Can we go abroad? Of Corsica we can
It is late July 2021 and I barely posted anything to any social media about our forthcoming holiday because I couldn't let myself believe it would actually happen. I was trying to manage my own expectations and disappointment if the Covid restrictions of either France or the UK prevented our travel.
When we learned travel into France from the UK was to be allowed, about two weeks before our departure, we risked booking the ferry from Nice to Corsica. We'd have preferred the Savona to Corsica route but Italy would have required us to quarantine for five days.
One week before departure the shambles of a UK government, from out of nowhere, created a whole new category in its green, amber, red classification for foreign travel. France became 'amber plus.' This would mean 10 days of self isolation when we returned home. We immediately changed our return ferry crossing, bringing it forward to allow us the necessary time at home. It was annoying but not disastrous for a six-week holiday. I put forward the idea that instead of spending those 10 days confined to home, that we simply leave France for a different country and spend our 10 days there before returning to the UK via the Hook of Holland. It was an additional £100 for that ferry ticket but ten days traveling beats 10 days in the garden.
I still didn't believe we would make it to France right up until the French passport control at Eurotunnel accepted our proofs of Covid vaccinations and statements of honour and waved us through to a Eurotunnel train to France. We were originally booked for an afternoon crossing the day after Tony and I finished work. Fearing France would add the UK to its red list due to Covid cases rising exponentially we brought it forward to the evening before.
Only after we'd passed passport control did we dare bring the Corsica ferry crossing forward by a day. Tony would have brought it forward two days but we'd have barely had time to sleep on our drive down through France.
We pulled into the aire de camping car at Saint Imoges at 11.30pm. It's one of a dozen aires we use regularly. There were three motorhomes there already and one came in just a few seconds after us. There was a hard standing pitch for us.
There was little fuss getting Cleopatra set up to sleep. We turned around the passenger seat only, leaving the driver's seat facing forwards and popped up the roof. It was still uncomfortably warm as we climbed up into the rooftop bed but as we unzipped the fabric side windows a cool breeze blew across us all night. The sky was clear and the moon was bright. We looked out onto dark shadows of trees against the moonlit ground as we fell asleep until 8am.
Usually on our driving days we don't make coffee, preventing our caffeine-deficiency headaches with bottles of cola. However since there was no rush, with a day and a half to get to Nice, I made coffee on our gas stove. Since our aim would be to have electric hook-up for the most part of the holiday we hadn't brought a stovetop kettle but a saucepan served just as well. I made a cafetiere of strong coffee and we enjoyed it in the morning sun, under a clear blue sky.
We were back on the motorway around 9am with Tony driving and me tasked with researching an aire or campsite for the night that would serve to break up the journey, leaving only an hour or so to reach Nice ferry port the next day.