Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Life at 55 miles per hour....

Firstly i'd like to apologize for the serious lacking of posts that i've made to this blog. Since setting it up several weeks ago i've barely looked at it, Hannah has of course made a stirling effort in keeping it all afloat and ensuring that we have the 500 odd page views that we currently do so! Wahoo!
So here's my excuse, and i think its a fairly good one, i've been spending all the time that i should of been writing this on preparing our chosen Mini 'Timmy' for the trip. I'll give more details about him and what he went through for those that are interested on a separate page at some point, but long story short... 6 weeks ago he was a bare shell and needed a reasonable amount of work. The engine was removed, clutch replaced, as well as a load of other work before reassembling. 2 weeks ago his wee 1275 engine started for the first time in 18 months. On the evening of Thursday just gone, he went for his MOT. Due to mine and my dads meticulous preparation of him, as well as a fair amount of luck, and the good will of our MOT tester (Thanks Dave!) he passed. I managed to put around 200 miles on him before we left yesterday morning, hardly a lengthy 'shakedown' period! But that was all we had....

Waiting nervously for his MOT:

Yesterday, Monday the 15th was the day it all came together, months of planning, a little over a month of spannering and a few days of running in, this was the day that it all was put into practice. Ferry was booked for 11ish, and i was due to pick Hannah up at 9, for once i wasn't even late! Leaving Hannahs at a little after 9, we began the 60 odd mile journey down to Dover. Arrived there in plenty of time and waited to board the boat.

All ready to leave:

Waiting to board:

2 hours later we arrived in Calais. That was it, we were officially on the Continent, where we would remain for the next month or so... I can tell you at that moment in time, things were pretty daunting, but as the miles ticked by, the nerves subsided and my excitement for what was ahead began to grow. Unfortunately, the day was set to be pretty un-exciting. The plan was to cover well over 300 miles and arrive at a place called Villey-Le-Sec, getting us out of norther France, covering a fair amount of miles reducing the amount we'd have to do on the consecutive days. We arrived at the site around 8.30, and quickly set up camp as we were both pretty tired!

On the road:

Camp: (And Hannah looking scary...)

Timmy managed to catch a wasp:

Contemplating life:

Camping Villey Le Sec:

Quick note on the campsite, Camping Villey Le Sec, it was lovely, we pitched on the edge of a lake and the surroundings were great, as were the facilities as i found out as Han insisted that showers were necessary... We were there a little over 12 hours, but we would of gladly stayed for longer!

Anyway, back on the road again, and todays route was a lot more pleasant, and gratefully, a considerable amount shorter! It was around 120 miles to La Bresse, a place where i'd stayed before. Our crusing speed of 55 mph (slower if going up, faster if going down!) meant that the journey took between 2 and 3 hours. We arrived after a few stops on the way, to take photos and eat of course!
Camp has been set up for a few hours now, and the pitch is massive, in fact we could probably fit another Mini and tent on it... Any takers?

On the road again:

Hannah: "An ape in its natural habitat":

Timmy enjoying the sun, and cooling down after some serious hills!

Views from the road:

A very annoying hay truck that was eventually overtaken, we were just slip streaming of course!

Anyway, that's all for today, we're off to enjoy the sun and maybe even have a beer or two, more tomorrow. Peace.

Joe and Han

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