No Love in London
Our World Trip could end NOW
Winters Chilling Tales # 106
Drove away from Bilbao this morning. The road to San Sebastian was nice and easy, we got to the Spanish-French border, it looked like old customs border crossing. This had been conveniently converted to a toll booth. Funny the road quality went south once we crossed the border. French roads in this part was a lot worse and have more toll booths, which was annoying as you had to stop at everyone.
It would be better off getting a ticket and then paying on the exit as in Spain. We arrived in our stop over hotel in a little French country town between Tours and Le Mans, called Dissay-sous-Courcillon. The feature image of this post is a beautiful French farm on the river, indicative of the buildings in this country town. We had a family room above the restaurant in the roof, the kids thought that was awesome.
Summer and I went for a walk while the girls settled in and watched some TV. Everything was old and looked great but there was nowhere to eat other than at the hotel. So we walked back and went to the small restaurant. This is the first time we have had a French meal since visiting France. It wasn’t great but it also wasn’t bad.
The salmon crepe above was gulped down pretty quickly by Autumn. Yet Summer struggled to chew this ‘steak’ with her chips below.
When we got back to our room we had a message from our apartment in Bromley. Our 3 week accommodation has been cancelled by our host with only 24 hours notice.
Thanks, MATE, where is the love?
Great we have to get online and try to find something else in South London. Nothing in our price range. We end up getting a family room in a hotel in Kent, East of London in a town called Chatham. This will do for one night and we can sort our accommodation from there. Got into bed approx. midnight after searching like mad for accommodation.
Ferry to Dover – hotel in Chatham
We head out of our little French room and drive straight to Calais. We are booked on a ferry to Dover as the Channel tunnel, which we have found out is called the ‘Chunnel’ is a substantially more $$$ than the ferry crossing but is only 30 minute as opposed to 1.5hrs for the ferry.
We drove past the tent city in Calais for all immigrants attempting to get to the UK. We didn’t realise the immigration from Calais to Dover was such a big issue until we reached England everyone kept asking us if we got hassled by people trying to come across the channel to GB? We didn’t have any problems.
As we entered border security on the French side the guard just waves us through, thinking we are French because of our number plates, he told us to go to the next box on the English side and didn’t stamp us out of the EU. As we are only able to stay in the EU for 90 days and we have reached 80 we need an exit stamp or entry stamp into another area, like Great Britain, for the count to stop. We will then be able to travel back into Europe for another 10 days and drop off our Peugeot in Paris.
We were a bit peeved the French guard did not stamp us but went toward the next window anyway. The English guard was really thorough and stamped us out and we were relieved after that.
The hotel we chose was a workers hotel near a historical wharf in the centre of Chatham. When we entered our hotel room there was someone elses clothes all over the floor: the room was not vacant. They realised their mistake and upgraded us and gave us two rooms. BUT we still had to find accommodation at this late notice for London, which happens to be in its peak season so we were finding it very hard to find any accommodation within our price range.
Effectively the Aust dollar is half the GB pound so we are just being smashed by the exchange rate. We decided to go out for a meal and find that the meals are approx. the same in pounds as they would be in Aust dollars so we are effectively paying double to what we are used to back home.
Our first night in the UK and we are pretty devastated. We have no further accommodation our funds will dwindle twice as fast as expected and we have no choice as we have to stay out of the EU. We are currently at a cross road and not sure how much further we can travel at this rate.
Welcome to the UK.
Where is the love…
We woke early and began to search for more accommodation. We can’t find something and so we asked to stay another night in the hotel in Chatham but they are fully booked out of family rooms. It is another blow that we were not prepared for.
This is the toughest situation we have been in so far on our World Trip…..to be continued……