An early start to make our 0900 crossing from Harwich to Hook of Holland, having prevailed upon my generous natured Uncle Bob (yes, Bob really is my uncle) to chauffeur our car with Talula loaded up, we arrived in good time to get her reassembled and packed up before taking our place in the queue to board.
Motor cycles and cycles are loaded first; there is though something more than a little disconcerting about cycling into the gaping maw of a cross channel ferry without a vehicular carapace. We tethered Talula within the designated corral and secured a prime location with a comfy bench seat and front window. I’m not sure if it is because we are used to getting to places so quickly with the ease of access to cheap flights, but man, 7 hours on a ferry, with an unchanging view of North Sea grey, can be tedious. Though I have to say, it is many a year since I have travelled by ferry, and the kids club, caged in basketball court and cinema were entertainments that I could only dream of as a child.
After an unremarkable crossing, which was thankfully smooth, we quickly found our way onto the LF1 which was to take us northward through the changing scenery towards a campsite Mr V had identified at the delightfully named Monster.
Now, details like this are where mine and Mr V’s differing natures can either chafe or dovetail perfectly. He likes to have certainty of plans, especially in a foreign country, whereas I can be a bit laissez-faire. Indeed in respect of this trip and in particular, Mr V’s concerns about where we would sleep, were met with my repeated response of “It’ll be fine”. My confidence did faulter though when we arrived at Monster to find that the campsite was clearly no more. I kept the optimistic outlook going though for the benefit of team moral, and thanks to google maps navigated us to a rather lovely campsite near The Hague.
So in true ‘Nuts in May’ style, Mr V started to pitch the tent and I went to do a little reconnaissance, however before we were fully settled, our ‘neighbours’ returned and our hearts sank as we quickly realised that sleep would be a stranger to us this night as all 8 boisterous teenage boys rode their bikes up. To be fair to the lads though, their spokesman came over and said that they were here for some end of term larks and could not promise a quiet night. Mr V and I looked at one another, each knowing what the other was thinking, and quickly engaged the boys to carry our already erected tent and belongings to the other end of the site.
Now to say that I am a happy camper would be stretching things. It has been about 20 years since I slept under canvass (or whatever material tents are now made of), when on a fateful rainy weekend in Findhorn I completely lost it trying to cook over what was essentially a Bunsen burner, with three small children prancing about. I can though report that I have quite enjoyed my mellow evening today, despite still being somewhat nervous of the Bunsen burner!