Oye-Plage, FranceNovember 22, 2017 in France
We had done a full circuit of Belgium and were back near the farm where we'd spent 10 days volunteering with WWOOF. Having got on so well with Diderik, our host, we'd arranged to drop in for a quick visit. It was great to be back and see Diderik and the animals again, especially Lappa the dog who seemed very excited to see us and Poppy. We toured the farm and it was really intersting to see how much had changed. Although we see different things almost every day on this trip, we rarely see how the same place changes over time. Outside, the trees were mostly bare now, the pond was almost clear of duck weed, two little nanny goats had joined the three in the field, the meat chickens were gone and the sheep had taken over their field and shed. In the greenhouse the baby rabbits who were only a few days old when we arrived had grown to the size of dwarf rabbits, but their old father had died. We said hello to Ever the pig and Vicky got to feed her before we headed inside for a cuppa. Diderik had got a compost toilet installed to replace the downstairs flushing toilet and it was really intersting to see how well that was working out. It was a simple setup with a bucket underneath the rim that was gradually filled with waste and homemade leaf mulch. The bucket would then be removed and the contents left to compost, providing nutrients for the soil.
Too soon it was time to say goodbye, both to Diderik and to Belgium. As we approached the French border there were a series of shops selling tobacco and chocolates and soon after crossing in to France, the products on sale changed to wines and champagnes.
Oye-Plage was a free car park aire just 20km from Calais ferry terminal. Calais itself has a paying aire but our ferry was scheduled for 12:35pm the following day leaving us plenty of time to get there, so we'd chosen this quiet spot where we were the only van in sight.
We tried to keep busy and focus on tasks all afternoon and evening because we were in a state of nervous excitement, thoughts constantly buzzing around our heads.Read more