I love ferries. I always get a real feeling of travel and of going abroad…funny that really!

The Dancing Ferryman

It’s always great to meet someone who is happy in their work. The crew member who strapped our bikes down was brilliant and made short work of securing our pride and joys with a simple but effective ratchet strap and pad affair over the seat.

On the ferry we acquired a table in the bar with a good view of the rain out over the bow, a couple of GB stickers and headlamp beam deflectors, and an up-to-date map of France. An hour or so later we were riding off the ferry onto French tarmac in Calais. We decided to head for the seaside town of Berck-Plage, simply because we liked the name…are you beginning to get a sense of the sensibleness and structure that we want to put to our travels?

We decided on the Neptune hotel on the sea front ([S] mainly because we were riding around in circles and it was the only one we could find!) and got a room overlooking the beach. Not that there was anyone on the beach who wasn’t wearing warm clothing and waterproofs as it was rather cold, very windy and raining!

The hotel staff were very welcoming and the receptionist arranged for us to park the bikes under the reception office window in the secure parking area at the rear of the hotel free of charge. Don’t worry, they made up for that kindness with the amount they charged us for the room!

Alien Sign

We ate in the hotel restaurant and I must admit that I was feeling not at my best. I put it down to tiredness but a few hours later I came down with Sarah’s bug, which had obviously fancied a foreign holiday and had stowed away with me on the bike from Swindon. Not good.

I woke up in the middle of the night and the room was bathed in a pulsating eerie glow. I thought Great! First I get Sarah’s bug then I get abducted by aliens….but no. We were safe. It was just the hotel’s flashing blue neon sign directly alongside the bedroom window.

I fell back into a restless sleep punctuated only by lengthy inspections of the bathroom’s decor, whilst trying not to wake Sarah who was herself still recovering from the bug, and wishing for a swift recovery.