Tuesday 14 th March
Left Canterbury and headed south to Bodiam in East Sussex.
The countryside is lush and green and with springtime colourful flowers growing wild in the fields.
English castles and quaint pubs everywhere.
Can’t believe the amount of traffic on the road at all times of the day.
Once off the motorways, the roads are so narrow and in many cases not enough room for a small car to pass let alone Ziggy.
Not sure how we missed some of them – could only be an inch each side to manoeuvre through.
We purchased 2 electric bikes in Bodiam, set them up on the bike rack and headed for Dover to connect with our ferry to Dunkirk.
The only ferry time available on line was 2am so we found a safe place to park (next to McDonalds) and tried to get a little sleep before heading down to the dock.
Very difficult to sleep with the constant fast food junkies at it until all hours.
Dover dock was like a huge city but fortunately with a little help from our sat nav and Lady Luck we found our way to the correct dock.
Wednesday 15 th March – Malo Beach – Dunkirk – France
Left Ziggy in the lower decks of the ferry and headed to the lounge for the two hour trip across the channel.
Managed to get a little sleep.
5am French time we arrived and set off in Ziggy to our first Aires (French parking places for motor homes).
Another challenge now – driving on the wrong side of the road and in the dark.
Had a few hairy moments but thanks to our sat nav found our resting place at Malo Beach, Dunkirk, in around 30 minutes.
Hit the hay and slept solidly for around 4 hours.
Now for some sight seeing.
Headed off for a 2 hour walk along the beachfront.
Miles of three storey town houses – all different designs butted together and dozens of restaurants and ice cream parlours on the beach promenade.
People everywhere walking, jogging and riding bikes.
Headed off to the local shopping centre to try and find an ATM to get some euros. – THOUGHT THAT WOULD BE HELPFUL! Success at last so now our only problem is getting internet and phones sorted.
Now to test out our e bikes. – What a hoot – travelled along the boardwalk weaving in and out of people, bikes, prams, roller bladers.
Will definitely invest in one of these when we get back home.
Took to the e-bikes like a duck to water.
Thursday 16th March – Tournai Belgium
Left Dunkirk and headed south east to Tournai, Belgium – approx 100 km trip. hard to believe we have travelled now through England Wales, France and Belgium in just over a week.
Stopped in an Aires in the middle of the Village.
Took a long walk through the village and visited Notre Dame Cathedral. (Tournai). – Amazing to believe these cathedrals were built hundreds and hundreds of years ago and still standing.
The cathedral is undergoing major refurbishment currently.
Have had perfect spring weather over the last few days and the locals are out in full force enjoying the warming sunshine.
The town square was filled with locals drinking and eating in the sunny open air in the village square.
Hard to believe we are on the other side of the world though constantly reminded by the locals speaking to us in French.
Friday 17th March. – Boussu-Lez-Walcourt – Belgium
Headed off on a typical European morning – cold and overcast – but happily no rain. – still getting used to Ziggy and the challenges of VERY NARROW streets through the towns along the way. – Glad Rob is driving.
Once in the rural areas we are finding it easier as the roads are wider and less challenging.
The countryside is so lush and green – so different to our Aussie dry outback and countryside.
Little villages spring up everywhere – back to narrow roads and more challenges around every corner.
Arrived in Boussu-Lez-Walcourt – What a find! – Not sure what the name means but it is probably something like “Adventure land by the sea”. – Very picturesque as we are camped beside the water with only sloping green grass and a beach between Ziggy and the water.
This place does not officially open until 1 April but when it does we are sure it will be packed as it offers so many activities particularly water sports.
35 Klms of walking and bike tracks so we donned our warmest gear and hit the tracks – absolutely freezing.
Came back for a couple of rums and watched the light disappear over the horizon (no sun set tonight).