Bertie parked at my sister’s house in Tickhill

We left Tickhill, after a very pleasant few days with my sister, at 10am and headed out on to A1. The photo above was taken yesterday when the sun was shining. It is not shining this morning but not actually raining. That did not start until midday some where around St. Neots and by the time we got to Lidl at Letchworth it was pouring down. This stop was planned as we wanted to stock up on a few last minute supplies of items we know are either hard to get in France (muesli) or more expensive (butter and milk). We had a quick lunch here too mindful of the 90 minute limit on parking. We left Lidl with a plan to refuel at Tesco in Gray’s as Eileen has a voucher for 10p per litre discount. I reckoned that we could get that far on the tank we last filled at Perth and thus get as many cheap litres into the tank as possible. However as we approached the M25 the low fuel light came on. We do not think that has ever happened before and we rather panicked! We went in to South Mims services just to take time to locate an alternative Tesco as we were not sure we would be able to cover 55 miles with the low fuel light on.

We located a Tesco Extra a few miles up the A10 that looked easy to get to and less than 10 miles away. That should have been an easy and quick journey. It was not. We queued up to get out of the services and on to the M25. We queued up to turn off on the A10. We queued again on A10 twice Grrrrr.

We fueled up fine but I was very cross to find that Bertie only took 68litres meaning he still had 12 litres in his 80 litre tank and thus could have got us all the way to Grays as planned. Grrr again. Mental note that low fuel light means at least 60 miles left!

Oh what fun! We are actually stationary at this point.

Now full of fuel we headed back to the M25 which was even busier than it had been and we enjoyed several more stretches of very slow moving traffic before turning on to A2 after the Dartford Crossing. I have to admit we were cheered by the fact that we were not in the enormous queues waiting to cross the river northwards. By now the sun had come out and the rain had gone and we were feeling a little happier although neither of us particularly like such busy main roads and only use them when we have to. In retrospect we  made a mistake in planning to do the 230miles from Tickhill to Canterbury in a single day.

Canterbury Park & Ride is very unusual in that it contains a proper motorhome Aire. A separate section purely for motorhomes and with free water and waste disposal. Just 15 miles from Dover it is an ideal stopover before the ferry. We got here at 5pm to find plenty of space with only a handful of other mohos (including 2 Dutch vans and 1 Italian van). Time to put the kettle on and think about booking the ferry for tomorrow. The best deal at a decent time of day was the 12:00 sailing with DFDS from Dover to Dunkirk for £86.00 so we booked that. It is only half an hour to the port from here so we can leave at 10am and have plenty of time. We might even have time to fill up with water and drop the grey waste (sink water etc – not the loo) before we leave.

Canterbury Park & Ride dedicated motorhome area.

We are both pretty tired after that long drive and are grateful that we will only drive about 40 miles tomorrow! Bertie does his best and trundles along on the cruise control at 51mph quite happily and is not too noisy at that speed unless you need to go up a long hill in 4th gear. However 6 hours of busy motorway with lots and lots of trucks (from all over Europe) and an hour or two of heavy rain taxed us more than a little.

Tomorrow we will get our heads around being in France – changing the clock, sticking on the headlight deflectors, swapping over the money in our wallets and generally getting ready for foreign parts!

A long wet drive