1300-1308: And We’re Off!
Thursday 26th September – Friday 4th October 2019
We finished loading Jez on Wednesday and struck off for the Tunnel for our 0123 hrs crossing. We parked up planning to eat nearby. However … the mackerel I’d bought had not been gutted. Not feeling like tackling the fish, I lobbed it in the bin. Now. I am usually the one that snaffles any left overs for soup. But in my defence, my Lud, I was tired. It was late. I would had to gut them outside – in the rain. And I’d already had to give Corrie a washing up bowl bath as she’d rolled in poop. Lots of it. We ended up in a very nice country pub chatting to locals. Ho hum.
Tunnel all fine with no delays. Perhaps something to do with being the small hours, but straight through. And onto Bergues aire, which we’ve used number of times before. Good for walking CO2.
We followed a route down to Ancona suggested by our friends Lin and Bo, who’ve been coming this way for decades. It was pretty much all free motorway, and straight A roads, other than the Heavy Goods Pass for Switzerland EUR32.50 and then we paid on the Italian motorways … £31. We tried to bring the crossing forward from October the 8th, but the earliest we could be accommodated for camping on board was the 3rd. We had plenty of time to ooze our way down with not very long driving days.
I’ve started plotting our sleep spots with coordinates on PolarSteps/Katherine Clune … download the app and search for it….
By a fishing lake in France, all the locals were very friendly and one in excellent English told me where to walk CO2.
Italy or Switzerland? Actually a small Italian enclave in Switzerland. Only 0.6msq. A mix of administration: vehicles and currency Swiss, but Police Italian. A fantastic spot right on Lake Lugano. The car park was free and had been for a now bankrupt casino … apparently it had been the largest in Europe, but looked more like a power station.
Apperatif in the little town of Camplione.
We stayed one night at a campertstop with full services in Parma EUR20. A EUR2 per person and per dog all day bus ticket into town. Fortunately I’d been warned that CO2 may have to wear muzzles, and we were allowed on with 2 dogs, although the official line is 1 per bus. A great wander around the town and we even spotted the restaurant we’d eaten in with Maddy about 9 years ago. Unfortunately it was shut on a Monday, or we’d have revisited. Instead we visited a couple of bars … had a good chat with an Aussie couple, who refuse to drive in Europe so travel by train :(. Then bumped into another Aussie couple from the Camper Stop … more wine and supper together. A good evening.
A rather bemused member of staff looking at me re-enacting my falling asleep on the steps of the Basilica from 9 years ago. Pix duly sent to Maddy.
Not allowed to sleep long… face licking time!
Overnight stop just S of Ravenna. Lovely sandy beach for walking CO2 … and actually very warm so the shorts came out. We are just starting the Go Sober for October wagon – see below!
Not a glass of wine in sight … aperitif is now coffee!
We spent the last night in Italy in the aire and Auchan just outside Ancona. We’d received an email that our crossing was put back from 1.30 pm to 4.00 pm, but on arrival at the port, were advised that there was further delay … the ship didn’t actual sail until just before 8.00 pm. A regular told me that the ship had been swapped for a faster one and we are due at Patras at about 5.00 pm All very chilled. Once parked dockside, I walked CO2 up into Ancona … an old city with Roman remains, tall buildings and small alleys. Pleasant. This above is the cathedral.
Lions guarding the cathedral steps.
One of the prettier squares.
Made us chuckle, especially as it was on a Fix It Again Tomorrow!
Empty dock as we’re all on the ship. We are Camping on Board, so we can live in Jez for the 21hr crossing. I wandered around helplessly with our electric cable wondering where to plug it in. Not needed! A loooong pole pulls an electric cable down from the roof. And it ain’t no 3 amp rubbish … we’ve had the Remoska and electric hob going, whilst charging anything that vaguely needed it. Excellent showers and toilets. We’ve been on deck just to walk CO2, but Corrie ‘saved’ herself for this morning … she really only does like going in discreet places and on grass. Oscar, however, wants to mark anything he can cock his leg at and has no inhibitions.
Go Sober October by James
Does anyone have their best ideas whilst sitting on the toilet? Leopold Bloom (Ulysses) did….. Well readers, I was thus encamped on the loo at our wilding – Lago di Lugano – when I remembered that MacMillan nurses are encouraging people to shun alcohol for the entire month of October! I climbed back into Jez as we were leaving and unleashed the bombshell on Katherine – she didn’t bat an eyeIlidl (or an Aldi)! Talk about St Paul throwing himself off his horse on the way to Damascus!!! It was bad enough giving up the drink for Lent years ago… I really must avoid toilets!!! We are now committed – as I write we’re on day 4 – and no problems so far – no shakes or twitchessssssssss. It’s a hugely deserving cause (and close to our hearts…. Rally round troops – and think of the widow’s mite! We’re a mite nonplussed! “We’re all going on an alcoholiday……
If anyone would like to donate the price of a coffee …. here’s the link.
We don’t normally do politics on here, but this made me chuckle: