Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Does an adventure have to be scary to be an adventure?

I really don’t know why but I’m absolutely terrified when he’s driving.  We’ve been all over France and the UK In Vanessa and I didn’t think anything of it.  Quite happily reading or sleeping as we traversed along (or perhaps I think the memory has faded). Come to think of it I do remember being nervous on Dartmoor in really heavy wind and being petrified in the Ardeche gorge, “Go slower, go slower I’m scared” “I’m only doing 15 mph and I’m six feet nearer the edge than you so just shut up” – never never never again.   But Jan the Van is a different beast.  I’m absolutely terrified when in the passenger seat. Move over to the left, move over to the left I shout.  Stop telling me how to drive he shouts back. Well stop terrifying your passenger then is the retort. So generally I do most of the driving, however I don’t like to drive too far as I get tired (it’s my age). I’d used a lot of brain energy in the morning, faffing about because I couldn’t get an internet connection at home when I should have been packing (of course I was having a paddy  because I felt my left arm had been cut off not being able to connect, how was I to cope for three weeks) , about an hour into our journey he said that if I was feeling tired he would happily drive, we were on the motorway so I pulled into the next service station and changed seats.  FANTASTIC on the motorway I’m not in the path of any on-coming lorries (Jan is left-hand-drive) so I was much more relaxed.  He was taking a good path in the carriageway and I felt ok.  BRILLIANT – bogey number one conquered – be a patient passenger, it stops a lot of rows.

Off to Dover and parked at Royal Military Parade – a freebie for the night.  Weather great, a nice long walk for the smelly one along the pier and Mr Right’s brother picked us up to have dinner in Folkestone. Altogether a very pleasant evening. It was quite amusing as non-motorhomers the brother-in-law didn’t expect to see so many vans parked up and couldn’t find us.

Early ferry in the morning 1st worry coming up.  Will we be able to get on the ferry as we have our new tow bar bike rack fitted?  Then the million dollar question – who’s driving?  This subject comes up every time we move off – it’s almost like I’m obsessed with it.  My bogey number 2 is that I’ve only once driven on the other side of the road, however I think to myself that it should be easier when I’m only in the gutter and not in the path of the oncoming.  So the answer is – I’ll drive to the Ferry, you drive in France.  Ok that’s a deal.

We always take the crossing at Dover because Tesco used to pay for the tunnel and we don’t like to leave the smelly one in the van for too long on a ferry – tunnel for Vanessa but the ferry for Jan because he runs on Gas (LPG). The Ferry was good (My Ferry Link). Calm as a mill-pond – OH or FT? well the food on the ferry was expensive as expected and the booze and fags were more than in France – so watch that.

Off the ferry in Calais and heading for Honfleur, about 4 hours drive. Yes the plan worked – a contented passenger. Bogey number 1 conquered!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – until – we stopped for lunch and I offered to drive to try to conquer bogey number 2.  What I had forgotten was that we had to cross the bridge near Honfleur and that’s massive!!!!!!!  I’ve always been a good passenger when going over high bridges, and we’ve been over this one before, when he’s been nervous, however I now know why he was nervous, it’s a totally different ball-game when you are driving.  Trundling on upwards and upwards with the grunt of the low gear coming into play (Jan is automatic), reminiscent of my one and only ride on the Big One at Blackpool, up and up and up until you can only see the drop in front. Just as you get over this feeling you see that there’s an even bigger bridge ahead  – ok that’s a bit of an exaggeration for anyone who has been on the Big One, but it was a bloody high bridge.  Actually Mr Right who doesn’t like heights thought it was great being able to see the river below for a change.  A few minutes later and we arrived in Honfleur without any problems and bogey No 2 conquered!!!! A great day and a great place.

A note – we did use the peage a couple of times (26 euros including the bridge) but neither took our Caxton card.

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