We came home on the ferry from Rotterdam on the 30th of April 2014 across a ghostly mill pond calm misty sea, the colour of gunmetal, to a half light grey pink evening sky over Harwich. It was still and cool and the breezes that there were seemed to be without direction; one minute north to south the next east to west, the same airs undecided on whether to stay or go, shuffling and mixing microscopic droplets of water in the eddies above the sea that was doing it’s kinetic minimum under the influence of the moon. A lazy still, not quite sombre evening, the last hour of which was spent watching the coast define itself over what seemed like an eternity of time. Less exciting than watching Santander grow from the horizon in December, with a sense of strange anticipation and a little anxiety that the land we left four and a half months before would have changed beyond all recognition ... which of course it hasn’t.
|Last August Essex 2013|
As the new horizon eventually refined itself I saw to my immediate south that I could make out Walton on the Naze and the Martello Tower that stands (for now) at the top of the cliffs; a place where I have spent many weeks as a child on holiday with my parents and siblings (also with my long since departed nan when we got packed off parentless to Great Holland on Sea, a name that reflects the earlier ties between Britain and the Netherlands in the years after the Anglo Dutch wars).
|Brean Down October 2013|
|Thetford November 2013|
It was at once horribly sad to be coming home, but also very pleasant coming into Essex and not Dover, coming home to our adopted county and not a strange haven. We drove the fifty five miles from Harwich to our friends the Essex Harrisons and parked on their drive for two nights. We’ve since spent time at my parents, with Amanda’s friend in North Kent, a night in Tilbury, and today as I write this we are the itinerants on my brothers drive, before we collect our 7.5 tonne lorry to move west tomorrow.
|Taragona Spain December 2013 (the block is a nuclear power station)|
I am having to remind myself as we sit here with the impending hiatus in our travel plans, that the adventure isn’t over. We have Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Wales and western England to tour through, through our high summer. And as we now know what the FF we are doing we also know that even after the big block of adventure is over (we can’t afford two years at current prices), that we can carry on exploring year in year out, for as long as Moho passes MOT’s and we feel capable of making the trips.
|Poblo Nou del Delta Spain January 2014|
So that’s it for now. I’ll post a couple of catch up posts on our Holland adventures ... though if the truth be told, the rule of what goes on in Amsterdam should stay in Amsterdam may be applied. I may find other things to witter on about over the next month or so, however I’m not promising and I’m not even going to try. This is a break, but in the words of Arnie `Arl be Baach’. Enjoy the pictures, we’ll be back.
|Tarifa Spain February 2014|
|Cape St Vincent Portugal February 2014|
|Serra de Estrala Portugal March 2014|
|Coimbra Portugal March 2014|
|Salamanca Spain March 2014|
|Carcassonne France April 2014|
|Pisa Italy April 2014|
|Pompei Italy April 2014|
|Black Forest Germany April 2014|
|Luxembourg City April 2014|
|Rotterdam Holland 2014|
Hasta La Vista.