Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Snow on the beach - 15th Feb

Caroline says...

A very pleasant outlook watching the ferries we had heard last night going in and out of Dover Port. After a fairly refreshing nights sleep we are quite excited to have our very exotic breakfast of toast in our home for the first time in about eight weeks.


In some ways the time has flown and in others it has been a long trip not least because of the windscreen saga! However here we are nearly on our way and as usual for us there is a whoops! We seem to have developed a leak. So as you may have seen on last years parallel blog,  plumbing problems are definitely US! This one seems to be from the back cupboard which houses the water heater. Some tense minutes later we, or rather, he, is confident that we do not have a serious problem and we will be on the ferry as booked - PHEW.

So following a trip to Dover town centre to do the inevitable must do's we had previously forgotten, that is birthday card posted to the friend we had seen the day before and mobile phone top up - vital, we set off for the port. Mill pond journey was expected as we set sail for Calais on the 2.20 Seafrance crossing arriving just so quickly it was a disappointment not to see more of the Olympics being shown on Sky. Having settled into Sundays with Dancing on Ice, and being so impressed (perhaps more so than the judges) the olympians make the celebrities look like complete amateurs.

Anyhow the end of TV for us and we arrive at Le Portel for the night. Enjoy our second Valentine meal, this time courtesy of M&S and sit down to listen to the celebratory singing, why and from where is anyones guess but seems to be from the football stadium that we are parked up next to!

An odd thng is we are parked next door to the MH that was her last time - the huge and beautiful black Newfoundland is evidence that we are not mistaken - what a gorgeous dog but wonder how the whiff is after a wet day. So we are not sure whether they have stayed since 9th December or just totally by coincidence we have arrived here on the same day again? Bet they don't leave tomorrow though!

Neil says...

In the morning daylight it confirmed what a great spot this is! Just a stone's throw from the beach and with a great view of Dover harbour with all its ferry comings and goings whilst enjoying breakfast. I wanted to try out a new lens on my camera so I stepped down onto the rock hard frozen pebble beach to capture the wintry beach scene.



On return to the van I noticed a wet patch on the road below the rear of the vehicle and with a closer inspection there was definitely a steady drip from the boiler drain pipe - damn! I hate plumbing, and it does seem that the majority of teething problems we have had with our Bel-Air have been water related.

The day of departure from the UK is not the best time to be sorting out problems. It seemed that the drain valve itself must be letting water by, and, is SO inaccessible it's untrue! I decided to plug the pipe from below for now and fortunately found a suitably long plastic 'bung' for the job...... Well, big mistake! Within seconds water was flowing from all directions under the floor onto me then the road. Rushing inside to the shower room I found the boiler compartment awash with water spurting under pressure from the freely pumping supply at the drain valve. With the pump off, the flow settled down and stopped - phew! I can only think that the action of pushing a bung up the overflow had opened the manual valve plunger causing water to flow from its body.... Bung removed all seems to be well again. These things are certainly sent to try us!

Anyway, to the port, a little early but maybe we'd get an earlier boat? No such luck, SeaFrance seem to have tightened up on this as there is now a £10 charge for the 'privilege'.... we went and got some last minute supply shopping instead.

Once onboard our scheduled sailing we settled down and watched some widescreen winter olympics. The weather seemed to be brightening already.

Out of Calais, we drove to the aire at Le Portel on the outskirts of Boulogne. Its a short 25 mile, or should I say 40 kilometer, drive so we arrived reasonably early and parked amongst half a dozen French and Belgian vans, one of which was here when we visited in early December - we recognised it by the HUGE Newfoundland dog that sat outside. He (the dog) seemed happy to see us but to be honest he seemed happy to see anyone!

The barrier was open on arrival so whether we have to pay to stay, who knows?

Valentine's meal No2 - we had made the most of the special meal deals in the UK - baked camembert with redcurrant sauce and champagne, followed by sirloin steak with a melted garlic and butter sauce, chunky chips and salad served with a pretty good rioja, all courtesy of M&S (the champagne was a pressie from my mum). We really will have to start buying French stuff from now on!

No comments:

Post a Comment