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Sarah’s Travel Diary

Monday, 04 Jul 2005

Location: Normandy, France

MapOkay, heres a little bit of my travels in retrospect, but lets just pretend that this was actually written 9 months ago.
Janie and I decided to go on a Top Deck tour of France and Spain, I think we only finalised everything about a week before we left, aren't we organised. So I'd quite my crappy job and headed off to London where the tour was to pick us up, Thank god for Heather who lt us crash at hers the night before we left. So here we go.
Day One - from London to Normandy.
We had to leave London at the crack of dawn, 7am, which was way to early, especially when they give you really poor directions which send you off in the wrong direction which means that Janie and I were the last people to turn up, but at leat we got there on time. So once we had finally arrived we didn't have to wait to long to leave, we all piled onto the bus which was really nice and comfy, we were soon told by our tour guide Stacey that this was not the bus we would be spending all our time on, merely a shuttle to take us to Dover. Needless to say we were all quite dissapointed as it was a very nice bus. The drive to Dover took about two hours and was quite dull, everyone was tryiung not to sleep as we had all been forced to get up far to early. It was our first taste of the many long and boring bus trips to come. We were all rather excited when we got to Dover, I don't know why as it turns out that Ferry trips from Dover to Calais aren't that much more exciting than bus trips. But at least we were on our way to France, which was quite exciting for thoughs of us who had never been to France before and we got to see the White Cliffs of Dover fade into the distance, which didn't take long as the weather was miserable and it was all hazy and misty. We didn't really get to see the French shore approaching either as it was still rainy and misty on the other side of the chanel. As I'm sure you can imagine none of us who were going on a camping holiday were very pleased to see the weather. Once off the Ferry we had to wait around for ages because we couldn't find our bus, which when it was found was not as nice as the one that had taken us from London. We met our bus driver Rusty (so aussie) and our cook Nads and headed off to our first campsite in Benouville, Normandy. The campsite we stopped at was fairly basic and gave us our first experience with european toilets and showers, which if any of us had known about before we might all have upgraded our tour to get hotels. European toilets aren't nice, we thought so at this first stopand as we learnt later these werequite good toilets, they had seats, we just had to take our own toilet paper and they took forever to flush. The showers were either cold or hot, there was no in betweentemperature, and you had to pusha button to get the water unningand the water would last on average about 40 seconds before you had to push the button again. Enough about toilets, for now at least, I'm sure there will be more written on the subject later. Once we had reached the campsite we had to pitch our tents and get told about the kind of stuff we would be expected to every day as we reached and left our campsites. Then we went and walked along the river that was just next to our campsite up to the Pegasus Bridge, an important site in the D-Day landings, or so we were told, that was pretty much all that was there, but as we hadn't arrived until quite late we wouldn't have had much of a chance to see more anyway. We wandered around for awhile and then headed back to the campsite for dinner, which was alright especially considering that Nads had to cook for 34 people which can't be easy on camping equipment. Then, because there wasn't much else to do we all headed up to the campsites bar and all tried to order drinks in French, which ended up with several people getting some quite interesting drinks, we sat around and chatted for a fairway into the night. Then we went to bed and our first night in our tents.