Day D – The End!

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Well, it is with deep regret I have to say that I have not been able to update this blog as regularly as I would have liked. With Internet access only available at the motels in the evening, and with driving, eating and sleeping taking up all that time, it’s just not been possible. I promise to catch up with a full account ASAP.

The good news is that Sara has done us proud and we reached Monte Carlo on Sunday afternoon as planned. Here’s Andrew with Sara parked (very briefly!) outside the Casino.

Sara with Andrew outside Monte Carlo Casino

The Twitter and Facebook pages have been updated far more regularly – several times a day in many cases – as Andrew was able to do techie things from his iPhone. Please see our Contact Us page for links to these feeds.

We’re now (Monday evening) in Troyes and just about to grab a bite to eat before a welcome early night in preparation for the “Channel Dash” for Calais and the 13:30 ferry back to Blighty tomorrow.

Day A: Pre-Rally

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This post comes courtesy of the wi-fi connection on the DFDS cross-Channel ferry. I’ve adjusted my watch to French time and we approach Dunkirk with an ETA of 17:00, should the wind stand fair

We rose at an unearthly hour and having checked out of the Travelodge proceeded to the adjacent Little Chef for breakfast – only to find it not only closed but closed down. I suppose the tumbleweed blowing past the front door should have given the game away. Photos will appear in the gallery once we’re on dry land.

We then headed down the M1 for the first available services, then on to the M25 and M20 with the usual delays. I skirt over our little flirtation with the Channel Tunnel.

We left Dover on a grey day but are now sailing into bright sunshine. Our first stop will be the military museum in Dunkirk, simply because the name of the town has such significance to members of my generation but more especially to the previous one.

The super-duper air conditioning has been a worth-while investment already, and hopefully will prove vital in the next few days.


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Well, here we are on Wednesday 10th July and as soon as I post this I’ll be down the A1 to pick up Andrew.

Inevitably, there was a last minute hitch. On Monday in the blistering heat I discovered that the air conditioning was not up to par. “No problem”, said I, “It probably just needs re-gassing”. So off I toddle to HiQ just round the corner and leave it with John. The bad news comes in the subsequent ‘phone call – the condenser is leaking so the refrigerant has disappeared.

It didn’t take much persuasion from Andrew for me to realise that the south of France without aircon would be A Bad Thing. A few frantic calls this morning and I had sourced a new condenser locally and arranged to have it fitted. A quick sprint down the A19 to pick it up from the supplier and an even quicker sprint back to deliver it to Branch Manager Stephen. A few hours later and everything is hunky dory, and off we jolly well go.

I’ve been going to HiQ since 2005 and cannot recommend them highly enough. Thanks, lads!


Get set … (8)

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The last week has been spent in finalising our preparations. All accommodation has been booked, paperwork sorted out (new passport for Stuart and EHIC cards, car documents etc), hard copy road atlases (to supplement the satnav), headlamp beam deflectors, warning triangle, hi-vis jackets and French breathalysers (a legal requirement since this time last year).

Much of the stuff has been sourced from eBay, and here is a particularly fine purchase – a pilot’s coverall, complete with the obligatory map holders on the lower thighs. Yes, we’ve decided to travel in style. The pictures were taken within minutes of picking up the item so the multitude of badges have not yet been applied. Look out for them in future piccies.

It’s less than a week to go now, and we’re still hoping to pick up late sponsors. If anyone reading this would like to be a sponsor please use the contact page.