(written by Nancy)
Just a short note to let everyone know that we have made it back into France after three trains and a ferry ride. It has been a long day of public transport but we made it without having to unload the bikes at all, which was a big relief. We did have to carry the bikes up and over a set of stairs from one platform to another at one of the stations – not too much fun but between the two of us we managed to get them across to the right platform. Of course Dave insisted on stopping to get a picture along the way while I hung on to the bike to keep it from falling down the stairs – at least we provided a show for all of the other folks waiting on the platform.
The ferry from Poole to Cherbourg was a big catamaran – actually one of the ones built by Incat, the Tasmanian boat maker. The crossing was a bit rough – probably the roughest we have had since some of the small ones in SE Asia. This crossing is mainly a summertime route and they usually stop the service as of the end of September due to the rough weather that generally starts around this time. Because of the Brittany Ferries strike they extended the service for one week. Funnily enough, today Brittany Ferries announced that the industrial action had been settled and ferries would commence on their usual schedule starting today. Timing is everything, I guess. That’s all right, now we’ll get a chance to practice our French.
We booked a hotel in Cherbourg and Dave’s navigation was pretty spot on, getting us here from the ferry port even though it was dark by the time we got off the ferry. Back to the French hotel rooms – no kettle with tea and coffee fixings anymore, and no more BBC or other English on TV. But, I guess you trade that for croissants and other lovely pastries – who needs to know what is going on in the world when you have a pain au chocolat to eat?
We lost an hour on the way across so it is late now and the effects of the Dramamine are really kicking in now so that is all from me.