Nous arrivons en France

December 5th 2017

Travelled exactly 550 miles averaged 54mph and achieved 51.3mpg

We left the UK house at 18.15pm yesterday afternoon and travelled via Portsmouth where at 11pm we boarded the Brittany Ferries “Etretat” to Le Havre. The ferry arrived in Le Havre at 8.30 am French time and we were on the road by 9a.m.

Was it all plain sailing (forgive the nautical pun) no not quite.

Firstly before boarding we were called into the customs shed to be checked, it’s quite normal and usually consists of a look in the boot, a check under the car with a mirror and a look under the bonnet?? But this time they were also pointing to a suitcase/ hold-all/ bag in each car they stopped and you had to carry it into a room off to the side, when in there you had to pass it through an x-ray machine just like an airport and declare you weren’t carrying any guns or knives, OK bizarre but never mind. But then they made me go through the same routine as you do at the airport, empty my pockets, take off my belt etc and walk through a metal detector body scanner WHY? WHY? WHY? If any one was going to be taking anything illegal onboard I’m sure it would be well hidden in the car and as they only check a few vehicles I’m not sure what they hope to achieve.

The journey itself in France went reasonably well, the motorways were very quiet however and very sensibly i’m sure on every road we travelled on there were road works, on ordinary roads resurfacing and on the motorways miles of replacing central crash barriers, still although slower than normal the traffic still flowed reasonably well. Then just before Angouleme whilst travelling through road works at a restricted speed I had to take evasive action and put my foot down to avoid a driver who had started to exit on a slip road and then decided to rejoin the flow of traffic all without signalling. Unfortunately about 100m past this point there was a speed camera and I got flashed doing at least 15kmph over the restricted speed limit. Could be an expensive journey.

We arrived at 4.30pm at the French house with no further incidents, it was 10 degrees and sunny outside, but very cold in the house, we were last here in September and Easter was the last time we had the log fires going. Thirty minutes later we had two log fires roaring away and a couple of convector heaters hooked up, a quiet evening toasting the feet.

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