Montreuil, France. Back on the road!January 5 in France
We said our goodbyes to Will's sister and her family and set off for the port of Dover. The rain lashed down but we made good time, arriving so early that P&O booked us on to the Pride of Burgundy, which sailed an hour earlier than our original crossing.
In the queue we swapped the pounds and pence in our wallets for euros and cents, changed the sat nav and dash display from miles to kilometres, set the clock forward an hour and had a quick bite to eat. Vicky found a dedicated pet exercise area where Poppy had her last wee and away we went!
On-board the background noise was filled with voices we could no longer understand. The sea was choppy, waves broke accross the bough and hit the ship side on, making it shudder and occasionally producing an almighty bang.
Disembarking we saw signs directing motorhomes into the correct lane for exit, making us feel welcome. Repeating the mantra 'Drive on the right, drive on the right', roundabouts weren't half as difficult to get used to as the British ones had been 6 weeks ago, although seeing drivers sitting on the left hand side did make us look twice.
Checking on Park4Night for a place to stay, the map was crowded with stopovers. We found a dedicated aire de service in the town of Montreuil and pulled into it alongside 4 other GB vans, just as the daylight began to fade.
After a rest and some food we took an evening stroll. Montreuil still had its xmas decorations up, real trees were dotted around, blue fairy lights lit up lamposts and formed an overhead canopy in the square. There were a mix of buildings, but our eyes were drawn to the authentic shabby chic facades with pastel coloured wooden shutters.
We slept well and were delighted to find a Saturday market in the central square the next day. Several people we passed greeted us with cheery bonjours. We picked up some fruit, veg, eggs and cheese from the market stalls, avoiding one who had a couple of cages containing cramped chickens. With a warm baguette from the boulangerie in our bag, we returned to the van with a sense of accomplishment, having carried out several conversations in French.
After making use of the stopover's facilities we continued on our journey to Spain with a smile on our faces. We were back on the road again!Read more