Early Ferry

I had a reservation on P&O’s 1:10 PM ferry from Calais to Dover. It’s about 120mls/200kms from Neufchatel-en-Bray to Calais, about 2½ hrs towing. We were ready to leave the campsite by 9:00 AM so we hit the road and began to bid farewell to France for this year.

We had some wind assistance and, even after a fuel stop so I could complete the UK 120mls without stopping, we drove into Calais ferry port at about 11:15 AM. UK border control asked where we had last stopped. Since it was 120mls away they were less concerned about illegal stowaways and let us through swiftly. A very smiley P&O assistant checked us in and told us we’d be sailing in 10 minutes. Great! We drove to the boarding lane which was already empty and were waved straight onto the ferry. Very shortly after boarding they shut the ferry doors and we were off, 1½ hours early. Perfect! What a stroke of luck.

Unlike yesterday, the crossing was smooth and the weather in the channel was fair. Everything else went smoothly until we hit the northern stretch of the jaM25 motorway. Brakes, out of gear, handbrake on, sit on the country’s most major road like lemons in a stop-crawl queue for 30 minutes to do a few miles. Then, with no blockage in site, it clears and we’re off. And this is an off-season Sunday  early afternoon. Almost every time we return from relatively trouble-free driving around France, the UK roads stress one out in an hour or two.

Never mind, Billy is back in his field and we are home safely. Time to start planning our next escape.

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