Road trip to Spain
We're two hours from our campsite on the Costa Brava having left home exactly 24 hours ago. It's seems like madness to drive to Spain and yet that's what we're doing for a fortnight to be split between the coast and the mountains.
It's Easter bank holiday weekend and initially we could only get a 10.20pm Eurotunnel crossing on Good Friday. Checking back from time to time we were lucky enough to spot an 8.20pm slot but nothing any earlier ever materialised.
With such a huge distance to cover we decided to push our luck and we arrived four hours early at the Folkestone Eurotunnel terminal hoping they'd let us through but worried we'd be turned away.
We no longer have the credit card the booking was made with - keeping the old card was something we just didn't consider when a new card came - and so we couldn't go through the automated check in. If we were going to get told off for being so early, an actual human was going to do it.
Obviously Tony got in a queue where the kiosk window would be on my side. It was me facing a telling off for being so early on one of the busiest travelling days of the year.
As the last car ahead of us in the queue disappeared through the barrier the kiosk staff swapped. It was 4pm and a new shift had started. A nice young man for whom we were the first customers of the day commented on how early we were. He accepted my explanation that the traffic had looked so bad are allowed extra, extra time and said he could get us on a 5.30pm crossing. Woot!
As it was, a breakdown earlier in the day was pushing all crossings back by 90 minutes and so it was after 7pm that we departed for Calais, but this was still better than expected and meant we still had a chance of making it to Corgirnon near Dijon to sleep for the night. This would leave eight hours driving the next day which is just about acceptable.
We made good time, stopping for fuel once, and arriving on the aire at 1.30am. We'd made the downstairs bed up already as it's where we plan on sleeping throughout the holiday, so we just went straight to bed, leaving the pop top down.
We slept until I heard church bells at just after 7am and, after a quick wee, we were back on the road.
We're now on the A9 from from where I can see the Mediterranean on the south coast of France that will shortly become the east coast of Spain.
The jury is out on whether the drive will work out to be cheaper than the ferry from Portsmouth to Santander - I think there won't be much in it. However, driving to Spain for a fortnight's holiday seemed ambitious, but it's been nicely manageable.