Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye….

So, this is it (click there if you want to hear a good old wartime song)! All the waiting to sort out legal documents for the house purchase is done. The ferry crossing is booked from Calais in Northern France to Dover on the south Coast of England. The dogs have seen the vet and have more documents than we do. The car is packed with tools, wine, beer and other essentials. The picnic is being made. The passports are in my bag.

Eager to go, the dogs keep trying out their “spot” in the car. They even have doggy seatbelts they have to wear on the trip!

We´re off! The trip to the UK to renovate a little Victorian house in the seaside town of Bexhill on Sea starts tomorrow, very early in the morning. I should point out that this is a Property Development project, our grown up “job” (for now at least). We will be back to Spain and Up Our Mountain as soon as the property is fit to live in and looking nice and hopefully some lovely people will rent it for a year or so and be very happy in it!

We´ll drive across Spain, skirting around Madrid and then up to the border with France at Irun/Bayonne at the edge of the Pyrenees. By tomorrow night we hope we´ll have reached Bordeaux where we´ll stop in a motel for the night. No time for anything glamorous as we´ll be up early the next day and heading up and across to the North coast of France via the edge of Le Mans then skirting east of Paris and finally the Port of Calais.

A long, long drive…

A quick hour and half ferry crossing later and we´ll be spotting the White Cliffs of Dover, then a left turn along the coast to our destination. About 2200 km, or 1300 miles in total in 2 days. Phew.

But don´t worry, we won´t starve. We have cool bags packed with ice blocks and plenty to eat. Tortilla, of course.  And an Empanada.  Baked Scotch Eggs are being made later today and tomorrow night when we stop I´ll make an Ensalada Cateta as that´s an easy one and will make a change from picnic food.

We have some lovely chicken wings (they´re huge as they´re from our own chickens) which I rubbed in crushed garlic and smoked paprika then left them in a little bath of chicken stock and white wine for half an hour before seasoning then roasting them for 45 minutes in a medium oven.

Finger Lickin´Good! (sorry, couldn´t resist saying it).

Bacon butties for tomorrow morning and then on Friday I am sure we´ll stop in France to buy some lovely hot coffee and buttery croissants to start our day.

It will take us a few days to get settled, and fingers crossed that the internet I have sorted out will work. Apologies in advance for possibly not being able to keep up and comment as much as usual, but I´ll do my best as I would miss you all too much.

Eek…scary, hairy carpet!

Hopefully I can keep you updated on our progress with some “Cooking Under Fire” thrown in. The kitchen is being pulled out this week and the new one won´t go in for a week or so, but I do have an oven, a sink and a table. Honestly, what more do I need?!

So, wish me well, we´ll drive carefully and I´ll see you all again soon.  Maybe we can all share an extra-large portion of Fish & Chips on the beach?

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113 thoughts on “Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye….

  1. What an adventure! Safe travels, Tanya, and good luck with the renovations. One thing’s for certain, you’re going to eat well during your journey. And you couldn’t ask for better company. Just look as those 2 pupsters of yours! 🙂

  2. Bon voyage and good luck with the project – it looks as though you’ll be eating well en route! I thought I’d be able to wave as you went past but I see from your map that you’re going the other way!

  3. Safe journey. We know you are well catered but I hope you have packed a good picnic for the dogs too!
    I wish I was closer to Bexhill so I could drop you a quiche or casserole, whatever would be weather appropriate – no-one can tell at the moment. Keep us updated with renovation progress when you can.

  4. What a lovely adventure. Your tortilla reminds me of the “travelling omelettes” my flate mate’s Mother used to make us when I was at university.

    Good luck with the renovations. I look forward to the next installment.

  5. Aaahh.. look at your gorgeous dogs. I love how they already look so supportive of your new adventure. Best of luck… enjoy the drive… please bring the rest of the summer sun with you! x

  6. Oven! I knew I was missing something in my kitchen. Safe travels–and I’m so jealous. I would love to go on the road trip and eat all of the wonderful food. It beats my PBJ sandwiches and chips (sorry, crisps). Look forward to hearing more about your adventures!

    1. Oh, a few sandwiches never go amiss on a road trip! And as for the oven, well it´s the old one that has been left behind so I´m not sure how functional it is 😉

  7. Wow! What a full car – the dogs seem to be sitting on the beer – so well trained!!
    Glad you’re concentrating on the food but have you packed the tools as well 😉 See you soon xxx

  8. Have a nice, enjoyable and safe travel dear Chica. I wish you great and beautiful travel and days, you dogs seem so lovely and well trained too! Blessing and Happiness to you all. Thanks and Love, nia

    1. Merci Roger. I am secretly quite looking forward to the Cooking Under Fire. Big Man has always said I should have worked in Army Catering (probably because I tend to produce massive portions of everything) – the idea of trying to produce exciting food with the minimum of equipment is quite an exciting challenge for me 🙂

  9. Exciting journey!! Best of luck to you and I’ll definitely keep an eye for updates on the house renovation!

  10. All sounds quite glamourous to me from this vantage point. Looking forward to following progress. The pups are probably quite glad to actually be in the car and on the way after all the preparation, packing and anticipation!

  11. Bon voyage ! Looking forward to seeing you this side of the channel! And don’t worry I haven’t eaten all the beetroot, yet 🙂 Safe and happy travels my friends, and a woof woof to the doggies 🙂
    Oh and your food is looking impressive, far better than my attempt at butties for our big journeys across France… oh the shame 😉

    1. Ah, thanks Claire! I am enjoying making the picnic…I remind myself of my mum when she used to do the same for the great annual trip to Italy 🙂 Looking forward to the beetroot – and a beer or two of course. See you soon!

  12. Well, Gracie Fields said to say ‘Cheerio’ and here you go and we are waving as advised 🙂 ! Fun to see you with empanadas AND Scotch eggs: one foot in each country! Seriously, may the renovation fairies be with you!!!

  13. As you are coming to England, I’m waving you hello! Good luck with the trip. I’m imagining you cooking sausages and mackerel on sticks over a bonfire in your seaside back yard 😉

  14. Madrid and Rouen are the worst points for getting lost on that route, if you have one of those ‘fantastic’ satnav devices it will go silent and abandon you to the mess. Just north of the French border in the town of Labouheyre is an amazing bakery (on the main square) for loading up on French breakfast/picnic treats. Travel safe. 🙂

    1. Great tip about the bakery – thanks so much! I know what you mean about Madrid and Rouen – we´ve been caught up in them a couple of times. The satnav seems to have a bit of heart failure so I also have a printed route map and (probably the best of all) good old fashioned maps!

      1. I don’t trust those machines at all, especially now I have proof of their silence at such key points. I have more faith in maps and common sense. It’s a lovely little bakery on the square, a proper artisanal one not a Banette special. Oh and check out the toilets just round the corner. They’d be worth a photo or two, I never took one when we were there. 😉

  15. What a TRIP this will be Tanya, and what an adventure ahead! Keep up your pluck girl…keep the dogs close too, that helps. Wishing you every possible good thing along the way. Will so look forward to hearing the news…Bon voyage! [wave!]

    1. Thank you so much Spree! We are all feeling a bit tired and emotional today – we seem to have done so much to prepare and now we´re just waiting for the off. It will be good to have the dogs with us – the little family all together! Will be keeping you all updated (internet permitting) 😉

      1. I don’t imagine you’d do it differently, roght ? and yet there has to be a bit of the bittersweet in this…leaving for a while the place on the mountain you love and have made home. I hope that there’s soon enough of the sweet in this place your family’s headed Tanya to confirm that it’s all so much worthwhile. I’ll be thinking of you…

  16. That really is a long drive, but looks like you have it all planned out and are well prepared with those important and tasty provisions. The dogs look ready to go! I’ve made that ferry crossing from Calais to Dover many years ago. My father bought a car in Germany and we drove around Europe then ferried it to England and toured there and Scotland. It’s a cool crossing. So I meant to ask when you mentioned these on my post…but what are bacon butties? Have a great trip, be safe, and we’ll look forward to reading all about your adventures in England with the new house. 🙂

    1. I love the ferry crossing – just long enough to fill your lungs with sea air and then you can see the White Cliffs of Dover. Butties?! Aha, an English word (from the North I think) for a sandwich (usually made with thick slices of crusty bread and lots of butter)! Bacon butties are best (in my opinion) with good dollop of HP Sauce – a spicy brown ketchup, yum! Sometimes I forget myself and throw in words I forget not everyone is familiar with 😉

  17. Doggie seat belts – LOVE IT!!!
    SO excited for you for your venture that lays ahead Tanya! I would love to come with just for the food on your drive!
    Travelling mercies to you all and I can’t wait to see photos of everything!
    🙂 Mandy xo

    1. Thank you Mandy! Can you believe it that here in Spain whilst they´re happy to kill bulls, they do have the very sensible law that dogs must be restrained in cars! I would have done it anyway though. It´s just like a little extension lead that clicks into the normal seatbelt thingy at one end and hooks onto their harness at the other end! I think we probably have enough food to share with all the other people who will be travelling over the next few days 😉

  18. En efecto parece que todo está en orden y estais listos para el viaje. Me encantan los road trips y este parece fantástico.
    Muy buena suerte, I will wave you goodbye cuando pases por madrid 🙂
    ¡Buen viaje! (me ha encantado la canción y el menu tiene una pinta buenísima…hmmm)

  19. Good luck on your new venture and have a safe trip! I am looking forward to read your posts on Bexhill on the Sea! Please go to De la Warr Pavilion and Sovereign Light Cafe on my behalf! I really envy you! Buen viaje Chica!

  20. Right there with you! I will eat most of the chips and you can have the fish…love the red carpet by the way…how else would you tell people without words that you are the owner of 2 predominately white dogs? (DUH!)…I hope you have an easy trip and that those buttery croissants live up to their allure and that the coffee revives you both enough to make that ferry crossing and back to old blighty and that when you get there you can settle down and get stuck in to renovations. We renovated last year. We pulled out the entire kitchen. We had a box with nothing in it but a few bare pipes and concrete sheeting on the floor! It was the middle of winter, we had no heating, the dogs huddled around a tiny ancient 1 bar gas heater that we found somewhere and life was tough. Now we have our own customised kitchen and life is good! They say you can’t have an omelette without breaking a few eggs and you can’t have a good Spanish tortilla without breaking eggs, mangling potatoes and shredding herbs! All of that activity is going to exhaust you and frazzle you. When we renovated our home in town and had finished painting I took the dog for a walk at dusk… totally exhausted and wondered why a man crossed the street when he saw me until I saw myself in a shop window…I looked like something that Stephen King had dreamed up! All I can say is “buena suerte!” and we will all be here to give you (unwanted) advice whenever you need us 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for such a lovely comment. We have now arrived and are at the end of Day One and I am already feeling like that Stephen King character 😉 Looking forward to working at a more sensible pace now the initial excitement is over and keeping you all updated!

      1. You will get used to it…think of it as your big adventure for the year! That way you might just be able to fool your brain into enjoying it all rather than seeing it as work…A glass half full of Sangria! Glad you got there alright and that you are settling in. Give your partner a hug as he probably looks and feels more like the Stephen King character than you do lol 😉 (besides…you never know when you are going to have to get him to reach something high up for you or carry something heavy so best keep him sweet 😉 )

  21. You’ll be in bed ready for your early start as I’m writing this but I just wanted to say “good luck”. Up a mountain somewhere in Bexhill doesn’t quite work, and I couldn’t bear to pass by Bordeaux without a good snoop, but I’m sure it’ll turn out well.

  22. viaje seguro! And in case Google Translate has let me down “bon voyage!”. What an awfully big adventure. Have a totally splendid time!

  23. I will be thinking of you and I hope the fires do not affect your travels! Have a safe crossing and see you on the flip side 🙂 Oh, and I love that beer and wine feature high on your list of essentials 🙂

  24. The adventure begins. Be safe…I know you will be eating well on your road trip. You and Big Man make a good team and can get the job done but don’t work too hard.

  25. Wow have fun. I wonder how the dogs will get on as I know you two will be working hard and enjoying (hopefully) the change of scene for a bit. I’m kinda assuming there will be time for play as well as work!?

    Happy travels too :o)

    1. Thank you – we´re here now and the dogs are on their way to winning a gold medal for perfect dog behaviour! We are already working hard, but yes, there will be time for fun too 🙂

  26. What a fun adventure! And the location of the property sounds so lovely. You certainly know how to travel well. Just reading about all the delicious food you packed is making me hungry. 🙂

  27. Wow Tanya, how exciting! I thought I made a big move and look at you! Renovations and all! I do wish you the best, you’ll be in my thoughts for a safe travel. Looking forward to seeing how your adventure develops!

  28. I’m catching up.. so I know you’ve made it to your destination:) I think the snacks you’ve brought for your journey would be unmatched by anyone else I know.. including me. Sadly, we rely on fast food when we travel.. nothing so gourmet as this!!

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