We may be folk of leisure these days but we are normally awake early and normally up and about reasonably early. This morning we awoke even earlier than usual and so, rather than sit at home twiddling our thumbs waiting to leave for the ferry, we set about our last minute packing and hit the road to Dover at 6:30 AM. The journey was a breeze and hit the ferry port at about 9:15 AM after topping up with fuel. My heart skipped a beat as we saw a man controlling two enormously long lines of lorries/trucks waiting to check in; there must have been 30+ in each line. We’ve been stuck behind articulated lorries before but now, fortunately a car lane had been kept clear and we sailed through to be put on the 10:15 AM sailing, almost 2 hours ahead of our booked crossing. Excellent! 🙂
On our last trip, arriving in Normandy at 5:30 PM, we had luckily snagged the very last pitch at our favourite Neufchâtel-en-Bray campsite. Too close for comfort. Originally expecting a similar arrival time, I’d used my best French to send an email asking for reservation this time. With our earlier crossing, we arrived at 3:30 PM so it turned out to be unnecessary but it was comforting to note that it had worked; we were expected, albeit two hours later.
Neufchâtel-en-Bray has a plan d’eau [lake] which we’ve never investigated but, with our early arrival, we now had time to do so before hitting the supermarché for some supplies. There were actually two lakes, the smaller of which looked like a splendid wildlife habitat with reeds, shallow marshy edges and other water plants. The place was seething with Blue-tailed Damselflies (Ischnura elegans) together with rather fewer Common Blue Damselflies (Enallagma cyathigerum). Neither of these are prize wining shots but the pair of Common Blues was interesting because these show the male transferring a package of sperm to his secondary sex organ whilst grasping the female prior to mating.
It wasn’t all Odos, though, there were some highland cattle in a paddock beside the lakes. I’ve never seen one of their calves before but this furry little guy or gal must win the afternoon’s prize for cute. 😉