Briefly Belgium

Landed at Le Havre at 08.30 and off the boat by 9. For some unknown reason we stopped at an autoroute Aire for nearly an hour, trying to get our Huawei 3G/4G connection working. Without success.

Gave up and carried on, sticking to the autoroutes. They are great roads, but like british motorways, you do miss the local feel. Unlike british motorways, they are NOT cheap. Tolls mounted as we went – by the time we reached the free autobahn of Germany we had spent €57.30 on tolls.

Lunch at a small service station at Villers Bretonneux with the lorries. With free internet to identify a campsite for the night. We had decided that we may as well call briefly into Belgium on the way and Camping de Roisins seemed to fit the bill. Leaving internet access behind we relied on the satnav. It got us there but we did have our doubts at one point when the road  turned into a track and a sign told us that vehicles over 3.5T would be fined. Very rural and definitely Somme territory. Lots of large pill-boxes scattered at regular intervals across the huge fields. The small road took us through small rural villages with a mix of old and new buildings. We trundled past the mairie (mayor ) of one small village, admiring his offices.

Landed at Le Havre at 08.30 and off the boat by 9. For some unknown reason we stopped at an autoroute Aire for nearly an hour, trying to get our Huawei 3G/4G connection working. Without success.

Gave up and carried on, sticking to the autoroutes. They are great roads, but like british motorways, you do miss the local feel. Unlike british motorways, they are NOT cheap. Tolls mounted as we went – by the time we reached the free autobahn of Germany we had spent €57.30 on tolls.

Lunch at a small service station at Villers Bretonneux with the lorries. With free internet to identify a campsite for the night. We had decided that we may as well call briefly into Belgium on the way and Camping de Roisins seemed to fit the bill. Leaving internet access behind we relied on the satnav. It got us there but we did have our doubts at one point when the road turned into a track and a sign told us that vehicles over 3.5T would be fined. Very rural and definitely Somme territory. Lots of large pill-boxes scattered at regular intervals across the huge fields. The small road took us through small rural villages with a mix of old and new buildings. We trundled past the mairie (mayor ) of one small village, admiring his offices.

Finally we saw the tall gates with the Camping de Roisin sign. The gates were taller than our van and left about 10″ either side. The narrow path flanked with tall trees gave an unexpectedly interesting end to our journey. Thankfully the manager came and pointed us to a hard-standing area next to the motorhome service point, with a nice view onto 2 fishing ponds, a small bar with a terrace on the far side, and a church spire. Very nice & peaceful. We set up and headed for reception. A strange site for our first. The toilet facilities were old and small – 2 toilets and a shower in the ladies, 2 urinals, 3 toilets & a shower in the mens, and a communal tap and bucket apparently for washing feet. We paid up at reception and sought the wi-if codes. In line with our ongoing battle with technology the site wifi was playing up. She gave us her personal code but it only worked in front of reception. We tried to use our new wi-fi iBoost but no joy through the big wall. Danny struggled with it for a while, then turned his attention to the satellite TV which was sadly blocked by a large tree. Lots to learn about selecting our park-up spot.

A short walk into the small village and the poignant 1st World war memorial commemorating their dead, civilians and soldiers, a long list for a small village. At the fishing bar, Brasserie de Chouffre we tried our first Belgian beer in Belgium – not realising the strength – our sales ranged from 8-12% proof. Thankfully we had small glasses! Sat outside watching the fishermen till it got too cool then moved in and watched 4 locals finish their pool game. Back to the van for diner where retirement champagne was sipped in celebration of the start of our big adventure.

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