The Long Drive

We left the storage yard bang on time for once. We’re usually at least half an hour late.

We/I had decided on the M6,M5,M42,M40 & southern side of the M25 which turned out to be bang on as the signs on the M42 were saying that the M1 was shut. We had a very good run and only his any traffic once on the M25 for about 15min.

We were about half an hour early for our earliest check in time so made a pit stop at Stop 24 just before the tunnel and both filled and emptied tanks. Filled the cars and emptied mine. We had not stopped anywhere since Manchester.

Parking for caravans is very sparse and was already full so we managed to find a space on the road to sort paperwork and add a dash cam to the caravan’s front window.

We were very disappointed to find everything closed at Least Shuttle terminal, even the Lightning McQueen exhibition! A vending machine coffee was purchased and we went back to the car. I nipped back into the terminal a bit later and Duty Free had opened, so I managed to grab a litre of the management’s favourite gin. They announced that an extra crossing was departing and if you wanted to go early just head to departures. Of course we did. We are currently in the tunnel on the 03:05 instead of the 03:35. After all who wants to be sitting around when you have miles to go!

The announcement was only made in the terminal so if you stayed outside you would be non the wiser.

We drove as far as the Aire Dr la Baie De Somme which is a little gem of a service area. If they can be like this here why are they so rubbish at home? We found a parking space and got the legs down and jumped in bed for a couple of hours we’ll needed sleep.

Our route was to take us via Rouen, Le Mans, Tours and then across to verzion and on to Limoges, Tolouse and finally down to Perpignan, avoiding the usual madness of the outskirts of Paris.

I was using Google maps as sat Nav for the first time with a long pre programmed route.

I think it was operator error but we ended up heading down the A16 to Paris until I decided to head for Rouen and ignore the sat Nav.

Just after that decision this happened!

Luckily a motorway patrol was right behind us and made the lane safe while I changed it. Now I’m not saying it’s the sat nab’s fault but if it had taken us the way I had intended we would not have been on that road to pick up the object that I could hear shortly before the loud bang! #justsaying.

You would not believe how hard it is to get a replacement tyre even in a large town like Rouen! 5 tyre shops and not one had anything suitable! So after wasting 4 hours or so we decided to press on and call out the breakdown service if another tyre problem arose.

The next little mishap was the sat nav’s fault entirely!

It decided that it was best to go cross country. Well through the Forrest and national park to get to the A20. That was entertaining! Little more than tarmacked Forrest tracks to bounce over for what seemed like hours!

Back on the Autoroute and tearing up the tarmac at a blistering 56mph (got to look after the tyres) we stopped around 80miles from Tolouse at just before midnight. A very long day! Much longer than intended more distance travelled than intended to reach 100 miles or so before I had intended to stop. But we had an adventure.

Onwards! 230 miles left to Argeles-Sur-Mer.