A persistent but not entirely unpleasant recorded alarm jingle woke us from our reveries at about 05:00. Overnight our ferry had made up the delay and we docked on schedule at 06:45. Excellent. I mused that there really has to be some slack in their published sailing times for just such an eventuality, otherwise they’d never catch up and would be permanently late. We were allowed back down to the vehicles by deck number, which worked well; I’ve never seen so little crush on the stairs.
Being one of the last to board, we were one of the earlier vehicles to disembark … luckily. Enter bloody Brexit once again: we sat in one of two slow moving queues for 30 minutes to get through passport control. The queues behind us, visible in the rear view mirror, went on for ever and round a corner. It was going to take well over an hour to clear that lot. We thanked our lucky stars that we were up front.
We were on the road at 07:30 and heading for Rosnay. The journey began on N-roads but eventually we joined an autoroute. I had managed to procure a new electronic toll tag – the old ones battery was about to expire and they ain’t replaceable – which avoids the need to “prenez un billet” and saves poor ol’ Francine stretching up if the billet dispenser mistakes our roof-mounted bikes for a lorry. It’s a bit heart-in-mouth the first time hoping that it will work but all was well; I drove slowly up to the barrier, heard the friendly beep as we were logged and the barrier raised.
Autoroutes over, there’s quite a stretch of local roads at the other end of the autoroute to get into La Brenne itself. We joggled along them patiently and pitched up at Rosnay at 13:30 after 385kms. It felt a bit tiring but then one never sleeps terribly well on a ferry and we had had an early alarm call and the stress of immigration. We found Guillaume a pleasant pitch under some trees and got him settled.
One of the attractions of this camping municipal is that it is beside a charming lake. ‘T would be rude not to go and investigate so we set off for a saunter. We found a good dozen Southern Darters (Sympetrum meridionale) perching on the vegetation beside the lake. What really surprised me was that they were all females; I didn’t find a single male. Curious. There were White-legged Damselflies (Platycnemis pennipes) and Blue-tailed Damselflies (Ischnura elegans) to entertain us, too.
Back to bloody Brexit again. Because of our nation of pathetic xenophobic isolationists, we are no longer allowed to bring much in the way of foodstuffs with us into France. In the good ol’ sensible days we’d have brought two days worth of provisions, maybe a chicken, some fresh milk, cheese, to save us from immediately having to look for a supermarché. Now meat and dairy products are off. Stopping at shops with a caravan in tow is not impossible but it can’t be guaranteed. So I had resorted to making a vegetarian chilli – a tip from a friend – which we froze, to tide us over. It did, of course, thaw on the journey but I have to say it worked out very well with lentils substituting for the minced beef. We had seen a vegetarian chilli on the ferry menu which was cleverly named a Chilli Sin Carne. I shall adopt it.
Thunder began rumbling. Storms had been advertised.