Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Etape 2009: Friday and Saturday

The trip started in Keston in South East London at my sister-in-laws house. I met up with Clive and Ed at Elizabeth's as she had kindly offered to put us up. It is close to the Eurotunnel and we were borrowing her car so it was helpful to get everything ready on the Friday before getting up early on the Saturday morning. We were given a lovely chilly and went to bed to try and get some sleep. It wasn't easy.

We were up at 4am on Saturday to get our 6am train. Everything was going well until we were about 30 minutes from the Tunnel. Without any warning, the rear car window shattered. Nothing hit it and the bikes were secure so were had no idea what happened.

We got in contact with Autoglass and their Ashford branch had a Volvo rear window but didn't open until 8am - over a two hour wait. It was very tense with us discussing our options.

Autoglass opened up at 8am and the man their was right on the ball. He had it changed in 30 minutes and we were away at 9:25 after it was set (but £550 poorer - fingers crossed on the insurance).

We had obviously missed the train we had booked but they put us on one at 11:50 for no extra cost. We had some coffee and breakfast and then we were off - again.
Once in France I put my foot down and we made good progress. We were all holding our breath, waiting for the window to go again. If it went a second time that would be the end of the trip and with every bump we went over, we all jumped. We were not relaxed.

The journey was very easy with no traffic and we made it down to Avignon at midnight with a bad window intact. We had a small issue with the rooms as one of us was sharing and the reps had neglected to tell the other person already in the room who was now asleep. Thankfully, he was very good humoured when they woke him up.

We were in bed before 1am and I think we all got a reasonable nights sleep.

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