03/14/2017 -France – Across the channel to France

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.

Dunkirk Waterfront

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.

Village Art Scene

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.

Tournai Cathedral

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.

Tournai Cathedral

The town square was filled with locals drinking and eating in the sunny open air in the village square.

Tournai Town 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).


5 thoughts on “03/14/2017 -France – Across the channel to France”

  1. Hi, Rob and Krys. We are so pleased that you got over your OVERWEIGHT drama. Only happened to us once. We always stand on the bathroom scales and minus the bag weight. No problems.Isn’t the continental bread delicious! Yes, The village streets are narrow.Every house seems to have a flower box at the windows.Has Krys had a drive of ZIGGY yet?.I only had one excursion on a small street in BERGHEIM !out of KOLN.England is so pretty with all the different coloured crops etc. We found the English drivers so polite, the way they would let you out of a side road into the continuous traffic. You will enjoy the continent as we did.We used to pull up at the local co-op wineries and stock up on CHEAP rough red!!All the Best Keep in touch, as it brings back a lot of wonderful memories.(When we were younger!)

  2. Hi from Cheryl & Brett – Matilda….your trip brings back lots of memories of our first trip (exactly 3 years ago) after buying our Hymer. Not sure if there are “3” shops in France, “3” in the U.K. sell data & phone sims “Feel at Home”, they work in 9 countries, even back in Oz.
    Enjoy the beautiful flowers and weather – weather here on East Coast NSW is diabolical. Happy adventures Cheryl & Brett

    1. Thanks Cheryl and Brett
      You may have rain in Oz but we have had rain since crossing in to Germany – currently in Bingen on the Rhine
      We have wifi at the site we are currently at so taking advantage of it
      Kind regards Rob and Krys

  3. Hi Rob and Kyrs,
    We never bought any internet while we where in Europe. They dont carry over between countries and often is expensive.Depending on how much you need it we used it mostly in cafes/bars that had free wifi and some campgrounds and aires have free wifi. Some aires just charge you a samll fee for say 24 hours of interent.

  4. Great to hear from you it sounds so exciting. we did a tour of France 5 years ago… Absolutely loved it. I’m sure you will be used to the wrong side of the road by now… We took the cowards way & went by bus. I believe Brussels is beautiful take your time & enjoy. Everything same here…John said there is a unit for sale in your complex….the kids are not selling it on you are they haha. Had a fair bit of rain which we needed it seems to be all gone now. Anyhow keep us up to date with your adventures… Will look forward to them. Love J&J xx

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