Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Difference a Day Makes

We are officially in the last week of residing at my brothers ... in a brick building with rooms and walls and a proper bathroom, and places to escape from each other ... other than outside. In late breaking news the cat has found a new home with a friend of my mothers in Harlow. Final manoeuvres will be made this Wednesday for the cat. And as long as our saucepans, a mattress topper and a car based laptop charger have arrived by then, we can leave Terra Firma on Thursday or Friday.

We don’t have a plan for a route for the next few days or weeks, other than follow our noses west to meet with our vehicles logbook when the DVLA finish with it. Then copy it, along with Amanda’s licence (which has taken over three weeks to sort out ... mine arrived back midweek last week), then drop the copies to our friends in Wiltshire and Somerset, and with that all done, we’re free to head south.

We do have to acquire Euro style Number plates, a Tax disk and an additional Electronic key fob as mentioned previously ... all these items require the presentation of the Logbook at the vendors. The plan (that we don’t have) is to shakedown for a couple more weeks in the west country making it up as we go, with a view to crossing either the English Channel or the Bay of Biscay, (weather dependent in northern France in October) sometime in the middle of October ... this requires the owner to have the Logbook ... there’s a theme here.

Going straight from England to Spain (Santander) saves us huge amounts of driving to get to guaranteed warm, but does cost a relative packet. This particular enterprise was suggested by our financial planner ... my mate Adrian. It has certain advantages: in twenty four hours you’re in Spain, the cost of the ferry is between £300 and £400.

If you take the cost of fuel from the UK to Spain, compared to a ferry or the train from the UK to France and the days it will take to get to Spain with stops (if you make stops), and tolls where applicable then it works out about the same in terms of cost, as the drive, and you do France on the return next spring. It’s an option, but as above we’ll see what the weather looks like, after all we’re English we are used to cold and wet.

The argument against going direct to Spain, is the fact that France is very civilised in terms of camper stops or `Aires’ as they call them. Amanda speaks passable French, which as mentioned elsewhere gives us an easier ride while getting used to dealing with driving on the wrong side of the road, in a vehicle that’s designed to drive on the right side of the road J.

All of a sudden, less than twenty four hours from the previous post, we are there. I said to Amanda earlier I’m suffering from abject terror. That sense that we’ve been planning, and playing at this for so long, that now we are on the cusp, approaching the blind side, I’m suddenly not able to get my head around the going. All we have is a pot of money, a big yellow tin can with wheels, and each other ... and if there is a saving grace, it is the previous statement. I have an Amanda. I may be good at plans, I may think and even over think everything, but I’m doing none of it on my own. Where I procrastinate Amanda dives in, she won’t let me stay terrified, she won’t let us hang around one more day than we need to.

Now comes the mad rush to tie up any loose ends.

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