On Monday 26th Feb we hop on a flight to the Philippines and arrive in New Zealand 11 days later!
Follow the latest here:
Saturday, 23 December 2017
Last bed disassembly, last breakfast in the van, last cuppa, Last shower next to man on the bog, last campsite goodbye, last time we'll be happy for a while..
In place of a more mushy and emotional final word, some numbers:
10,000 miles (give or take)
Still starts a dream..
Barton with family, a nice distraction from the post-travel blues.
Wrapping Christmas gifts from far and wide.
The next potential mode of transport..?!
Misty morning on the farm.
Queue at port, final stickers find their homes (we picked up Netherlands, Belgium & France last!)
22 countries, excluding the UK, with no breakdowns?! It must be a miracle.
Happy faces all round.
White cliffs approach.
Off the ferry (keep left KEEP LEFT).
Eggs on toast with the last of our fancy foreign cheese at Canterbury Caravan Club.
Walk into town.
What we could see of the cathedral that was free and wasn't covered in scaffolding.
Wonky book shop.
Ale with a smile.
The first ale takes effect.
Spoons for dinner, we must be home.
Friday, 22 December 2017
Morning outside Lille, with festive decorations, sheep, dogs, cockerel, chickens, turkey, geese, fish & a budgie.
To the city.
Turns out Lille is big.
Paroisse Saint Maurice.
Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Treille.
'Up yours!' said the biblical figure.
Back to Belgium!
Bitterballen - Dutch but close enough!
Menin Gate WWI memorial to those with graves unknown.
Out of Ypres, and you guessed it, more churchy stuff! On the hunt for the birthplace of 'In Flanders Fields' we end up at Sint-Michielskerk, Boezinge.
The Yorkshire Trench.
Sunset in Flanders.
The most special abbey of them all, Westvleteren - Sixtus Abbey.
The monks here have won awards for brewing 'the best beer in the world'. The only way to obtain it is by special reservation over an almost-ever busy phone line to have your car registration details taken and obtain one of their oh-so elusive crate pick-up dates from a very limited set of opening times.
Of course we had fat chance of managing that right before christmas..
So imagine my utter glee when the Abbey's cafe shop had a six pack in stock! These cannot be reserved and its pure luck if you get any :) My children will be hidden carefully for a number of years..
After finding our farm for the night, we walked 3km back along the rural roads and moonlit fields to In De Vrede, the Abbey's cafe, the only place legally allowed to serve Trappist Westvleteren 12 - the best beer in the world..
Our last night in Europe, Bottoms up.
Croque-Monsieur & Abbey cheese.
A Westvleteren Blonde & rather hoppy cake. Look what the first drink did to Alex - I guess it's percentage was of holy proportions..