You Drive One Way, I’ll Drive the Other
We landed at Dunkerque and disembarked without
any great difficulty. We then headed off into France just a few
hours behind schedule. Jonathan drove the first leg and got us on
our way through the north of France. On reaching Belgium we swapped
over and I had my first continental stint of hard van driving action.
About three miles (that's about five kilometers in European money)
down the road and I've got us heading in exactly the wrong direction
down the motorway having misjudged how far we'd already come. I
saw a sign for a road we needed and followed it, only to realise
later, that we’d already been down that road. I’d turned us around
and we were headed back to Dunkerque. Whoops.
It’s an easy mistake to make. Any clown could have
done it. I think you have to admit that's an impressive start. I
would like to point out that I’m a juggler. I'm not a clown. I'm
not in the guild, although I'm thinking if I carry on like that,
they just might let me in.
The rest of the journey to Xantern, where we’re
heading to in Germany, is a combination of chatting, telling jokes,
and getting lost and having to sort ourselves out again. We eventually
get there pretty late at night after 'wrong slotting' as Jonathan
calls it a number of times. Horsch, who is to be our translator
for the next few days says he'll come out and meet us on the outskirts
of town to save us having to drive round the houses to find where
we're going. I'm amazed that he managed to work out which vehicle
we were in given that it was dark, but it turns out we'd forgotten
to put the lenses on the van lights when we'd come into France so
had probably been blinding all the other drivers on the roads. Ahem...
So finally, really quite late (which is to become
the normal state of events), we pull the van into Clive and Kirstens
driveway, who are to be our hosts for the next couple of days. As
much fun as we’ve been having eating rhubarb and custard and talking
nonsense all day, whilst avoiding getting lost in country after
country, it is a real pleasure to be getting out of the van. Inside
we relax while our hosts provide us with excellent food, drink and
conversation, although unfortunately I'm not completely sure we
hold up our end of it as we’re both exhausted. Still, it's really
nice to have arrived and when we finally retire for the evening,
it's with the contentment of knowing that we've taken the first
steps, and our adventure is officially underway.