25.07.2017 - 25.07.2017 18 °C
Last Day / Day 62
Tuesday July 25 Namur to Amersham / 500 km
- The IBIS offer is reliable but no longer cheap.
- Euroland is expensive for us Brits, especially with an exchange rate of £1:1.12. For a Monday night with parking we pay 102 euros. Breakfast is extra @ 15 euros per person.
- The room is small but the bed & pillows are extremely comfortable. In the end we sleep surprisingly well. The capsule bathroom is squeezed around an ample sized shower with abundant hot water. It's better than many we have experienced.
- We decide to fork out for breakfast. It's a matter of convenience. Service starts at 6 a.m. We don't make it that early, but we are on the road to Calais by 8 a.m.
- We hope to catch an earlier ferry than booked. We might as well get the arrival back home over & done with as soon as possible.
- Once home there's the truck to unload, clothes to wash, a supermarket shop to do ( can SG remember how to cook? )
Oh and maybe a whole house to pack up.
- We don't usually cross the Channel by ferry, but rather by Euro tunnel.
- On the approach to the port of Calais, we drive along roads with high walls & security fences topped with barbed wire. At junctions and roundabouts where it is impossible to have such security, we see groups of young black men sitting by the roadside. Electronic signs above the motorway warn of dangers of pedestrians crossing the road. It is daylight & barely noon.
- There is one police vehicle parked up roadside.
- In our minds and without prejudice, there is no doubt what is going on here. To travel this stretch of road at night, unless in a convoy, must be terrifying.
- Thoughts about our trip?
- Regrets? None.
- It's been fabulous: 16 countries, 62 days and 15000km (all driven by AG)
- Yes, some difficult days, but no dangerous times, no threat to personal security. And in stark contrast to our London-Sydney trip, we have had no medical issues, no hospital stays.
- It has given us the opportunity to learn about cultures and countries we previously were pretty ignorant about. Also to meet local people who, without exception, have been charming, helpful and interested in our journey.
- We return enlightened. Our minds have hopefully been broadened permanently and our hearts made more compassionate. But inevitably this will also make us less tolerant about the faults of our own country & fellow citizens.
- It's continually mentioned in the media, even boasted, that UK is the 5 th largest economy ( or is it 6th or even 7th now?) From what we've seen abroad, on this trip & others, if we do not change our attitudes soon, we will quickly face relegation. And not only by our European partners. There's a big world out there. They all want a piece of the cake - a cake that does not increase in size proportionately to the number of people who wish to eat it. If we can see this, why can't those who lead & govern?
- We have covered thousands of miles in very hot climates - we have seen long distance trucks which are travelling across the whole of Europe and beyond. Not once have we seen evidence of a lorry accident, or one on fire or one which has shed its load or one that is blocking the motorway.
- On the other hand listen to the travel news on any day in the UK - and wonder why...
- SG has always previously thought it preferable to do a round trip in the truck rather than ship it one way and drive the other. However as we sit homeward bound on the ferry back to Dover, the process of 're-entry' seems slow & painfully drawn out. Much better to ship the truck from a distant location and hop on a plane.
- We have other trips in mind, but not such long ones. Our wonderful Landcruiser truck is not ready for retirement & deserves more adventures. Another drive to Australia perhaps, or a drive across Canada through North, Central & South America? Around Africa? We will be putting her up for sale shortly.
If you are interested, please get in contact with us.
- As we have said previously and now say again: Live your dream!