Now we're in Calais, I'm struggling to remember what Cadillac was like. I thought I knew it was south of Poitiers but then again...I can't be sure, I haven't got the map or my journal in front of me because we are on the ferry. Mike decided to have a bit of shut eye as he's tired having done so much driving. He hasn't chosen the best spot. Nice long sofa for stretching out but we're next to the Bureau de Change and the office and there seems to be an entire French secondary school on board, all changing monnaie at the same time. Noisy and exciting business.
We did a long drive yesterday, that I can remember. We covered the distance planned for three days in one. This was because being Sunday there were hardly any trucks on the road. Once we were past Tours Mike could scent the finishing line, the roads were clear and we only had to skirt Rouen. Another overnight planned spot just north of there, but then we could see snow on the ground and had heard that a batch of snow was heading towards northern Europe so not wanting the weather to hamper our progress we pressed on to Calais. After filling up with cheap fuel we went to the Aire. It was blowing a hurricane and extremely cold. When we first drove into the car park we couldn't see any motorhomes but it turned out they were backed up against the rear wall. Presumably to keep out of the wind. We decided to tuck in alongside them. Mike had just switched off the engine when a french man came over and told us that two bicycles had been stolen at 2am that morning. The motorhome had been against that wall and he indicated that we should park in the centre of the carpark underneath the street lamp, in the light. We thanked him and moved. When we went to bed we had torches and mobile phones to hand and had packed up the cupboards ready for a swift departure. A few years back we parked at an Aire and someone tried to pinch the bikes off the back, when unsuccessful they ended up lobbing stones at us and we had to hot foot into the night. Therefore, we decided we'd be ready just in case. I think it would be pretty impossible to get our bikes off the back without damaging the rack and removing that with the bikes. The cycles are attached to the rack with 'D' locks which cannot be hack sawed through. (I'm sure that's what the manufacturer's blurb said.) Anyway, of course we slept soundly, no one disturbed us and the wind dropped as well, so nice and peaceful.
P and O have changed their ticketing recently, must have been the end of last year. Our single fare, booked online with a week to spare was more expensive than it would have been last year at £56. However, it was called a standard flexi. This gives a four hour window in which to sail but we weren't sure how steep the financial penalty would be to change the date of crossing. We had just cleared Chartres yesterday when I rang them to ask how much it would be to change it from Wednesday 4th Feb to the following day, Monday the 2nd. I was filled with disbelief and had to ask for reassurance when the booking office said it would be £4.80, payable there and then with a credit card, no charge for the card. So it appears to me that P and O fares have gone up, but if this means extra flexibility such as this, we're pleased. Because we like to get going once we're going somewhere, we often arrive early.
We left the Algarve on Wednesday 28th January. We haven't spent a cent on Aires or tolls and we've had 5 nights. We've covered 1373 miles and spent £166 on fuel.
Now then, where's Cadillac again?
I'll post a map in a few days, when I have wifi again to show our route.