Wednesday 24 August 2022
Nido's parked up on an aire in the village of Long, next to the river Somme. The aire's managed by the adjacent municipal campsite. The pitches are grass, separated by small hedges and there's plenty of room to have the awning out for shade and the table and chairs. 'Camping behaviour' isn't always allowed on aires, but it's clearly tolerated here and everyone is doing it. It's been a very hot day - up to 33ºC - and only now at 8.30pm is it starting to cool down. Having come from North Wales, we're not acclimatised so are suffering a bit - cold water showers in the van and plenty of water are the order of the day!
Salty's Irish EU Pet Passport was accepted at the Eurotunnel Pet Reception; it's good to know one member of the family still has full Freedom of Movement! Our crossing was delayed by an hour or so due to a broken down train in the tunnel, so we didn't get to last night's park-up until about 10pm. It was just a large but quiet parking area alongside a canal in Ardres, about 30 minutes drive from Calais. Having eaten our meal in the Eurotunnel car park, it was a quick dog-walk then sleep. We were all shattered after two days of travelling.
This morning, after a welcome shower and a cup of tea, we walked along the lakes behind our park up before heading off to a nearby Le Clerc supermarket for some groceries, diesel and to use the onsite motorhome service point - free fresh water and loo emptying. Breakfast was some watermelon as we drove to this aire. The drive down was through small hamlets, rolling countryside and arable fields. Everywhere is dry and dusty as expected, but the forests seem to be holding up.
We enjoyed our afternoon meal sat under the awning before taking an evening walk along the river Somme. The water was very clear with lots healthy weeds and Salty enjoyed several cooling swims! It was still very hot on the walk so we're now enjoying the cooling air as we sit outside this evening. Today was really just refuelling (food and diesel) and trying to get back into the routine of van life in France. The next few days are forecast hot and sunny so the challenge is to find somewhere relatively shady to stay if we can. The plan is to keep heading West, tracking south of Rouen, towards Brittany. This area doesn't have too many aires (lots of campsites though) so we may head a little further north to increase our options and benefit from coastal breeze.