge. We opted for a city 'camperstop' (budget option when campervanning) as suggested by Snoopy the satnav. Down the cobble stone streets of inner city Brugge we trundled in Fifi, narrow in places, squeezing onto the pavement here and there, passing lorries unloading goods, people looking and thinking we must be part of some marketing gimmick ....
Suffice to say we never found the camperstop but Joan almost found the limits of her sense of humour! We found another camperstop just outside the canal network, still allowing for an easy walk into town and a strong coffee for Joan and even stronger Leffe for me. All served at a lovely cafe on Markt square near the cathedral. Normality restored!

Overnight stop outside Brugge

Info and Tariffs

Back at the site I notice that the freshwater tap of the campsite is u/s. Joy o' joy! Things happen in threes. And they want 22 Euros for the night .... ?! I make for the attendant's office only to find it closed, so I opt for the intercom phone and I put my case. No problem says the fellow, use the water tap outside the campsite. So back to the 'van and out the gate to fill the 120 liter watertank. We left the next morning and made for Damme, between Brugge and Knokke. A delightful old village where we 'wild' camped (free stop) for two nights making full use of the cycle paths along the canal - in sunny weather! Cycling in Belgium, as is the case in the Netherlands and Germany, is done by many and is safe. Motorists seem far more tolerant and cognisant of cyclists than is the case in the UK.

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