Monday, 20 July 2015

Back to Blighty

The sun comes out just as I reach Calais. The approach to the port is now ringed with about 3 km of 3 metre high double fencing crowned with barbed wire. It's still shiny, so obviously brand new. Fortress UK is defending its borders more and more. Sniffer dogs checking all the lorries. Apart from fortifications Calais port is really lacking in facilities: there's just a toilet block and three vending machines. o unlike Dover.  

I am traveling with P&O today. I normally don't because they are major donors to the Tory party. But today their timetable suited me better. I get on board and find out they don't have TV (unlike DFDS), which scuppers my plan to watch the first mountain stage of the Tour de France - on Bastille day too! 

I order a steak and kidney pie, mash, mushy peas and gravy to get me into a 'going back to Blighty mood'. The staff are very friendly and jokey but the exchange rate they charge for meals is about 15% worse than you get anyone else. The White Cliffs should be in sight soon.

There was a 20 KM queue of lorries waiting to get into Dover harbour, lined up on the inner lane of the motorway. I felt really sorry for the drivers. Make it to my friends place in time to see the highlights of today's stage. It finishes in the valley where my last Pyrenean trip ended (and where the next will pick up. Chris Frome tore the filed apart on the 1500 m climb at the end. I don't think 'll try to emulate him when I go back that climb looked vicious.  Thursday I travel onto to Cornwall.

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