Well first part of the journey done, the easy bit, driving to Newhaven. The ferry from Portsmouth is just too pricey for an itinerant bluesman!
The queue for customs was short and only a hours wait for the ferry, half an hour taking loading into account. All the decks are open which is promising, hopefully a smooth crossing! Wish I'd worn jeans rather than shorts as it's a bit nippy outside! The engines have started the boat is rattling like a ford mondeo whose wheels need re-balancing, (must get to that before the MOT!). Looks like we are off. Chance to explore then try and get some sleep. Due in at 4am which is a tad early for me! Gives plenty of time to drive down to Saint-Simeux for the first gig at Pub Gabariers.
The on-board wireless doesn't want to play at the moment, maybe I'll have to wait till I get to France to post this, technology, huh! Well I supose this is not the most pressing of bloging moments any way.
Well gives me more time to play at being a geek, my satnav recons we are heading south at 4miles per hour weeee! A speed trip :-). When we got going for real it pushed up to a steady 34km/h (I'd changed ober to 'France mode' by then!
An hours gap and sleep isn't coming too easy. Maybe I shouldn't have had that second coffee from the bar. Spent some of the time sketching in GIMP, working on loose interpretation of a scene from Monschau (spelling?) which we visited on the day off on the recent Walker Broad tour of Germany.
More time passes. Ferry journeys on your own are a bit tedious! Well late night ones anyway. You can't even watch the sea :-). Really looking forward to getting to France and getting on the road!
Another hour with some mini sleeps, it's 2:35 am UK time so just updated the mobile to French time, 3:35. The lights of France are visible off the starboard side and the SatNav is desperatly trying to map out routes to Dieppe from the nearest road to the ferry, kind of funny in a geeky way. They just made an announcement but the ferry was vibrating so much due to the final manouvers, I couldn't hear what they said!
About a kilometre to go!
At Dunkirk and if I recall correctly you just drive through at the french end, but Dieppe they check all passports, what makes the difference I wonder? So a delay in the queue then into Dieppe proper. First mission find a cash machine to get a few euros. Easy enough, remined by the find "point of interest" feature on my untrusty sat nav, I found the one I used last year (but not the one the Sat Nav suggested!). It was great wandering round the town in the very early hours of the morning with almost nobody arround, taking photos of the architecture in the dark. It seems a great town, although Ive only seen it at 4.00 am and theres a distinctly odd smell near the ferry area!
BTW In posting this from the Pub Gabariers as the Ferry internet never worked!