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Back to Blighty

Whilst the storm of the afternoon before had been over in a flash, the weather had returned overnight, this time with a signifiant amount of rain. Beside the shower block and beyond, around the surrounding streets, were the thousands of suicidal Fish Flies. The weather during the night must have encouraged them away from the river towards any lights, perishing en mass and creating a fishy and slippery layer on the ground?!

No bother and relatively calm by sunrise, we packed down in the dry and grabbed a quick coffee before departing, waiving to Andy, having an early morning cuppa, as we rode out.

We'd reviewed the route to Calais the evening before and had made a mutual decision to avoid the Toll Roads. To which end, we chose the Curvy roads setting and headed for the north west French coast. It was much cooler and for the first time in over a week, we closed the vents on the Klim gear.

Modest differences between our two routes aside, all I could think of for the first 50 miles was a need for a strong coffee! We found a suitable Tabac in a small town, after which I was in a much better frame of mind to tackle the journey to Calais.

Quite beautiful, in a very different way to the landscapes of the preceding days, we reaffirmed that there are some amazing roads in northern France. As we inched closer to the coast, the wind picked up substantially and we battled the crosswinds for the final 50 miles, refuelling 10k shy of Calais.

We'd made good time, hoping to catch an earlier crossing. PP passed through the Eurotunnel gate first, grabbing a slot on a train scheduled to depart an hour earlier than planned. In the seconds it took me to pull up, the train had filled (online) and I was given departure 40 minutes later than PP. We popped into the information centre and were told PP could travel on the later train, without any need to exchange tickets.

As it turned out everything was delayed, owing to the UK storms of the day before, along with some technical issues. After a two-hour break, coffee and some sandwiches, our two different 'letters' were called simultaneously, ending up on a train that departed pretty much the same time as our original scheduled crossing.

Wanting to stick together to the end, I had decided to accompany PP around the north side of the M25 (rather than the shorter route past Gatwick). Best intentions to one side - PP in his usual motorway trance, I missed the slip to the Dartford Crossing! Rather than turning around, we decided our final challenge would be a short jaunt into East London...the queue for the Woolwich Ferry was crazy, so we took on the London weekend traffic and congestion, popping through the Blackwall Tunnel?!? On to the M11 and back to the M25, homeward bound for the final 30 miles!

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