Day 1 - Lancaster to Northern France

Sam arrives at my house at 10:15. He's an hour late, because he had a flat tyre to fix back in York. I attack the Land Rover and fix up the cigarette lighter socket so we can have some music on the road. As we're strapping stuff onto the top Sam talks to some passing locals and tells them we're off to the Sahara for a month. Now the whole street knows that my house is going to be empty for four weeks. Great!

We hit the M6. We stop at Keele service station to check out the load.

Elsa at Keele

Elsa at Keele

Everything still on the top, but the plastic tarpaulin had been flapping around and was pretty torn up. We make some adjustments and stretch all the bungy cords tight. Sam's new winch control cover plate is worth photographing.

Elsa's business end

Arrive at the little village outside Bristol where Abbie lives. We drag her away from her bloke and its off to Dover.

By the time we get to Dover its dark. We get straight onto the ferry and head over to France. We watch the lights of England fade away.

Off the boat at Calais. We head off on the road out of Calais, hoping to find a campsite. Something resembling a campsite sign is spotted, and we turn off. It seems to be a holiday camp, but its closed, so we just pull up at the roadside. Sam sleeps under the Land Rover, I sleep alongside, and Abbie is inside. Its a quiet road, and we sleep well. The first day is over, and we're in France.

- Northern France to Southern France