Saturday 8th August 2020
Due to our early Sunday morning Channel Tunnel booking today was all about getting near to Calais to find a stopover but staying far away enough not to gain any migrant passengers. We decided about an hour away would be safe and not involve a middle of the night get up.
The drive was long and hot. Keeping the dogs cool was priority so we ran the van aircon most the journey, this worked well until we stopped in a lay-by for a pee break and the engine battery was flat. Very impressively, while I was panicking and thinking we’d be stuck in the hotter than hell 5 car length lay-by forever, Neil managed to roll the van and bump start it in the lay-by – Hero!
We tried a few aires on the coast, most had small, narrow roads and were all depressingly full when we arrived. We hadn’t really considered that it was a lovely Saturday afternoon and most French people are staycationing so aires were all full, especially nice beach ones.
We eventually found a space in a very large aire in Le Crotoy. It had no electric but by then we could not be fussy, it was getting near to 4pm and we hadn’t had lunch. We parked up and shut the van down with all fans running and went out to find some shade and have a meal.
Le Crotoy was a surprise find, a lovely seaside little town. Along the marina was a fun fair, while Lucy enjoyed a go on a grabber machine we sneakily used the fairs change machine to change loads of notes into coins, one thing we learnt on this trip was to stock up on coins for parking, electricity, water etc when you can. With lots of payments now contactless card having coins was challenging.
We walked round the town and along the seafront which was hot and then found a tat shop for a quick last few souvenirs, lucy another note book.
A quick look on trip advisor and we found the top Italian restaurant, it was due to open at 6pm so we positioned ourselves at the next door bar to have a drink whilst monitoring the restaurant door. As soon as it opened we were in the cool and had a lovely meal.
Back to the van it was far too hot to sleep with no electric meaning no air conditioning. We rigged the fans up to cool the van as much as possible then it was bed for the tunnel in the morning.
Overnight Location: Le Crotoy, France
Overnight Coordinates: 50.218440°N, 1.63396°E