Friday 21st August. Thank you France, you are amazing. Now back in Blighty.

The last day in France went as planned. As it was a drizzly night the Caranex was packed up wet. There was no time to dry it out as the ferry check-in time being 11am. Departure time from Dieppe, 12.30pm. Breakfast and packing up takes time and it was 9.15am by the time we left the camp site.

In preparation for having to quarantine in the UK for two weeks, we decided that a big shop-up at a French supermarket was in order. E-Leclerc have a massive though dated shopping centre on the periphery of Dieppe. It takes time to find stuff though and we didn’t leave till 11am. Jen was panicking, she hates being late. I’m used to it, and usually the reason for it…:)

Yes, we would much rather be meandering down through South America but that’s not to be for now. Maybe not for some time even. Oh! how life can be changed.

Travelling back from our most southern point in France, just outside La Roche-sur-yon in the Department of Vendee, was an adventure in itself. Using a combination of paper maps and the sat-nav Jen managed to steer us through some of the smallest remotest villages via obscure roads. Also a trip into the city of Chartres was in order to check out the impressive cathedral.

One of the entry portals to Chartres Cathedral.

Poki loves these journeys and purrs away contentedly at around 65-75kph. Camp sites are almost deserted at this time of year. It seems most French people head to the beaches in South Western France, on the motorways, leaving the interior to us. There are not many tourists from other European countries.

An early stop for the night at a camp site leaves us time to relax and read before considering the evening meal. Actually, I’m very fortunate as I don’t even have to consider it. Jen does that and I’m always grateful…:)

Deserted but well appointed campsite at La Riviere, La Bazoche-Gouet.

I have to tell you about the book I’m reading. It’s a fabulously informative world history called ‘The Silk Roads : A New History of the World’ by Peter Frankopan.

I’ve been reading it for weeks now but am still only half way through it. It’s so informative and thought provoking. How much more interesting it would have made our journey through central Asia if we had read it prior! The resting place of Timur in Samarkand. The significance of Karakoram. Both photographed in earlier blogs.

The origins of the Russian, slavic people or Rus, trafficked by Scandinavian Vikings. The impact on Europe of Ghengis Khan and his successors. The birth and impact of religion. The transfer of wealth from South America to Spain and it’s subsequent decline. On and on it goes. Gem after gem of information and knowledge. I think the most interesting aspect of the book is it’s focus on history, in the early part anyway, that does not include the UK which we colonials tend to think of as the birthplace of everything.

During our journey I have become acquainted, via YouTube and son Steven, with Christopher Hitchens a prodigious intellect and British journalist who moved to the US in 1981. Sadly deceased at a relatively early age. Christopher’s combative debate with brother Peter in Hitchens v Hitchens on the Iraq war and other subjects, is riveting.

Lyons- la-Foret. France

So, arriving back in the UK on a gorgeous afternoon allowed us to get the Caranex dried out and put away and Jen to start washing everything that needs washing, which is about everything…:). I might add that we were rather surprised not to have seen any of the countless refugees streaming across the Channel in rubber boats.

How do we feel about having to quarantine? It’s a pain but we will deal with it. Being confined to our own house is not such an imposition.

What’s next?

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