Well, it’s been a while since I last updated the blog but there hasn’t been much gripping news to report so I didn’t think I’d bore you all too much. We completed our house sitting assignment with the four wire fox terriers last Thursday when their owners returned from Jamaica. Three dogs had been bathed as they were beginning to resemble grubby little street dogs!
They all came up a treat though and a quick 10 minutes each in the tumble dryer fluffed them up nicely;) ( JOKE!)
We enjoyed our time in Norfolk but the open road beckoned once again and we were ready to move on. We stopped overnight on Thursday at the Rumburgh Buck in, err, Rumburgh which was listed on the Heritage Pubs website so worth a look see. We had a warm welcome from the landlord and enjoyed a meal and a couple of well deserved pints. Our plans then were to swing past Stowmarket in Suffolk to see my brother, Richard and his wife, another Jane, before heading down to Newhaven to board the ferry to France.
We met up with Richard and Jane at their house for a barbeque on Friday night and caught up on all the latest news (there was quite a lot of it as we’ve not seen them for, ahem, a few years). Note to self, we must try harder to keep in touch with people especially now we won’t be in the UK very much. We then, on Saturday, had a leisurely stroll along an old railway line to Hadleigh for a mooch and a pub lunch. Lilly, their dog, had a lovely time and enjoyed the muddy puddles! So we said farewell to Richard and Jane and decided to make the drive down to Newhaven on Saturday.
We arrived in Newhaven and thought we’d ask at the ferry port if we were able to change our ferry booking to catch the 11pm ferry to Dieppe that night instead of waiting until our confirmed booking on Sunday at 6pm. 10 minutes later we were very happy bunnies heading out of the ferry port towards Lidl after having paid a £10 amendment fee to get us on the late night ferry! Whoop!! We then stocked up at Lidl on tea bags, fruit tea and pork pies!
Tim troughed his last pork pie for a year whilst waiting in the queue for the ferry.
Ollie in the queue for the ferry at Newhaven.
We. Were. Finally. Off. To. France.
Tim looking a happy bunny!
So after a few hours sleep on the ferry we disembarked in Dieppe and drove 500 yards to a lay-by around the corner from the port and got our heads down for a few more hours.
We woke up refreshed at about 8.00am and moved the van to the seafront , had some breakfast and a stroll around Dieppe, before planning our route South.
We were heading for Chartres today to have a gander around the cathedral and then onwards to Chateaudun where we were planning to stop for the night. We just needed to fill up with lovely French diesel which is significantly cheaper than the UK at €1.12 per litre.
We had about an eighth of a tank left and deliberately hadn’t filled up in the UK as French diesel would save us approx £15-20 per tank of fuel. We consulted satty nav to find the nearest fuel station and after the first three seemed to be closed we were beginning to think this was a Sunday closing thing. However, by the fifth petrol station we were beginning to think there was more to it. We decamped to a supermarket carpark to consult Google. Oh poo, the French, it seems, are currently striking over the new labour reforms. This has lead to a shortage of fuel and panic buying. We had come in at the tail end of it and soon discovered there was not a drop of diesel to be had in Dieppe. Nope. Not a drop. Non. Rien!! You’ve gotta love the French. So……………………..queue operation Plan B. We can’t risk driving further afield to go in search of fuel so we have decided to stick it out in Dieppe and see what happens hoping that filling stations will start to be refuelled tomorrow…….fingers crossed. We are currently decamped to a McDonalds using their Wi-fi (wee-fee), supping coffee, contemplating our next move. All is not lost as there are two Aires in Dieppe to stay at and an outdoor swimming pool I may brave if it warms up a bit! We don’t need to be at our next Helpx assignment until Wednesday so we have a bit of time to play with and it won’t be the end of the world if we don’t get there. Best laid plans and all that………………………. .