4th-5th June 2012
03.06.2012 - 05.06.2012
The rain had begun somewhere south of Paris and wouldn’t stop for several days. Our final leg through the North West of France was brief and direct. Redvers drove onto the Britain bound Euro Tunnel carriage and parked up; an hour later we were in Dover.
Our expectations were of a customs point turning Redvers inside out, scrutinising every questionable animal product based purchase that we’d made over the previous eight months. We’d greased our tongues and doe’d our eyes expecting to slip out of any leading questions and generally appear like innocent folk. The reality was We eased off the train and followed the slip road that led us past the petrol station and straight onto the M20 London bound. There was no customs point at Dover Euro Tunnel. We’d later find that the ‘Red Lane’ had been removed in 1993. We were uninsured, un-MOT’d and unregistered and inexplicably driving on Britain’s roads. The next two hours involved one service station, two ports and one extremely helpful chap whose team was in the middle of taking apart a BMW piece by piece. Like lambs who had accidentally stopped to ask a butcher for directions we explained our naivety and our customs official in return explained what we needed to do.
Rather than facing an ordeal of battling insurance companies, closed customs offices (it was jubilee weekend), and DVLA shenanigans, we opted to park Redvers and head for London town. Redvers would have to hold out alone, we could return when offices were open and people were happy to help.
Two trains and a taxi found us outside a good old English Pub on the edges of Richmond Park. Our first welcome home celebration was a gate crashed afternoon walk that we’d been informed some old friends would be taking. It was brilliant to see old mates, great to drink real beer and painful to be reminded of London prices.
We stayed with Post, who had visited us in Malawi, and spent the whole of Tuesday waiting for Wednesday to arrive; though we did fit in a delicious lunch and a cinema trip. The sooner the paperwork was done, the sooner we could get to Devon for our first home coming party.