Well the morning didn't start too well. I was doubtful about
getting a shower without having to join a queue, given that there are only four shower cubicles (two of each plus a further two for disabled) for the whole campsite. But probably due to our getting up a bit later than usual and our being surrounded by skanky
foreigners I was able to walk straight in to the only available cubicle at the time.
Now in our travels we've come across all sorts of shower designs but this one was an
original. On stepping in to the cubicle I looked for the control knobs - there were none, and then I noticed what looked like a small black hole in the wall about the size of a ten pence piece right under the shower head at waist height and on the wall of
which the female cubicles were on the other side. I thought some perv had made a hole in the wall to spy through so went to put my finger through it and Pusshhh! A torrent of water came out of the shower head - it wasn't a hole, it was an infrared
detector, and I had stood in the wrong place still wearing my dressing gown. These foreigners, what will they think of next. I had to continually wave bits of me in front of the sensor otherwise it just turned off. We've come across some pretty mean campsite
owners in the past who give you hot water very begrudgingly, but this one takes the biscuit. Fortunately I met The Chef on her way to the shower block as I was returning and was able to brief her on what to avoid doing.
The morning was spent doing chores. First I had to access the hidden safe to retrieve The Chef's UK purse and my set of house keys. Then I set about tidying up the garage, filling up the water tank, dumping the
black water, and while nobody was looking, our grey water down the drain at the base of our fresh water tap. Now I haven't got to worry about joining any queue at the dump station tomorrow morning, stuck behind some individuals who it seem relish in the
dumping process, for them it's the highlight of their day and they savour it, not wishing to rush and deprive themselves of the pleasure of standing and watching grey sink and shower water drain away from their vehicle, completely unaware, or uncaring, that
others are queuing up to dump and get going.
This afternoon was a mixture of relaxing and chores with us wondering what on earth we were doing on such a campsite, but it
has suited our needs, and tomorrow we will head down the road to Citi Europe at Calais where we'll buy a few bits before heading to Le Shuttle terminal next door for the train home.
This evening has been spent having another nice walk along the promenade here at sunny Wimereux.
So this is it then, the end of the trip and the
end of the blog, so I suppose it's time to reflect on both.
It has been hard work at times, and not much fun on occasions, and I suppose that was reflected in some of the postings. But I was always determined to paint an honest picture of life 'on the road' so that others can judge if it is for them or not.
I think there were a few factors that contributed to that:
We should not have planned another trip lasting three months - it's too long. It ceases to be fresh,
fun and exciting and deteriorates into hard, tiring work and problems. If we continue motorhoming, then apart from our alternate years wintering in Spain, any future trips will be limited to a maximum of six weeks, and we'll look to concentrate on
a much smaller area thus avoiding high-mileage. This is becoming a consideration now because of the exchange rate, fuel over here is getting pretty pricy and on a par with costs back home.
We have had to cope with temperatures of 30˚C + for most of the time, and neither of us are sun worshippers. Add to that flies, flies, and more flies. Even with a net curtain at the habitation door and screens on all windows to
prevent or deter them, they were still around, and very persistent. After a while it grinds you down.
Unfortunately we are not bi-lingual, but my darling Chef
has a good bash at trying to be understood. The downside of this is that we have spent three whole months surrounded by foreign jabber, jabber, jabber, without understanding a word of what is being said, thus unable to engage in any conversation with
neighbours etc. There have been very few occasions where we've been able to have a conversation with fellow Brits or English speaking 'foreigners', so The Chef and I have pretty much only had each other for company the whole time, and that can put a strain
on a relationship, no matter that I love her with all my heart. I would therefore urge anybody considering following in our footsteps as it were, to learn a second language. French probably. No point in learning German because many of them speaker de
English simply because outside of der Fatherland nobody understands them.
I created this beast as a way of sharing our experiences because when I was planning our American adventures thirteen years ago (they took three years to plan) I was faced with a blank sheet of paper.
I set the blog up in such a way that there is no advertising. If I find such things annoying then I believed others would. I have never sought to make money from it, nor promote any particular service or product.
I feel there's enough on here now for folk to get a feel for the lifestyle. We have made other trips but unfortunately I both lost the diary notes and failed to take enough pictures
to offset the rubbish quality of the writing, often done after a glass or two of wine.
I'm flattered that in the three years since I set it up there have been something
like seventy-nine thousand visits. The blog costs me ten pounds a month and I am happy to keep it going for another two years or until it reaches 100,000 visits whichever is the latter.
I will of course add our expenditure sheet for this trip once it is finalised, the delay being that we have to wait for the bill to come in from Sanef Tolling for our toll fees here in France.
I will also find time over the coming months to create something like a 'Hints & Tips' section where I will do my best to pass on any advice or experience we have to offer covering numerous subjects which may be of help to those considering
such a lifestyle.
In the meantime my thanks to all of you who have taken the time to visit and revisit this site, it has made the effort worthwhile. There have been times
when I really haven't been in the mood, but tried to make the effort so you got to see the picture 'warts and all'.
Finally if I have offended anyone by comments I have made,
then I apologise unreservedly, it has never been my intension to do so. However I do sometimes feel the need to rail against those who seek to restrict our freedom of speech labelling we who do not conform to their idea of the 'Perfect Brainwashed Citizen'
as some kind of 'ist' having been guilty of some sort of 'ism'.
My advicde then to you dear readers is to grow old disgracefully otherwise you too could could end up in the
corner of the lounge in places like the Harold Shipman Nursing Home for the Elderly. Or even, it appears, the Gosport Hospital where there was a nice lady doctor and nurse who made old people 'comfortable', hundreds of them, and she walks the streets
a free woman, her reward perhaps for saving The State millions of pounds in caring of the elderly.
So find some sort of adventure you can afford and cope
with, even if it's packing up some sandwiches, making a flask of coffee and seeing how far you can get and back in one day using your bus pass. Anything, just make sure you go down fighting, because we only pass this way once, and life is very precious.
But if you do find yourself in Harold's Nursing Home despite best efforts then at least join the Escape Committee along with 'Ginger' aand 'Biffo' so that you can plan and execute the
digging of an escape tunnel to the other side of the perimeter fence. The tunnel's entrance probably being hidden under the colonic irrigation table.
In the meantime - Happy