Sunday, 24 July 2011
CoLJ 2 - Drive to the UK
The two days of the drive to the Channel Tunnel went as planned. A daily start at approximately 08:30 hrs. and a completion by 19:00 hrs. As usual the actual driving time was split into around two hour sections interspersed with breaks of twenty to thirty minutes for drinks and use of services.
Day one saw the completion of our journey north through Spain with our evening stop at Beziers in France. This was a change from our normal stop-over in Narbonne.
Day two had the aim of getting to within two to two and a half hours from 'Le Tunnel sous la Manche' at Calais, with the night stop at Senlis some forty minutes north east of Paris. The days driving was uneventful except for going over the impressive 'Millau Viaduct' and the southern circulation of the 'Boulevard Périphérique' of Paris. That was a time not to doubt the ability of SatNavratilova Garmin. I had to trust that the latest maps she had were up-to-date and she knew the easiest and quickest route in her mind. She didn't let me down. Her instructions were clear and she didn't need to shout “Recalculating!” The only thing that was a little concerning was the number of death wish motorcyclists in Paris weaving in and out of the traffic, hazard lights flashing, still seeming oblivious of their vulnerability, honking their horns and gesturing at car and van drivers that did not clear out of their way or leave a big enough space between the traffic lanes. There seemed to be many motorcyclists on the type of bikes that had two front wheels.
On day three arrival at the tunnel terminal was as planned, giving us time to use the facilities and get a coffee for the journey through the tunnel. The layout of the access roads from the check-in, to the customs checks, to the refreshment terminal, to the train have altered since last year. We arrived at Folkestone on time.