Friday, 23 May 2014

Oostende

Had a very pleasant stopover in Veurne...stayed by the marina and would recommend it as a stay if you are heading from Calais to Belgium. There is a hose on the pontoon by the boats for water. Went down to Hondschoot which was ok but we decided to move on as there was not a lot going on there. Headed to Niewpoort aire but it was hideous so moved on to Oostende....we pulled up at a site just near the bus station which was a great location - close to the centre and the beach. A very tasty Belgian beer was had on the seafront and we headed back to Dickie for a rest after our excessive 'wandering the streets aimlessly' afternoon activity. I had noticed an 'overnight forbidden' sign which Mr Fluffy assured me did not mean motor homes so we settled in and Graham mistakenly wiped the campervan settings from the sat nav whilst updating the LPG alerts.

I happily played a few games of candy crush saga which I am not addicted to at all, then made dinner. As we munched into our first bite of pre cooked chicken there was a tapping on the door.
"Do you know you are not allowed to stay overnight here? The council has changed the rules and you will be fined 55 euros if you stay overnight. We have a place you can stay if you like." What luck!  Mark and Gwen turned out to be a friendly pair of locals who were annoyed with the council's decision to ban overnight stops for camping cars and in an act of 'solidarity' have decided to start their own aire at a house they are renovating. We moved to the address given as did 3 Norwegian vans and had a good old chat with Gwen and Mark who gave us a shot of calvados and told us their family history, recommending a cousin's cider farm in Normandy, a local warm bakerij and an LPG station. The Norwegians suggested we take warm underwears (sic) for our trip to Norway as it is snowing there. Great! May have to drop in to Damart on our way. Tell me why we are not heading to Portugal again!!?

Despite a forecast suggesting there will be massive thunderstorms all day the Sun has been shining merrily and the temperature is now 20 degrees at 11pm... but now a little rain is falling but we don't mind as we have had free calvados and a couple of Trappist beers down our necks. Day two of the European stint and we are meeting really interesting and generous people already. Don't tell Nigel Farrage.

Ooh there's some rather massive lightning happening at the moment. The thunder is interspersing with the mosquito that Graham would not let me kill earlier. The sky is lighting up with sheet lightning reminiscent of a storm coming in over Bondi Beach in Sydney when Mr Fluffy and I were eating at the Bondi Icebergs and he was being chatted up by the Drag bingo caller Penny Tration.

There is now hail coming in to the van as Graham refuses to close the top vent as he has his wifi aerial on the roof trying to rectify the sat nav disaster via an online download which is now reading 19 hours and 23 minutes remaining. He is currently reading A Parrot In The Pepper Tree and has been describing a scene where said parrot has been throwing scissors and other metal objects at the cat. I can say I am tempted to throw scissors and other metal objects at Mr Fluffy if he does not close the vent within seconds.

Having now closed the vent he is reopening it to adjust the aerial letting in just a few more pieces of hail. Am reaching for the scissors as I write.

Tension averted as vent again closed and hail subsides to a mere pelting of rain. Lightning has set off an alarm in a car over the road. This will be added to mosquito buzzing and thunder to ensure a peaceful night's sleep.

No comments:

Post a Comment