We left Barlie’s in the semi-dark at around 7:30 and picked up some provisions and fuel at Tesco’s.  We headed for the tunnel and the journey was easy as there was little traffic and we sailed over the Dartford crossing, having made sure we had pre-paid the day before so as not to get caught with a stinging fine. We stopped at the Maidstone services on the M20 for a poo run (for the dog!) and coffee. Then I noticed the time and we didn’t have much leeway before our checkin at Eurotunnel. Our train was departing at 11:36 and it was 10:40 – we sped up and went at 70mph for the last stretch down to the tunnel.

Going through was easy, they did a gas check on us, and then it was pretty much straight on after a short wait in a queue. Our train left just before midday. We were in France by 13:35.

Then we headed towards Brussels making the most of the daylight, the traffic was still light and we made good progress at a steady 60mph. We stopped for another poo run just inside the Belgian border and had a coffee and sandwich. We wanted to drive in the dark as little as possible so we quickly set-off. We made Brussels just as the day was fading into night and carried on into Germany. Before long we could see the lights of Cologne in the distance.

The van on the drive – a tight fit

We arrived at Wiehl at 19:30 and made our way to the Nohl’s house from the top of Bremig, we had to ask some of the neighbours to move one of their cars to be able to get our van past. Then getting the van in the drive was an event, one of the wheels got stuck in the mud and grass, but with our rubber mats and some of Juergen’s gravel we got out and backed into the drive, it was a surprisingly good fit.

Juergen had made Goulash and we had a lovely dinner, I fell asleep on the sofa by 10:30pm, I could not stay awake.

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