Disorganised Departure

You’d be forgiven for thinking that I’m a novice at this travelling game. Preparations seemed to be going well. Two days before our departure I went a fetched Guillaume and gave him his traditional pre-departure bath. I was obviously keen because he got a very rare waxing as well – even his roofline got waxed. I changed over to the lightweight gas cylinder and re[aced the large waste water container with the smaller one, largely to make space for a sunshade base. Guillame was ready.

We’d been down to Halfords and secured some necessary supplies, including headlamp deflectors which were on special: three for two – pairs, that is, clearly we don’t have three headlights to correct. We’d also decided to get a set of euro registration plates to obviate the need for a GB sticker. Good old Halfords; not only were they running short of letters and numbers but they had run out of euro-plates anyway. Darn! Back to the trusty old method, then. I washed the car and began loading it.

Sunday morning arrived. I finished loading the car with those inevitable last minute things whilst Francine packed Guillaume’s fridge with a few days supply of food to get us started. We finished putting the house into long term storage, hitched up and set off.

Having covered about half a mile, I suddenly realized that I’d forgotten the headlamp beam converters. [Mutter, mutter.] Flipping a U-turn with Guillaume on the back is at best très difficile and occasionally impossible. I made an irritatingly slow circuit of a 3-ile block and returned to retrieve them.

I practiced reversing with Guillaume on the back and we were off again. We had left quite early so there was no time pressure, at least. Phew!

About half way to the ferry, whilst staring at the back of a fellow holiday maker, I realized with self-flagellating annoyance that I had also forgotten to a-fix our magnetic GB-plate. I think I’d psyched myself up for a smart new set of euro-plates which had not been available, and swept it out of my mind. What a tidy little thinker I am. Unfortunately my thinking was of course. Drat! Double drat!!

Despite the M20 being closed in addition to our false start, we arrived at Douvre in time to be loaded onto an earlier ferry. [Ed: Excellent!] Another two hours of driving on the blissfully clear French roads got us to our favoured in and out campsite at Neufchatel-en-Bray for our first night’s stop.

Not quite the mark of a seasoned professional with about thirty years experience. ❗

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