Date: 8th July 2018
Travelled: 129 kilometres from Cantley (Reedcutter) to Ipswich, England
Stayed: Burnt House Farm, Witnesham. £9 include power and the usual. N52.11441, E01.20226
A bit of a late start this morning at the Reedcutter. We decide on a walk along the River Yare, this takes an hour. It’s a pleasant walk but there is little to see, just some grouse running through ahead of us and the odd boat passing by before return to the Hymer for breakfast.
We do the usual servicing, say goodbye to Michael and Iris and make our way back to the A47 for Great Yarmouth. The traffic is very heavy for a Sunday morning with lots of stop starts. Turning south on the A12 the traffic thins but its still slow going. There seems to be a round-a-bout every mile or so, which means wrestle the Hymer around and going through the gears again.
Stopping for lunch near Woodbridge. We have been on the road for over a month now and probably a day ahead of where we need to be, to comfortably make the chunnel on Wednesday. The thought of a house keeping day has Pam excited. We go through our data base over lunch looking for a park with power.
Burnt House Farm looks reasonable, so we decide to have a look. But first we need to do some shopping at John Lewis (UK version of David Jones) so we head into Ipswich. Our beloved DeLonghi coffee machine started leaking water last year and is slowly getting worse. We cannot complain after five years of bouncing around the back of the Hymer all over Europe. So £170 later we have a new machine. We also purchase a small fan that runs off a USB connection at £10 its worth a try.
Our stop is only 5 miles away so we make our way to Witnesham, finding Burnt House Farm easily enough. It’s a farm stay, with everything we need. So we settle in, have a drink as the shadows lengthen.
Date: 9th July 2018
Travelled: 178 kilometres from Ipswich to Sheerness, England
Stayed: The Shingle Bank, Marine Drive, Sheerness. Free + toilet nearby. N51.43665, E0.79497
Looking out the Hymer’s windows onto the adjoining field I see rabbits hopping about all over the place. This farmer needs a gun. Pam can only see her eyelids at this stage. The weather is clear and it looks like a warm sunny day.
After coffee and fruit the cleaning begins. The vacumm is humming away and Pam is spray and wiping this and that. After an hour the Hymer is looking as good as new (nearly). We go though the cupboards and re-stack where we can, then transfer our winter/cold weather gear into the lower storage compartments (hoping we have seen the last of the cold weather till October).
After a long shower to clean up, we service the Hymer and say goodbye to our hosts, driving back into Ipswich. We have found a laundromat via Google on the Witnesham side of Ipswich so that’s our next stop. As luck has it we also spot a hand car-wash nearby, so whilst Pam does the laundry, I get the Hymer a bath. Thought £20 was a little expensive, but they did a good job and chamois it off as well.
It’s almost lunchtime, but everything we own is now clean. Back on the A12, the traffic is reasonable so we decide to make a run for the M25 and the Dartford Crossing (£2.50). From our experience, one of the most heavily congested and challenging places to drive in the UK.
An hour and a half later we are past Dartford and take the turn for the Isle of Sheppey. Sheppey you ask, I don’t know anything about it either. Anyway our data-base shows a free stop near Sheerness and that’s where we are headed.
Date: 10th July 2018
Travelled: 51 kilometres from Sheerness to Canterbury, England
Stayed: Canterbury, Old Dover Road P+R, £2.50 per day, with free bus, the usual facilities. N51.26122, E01.10038
The wind has eased a little overnight and we slept well. The morning is still grey, but no sign of rain.
After coffee and fruit we get the Hymer organised and make for the A2 and Canterbury. That was a mistake ! The A2 is the local road running parallel with the M2 motorway, but the traffic is diabolical. Just getting on to the A2 at Sittingbourne takes more than 30 minutes to negotiate one set of traffic lights. The rest of the A2 was a battle and we were glad to see the P+R sign when we finally make Canterbury.
No point lingering, we find a good spot amongst the other 8 or so motorhomes and walk over to the bus stop. You may remember we visited Canterbury last year, so we have no particular plan but a wander about.
We spot a Cotswold’s camping shop and pop in to look for a small backpack, as we have decided we need one each. Somehow we come out with new walking shoes for Pam as well !
It was a long lunch and a few drinks in the sun. Finding our way back to the bus stop was the next challenge. Back in the Hymer only in the mood for a nap our day was done.
Date: 11th July 2018
Travelled: 214 kilometres from Canterbury, England to Villers-Bretonneux, France
Stayed: Sir John Monash Centre car-park, toilet nearby, free. N49.88581, E02.50856
A quiet evening in the Canterbury P+R. Cars start rolling into the huge car-park being the aire about 6am. We are in no hurry this morning our train is not scheduled to depart until 6pm.
We have met so many Australian travelling this year and Canterbury P+R continue the trend. We chat to a couple from Brisbane also driving a Hymer, they have just finished 7 months touring selling their Hymer this week and delivery it tomorrow. Later another knock on the door a guy from Sydney who has been touring for several months in his motorhome as well. He is Canterbury to meet his daughter.
Anyway we finally service the Hymer and start the drive to Folkstone and the chunnel station. On arrival we are able to secure a booking on an hour earlier, so we settle down in the car-park with 90 minutes to wait. Another knock on the door this time another Hymer owner comes over for a chat. He is an interesting guy, now travelling by himself. He plans a couple of month in Germany his favourite motorhoming place (and one of ours).
Exiting in Calais some 35 minutes later, we roll out onto the A16 freeway, which soon becomes the E402 motorway. Whilst we try to avoid the tollways normally we want to be in Villers-Bretonneux tonight. So a fast run and pay the toll of €17.70 it is. There is virtually no traffic, we only passing the odd truck in the 160+kilometres to Amiens, then the final 20 clicks to Villers-Bretonneux.