Thursday, 9 June 2016

Day 1 - We're off

Day 1 

Miles travelled - 493

French word of the day? Ferme (closed).

A day of travelling today. Left Llansantffraid at 7.15 and 290 miles later, we were at the Folkestone Channel Tunnel terminal. 

Plenty of Welsh fans there when we got there. All looking a little dazed to be honest. Still not sure the fact we are going to a major championship has sunk in. A quick toilet stop, a few seconds of quiet reflective thought by the picture of Gordon Kaye and Vicky Michelle which hangs outside the Gents, and half an hour later we arrived in France. 

This is only my third time driving on the continent and the first few miles are always a little nervy, but a straightforward three hour drive and we reached our motel.

I'd warned my father not to expect too much from our first hotel. The £19 a person pricetag and Tripadvisor ratings speaking of 'firm beds' and being 'OK for a quick stop off' should have dropped the expectations further. However, the sad look on his face when we opened the door to two camp beds in a baking hot and tiny little room, will haunt me forever. 

I suggested we go to the nearby village for a beer. He was out of the door before I'd finished asking the question. And he doesn't really drink much.

Orbec is the nearby village/small town and it has a dazzling array of creperies, bars, restaurants, wine bars, 'pubs', and ice cream parlours. All of which appear to be closed ('ferme') by 8.30pm of a Thursday night. 

In fairness there was one place open but to be honest, based on the blokes drinking outside,  I'd have felt more comfortable if I'd opened a bottle of 'Butty Bach' opposite Poundland in Welshpool, approached the drinkers who gather outside the public toilets there, and declared "Let's talk Brexit".

"This is a lovely little town" declared Dad. "Shame it's closed".

We go again tomorrow. 

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