Journey home

11 Dec

We got up really early on Monday morning; about 3:30am. We had intended to leave at 5, but as we were both awake, we decided to go. The van was all ready with empty trailer attached so we went for it.

We wondered whether having no load would make much of a difference on the return journey. Coming down, the gross weight was 5.88 tonnes – we knew this because all freight vehicle are weighed before embarkation. We found that we could go a bit faster, up to 110 kph (20 kph over the limit) and that we didn’t slow down so much for hills but the diesel consumption was about the same at 27 mpg, which isn’t bad for a 2.8 litre commercial van with six speed gearbox.

The autoroutes were pretty clear as far as Paris. Progress was helped by using the Telépeage system which is a small transponder that you show through the windscreen and the tolls are charged to your account. On some toll plazas you can drive through at up to 30 kph!

We only stopped for diesel twice and filled up with coffee and rolls! We made it round the west side of Paris using local rounds and the Peripherique. I noticed even Parisians were giving us a wide berth as we were quite long (over 24ft and we needed some room to turn at the tight intersections). Only one person tried to edge in between the van and the trailer!!

We got to Calais ferry terminal at 5pm so we had travelled 650 miles in 13 hours. We got on the 6pm ferry and were back in Maidstone at 7:15pm.

Mission accomplished! We had moved 3.6 tonnes of household goods and Smart car to the south of France.

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