13 Jul

Last week or so

 

However much time there was to prepare, the last couple of weeks was bound to be when everything came together. The old 80/20 rule was proven once again with 80% of the jobs being done in the last 20% of the time! Marjool said that she wanted the last two weeks to be relaxing have completed all the jobs in advance … I just kept quiet ….. some hope!!

Helen and Tony arranged a send off party with a selection of friends from the village. Sarah M produced a Bon Voyage banner on which people wrote encouraging comments and messages. We were touched!

Last minute preparation included the fitting of luxury sheepskin covers. Let us know if you want any!

Final job before we left was to fit rubber wheel arch extensions as the wider tyres stood proud of the wheel arches.

9 July 2011
Fuel price in UK £1.37 / litre

Finally we leave home today for the start of our trip! The leaving date has slipped by about six days due to a few unforeseen issues with the business and car preparation. Still, there is no real rush as our only deadline is arriving at the Russian border for 15th August.

It is always hard leaving our village, family and friends, but it makes us appreciate them all the more when we get back! The fact that we have our sons looking after the house while we are away, and that our first stop will be at Marjool’s parents house in Holland, makes it a bit easier to go. It is amazing though how many things you have to think about and prepare for when you are leaving home for such a long time.

We set off for Dover at around 7.45 am and arrived at the ferry terminal 5 minutes before the last check in time (phew).

We set off the ‘spot locator’ to update our actual position (you can follow that on the ‘Route’ page. The ferry journey is only about 1.5 hrs and so by the time you eat a sandwich and drink a coffee it is time to rejoin the car.

We arrived at Marjool’s parents in the south west of Holland at around 7.30pm after driving through France and Belgium. We covered about 620km and used about 85 litres of fuel (one full tank to the time the warning light comes on). Hmmm glad it will be cheaper in Russia!

 

 

10 July 2011

Fuel Price in Holland Euro 1.31

 

Although I had just left home in England, going back to the country where I was born, and the house where I grew up, felt like ‘coming home’!  We had a lovely relaxing day in the garden with the family catching up with all the news. Graham continued to work on the car, doing all the odd jobs that he had left to the last minute. Including : fitting an extra fuse in the link between leisure batteries, fitting straps for storing fishing rods on the roof, changing headlights so that separate bulbs can be replaced, fitting hooks to stop maps falling out … the list goes on and on and on …. maybe he will never stop fiddling!

Not having done any exercise for quite a while now, Graham and I decided to go for a cycle ride in the evening.  Cycling is just so much fun here, so much safer with cyclepaths everywhere and it is flat!  No wonder so many Dutch people cylce.

11 July 2011

 

Another beautiful warm day, had our breakfast and got the bicycles ready for a ride to a small fishing village along the lake. This is a very agricultural area with dykes separating the different polders.  The dykes were built to stop the seawater (here we are 1 metre below sea level) and roads are built on top of the dykes so that you get a brilliant view of the surrounding countryside when you cycle or drive along.

This part of Holland had been badly devastated by the 1953 floods, which destroyed several villages and killed around 1835 people, many of which children.  That night, there were heavy storms over the North Sea, it was spring tide and the sea broke through the sea defence dykes and dunes in many places.  It took most people by complete surprise.
Farmers have been encouraged to grow a narrow strip of wild flowers on the edge of their crops to encourage wildlife and insects. Here are some of the flowers we saw on the way.

The edges of the corn fields had a mix of flowers and corn.

And beautiful sunflowers.

It is so nice looking at all the different Dutch style houses with their pretty window displays and their lovely tended front gardens.

12th and 13th July

Just spent some time shopping, updating website (not very quick yet …), seeing friends and getting ready to leave.

Thought we ought to have a windmill picture before we leave Holland. Here it is!

 


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