Travel Stories

Czecheap Challenge – Home to Hull to Zebrugge (Day 1)

2014 05 23 13 the polo

We left home at 10.40am and met up with Rob ‘Cafe CremeÂ’ Grimmer and Al ‘DuffÂ’… I donÂ’t know his surname, friends weÂ’d made on Barcelona Bangers in 2013. IÂ’ve kept in touch with Grimmer through Facebook, but IÂ’ve not seen or heard from Al in almost a year. 51 weeks actually. It felt like weÂ’d just woken up from a good sleep and were carrying on with our driving journey.

We reached Scunthorpe and met up with some of the other ralliers, we met some new people and got to see many of the cars before we all set off across the Humber Bridge to Hull, for the overnight ferry.

2014 05 22 02 hull

I was really worried that my best banger buddies, Rob and Si, werenÂ’t going to be able to make it as SiÂ’s sister had been taken seriously ill. We were waiting for news to see if sheÂ’d started making an improvement, Si was really worried about leaving her. As the Rally Events organisers started to get us together to leave, I got the good news phone call to say that theyÂ’d meet us at the ferry terminal.

We got to Hull and RobÂ’s girlfriend Sarah was there with their beautiful little girl, Lauren. I was really pleased to meet Lauren as IÂ’d heard so much about her. She is brilliant! She has the most lovely voice and a really thoughtful tone. SheÂ’s super clever and super cute!

As we neared the ferry we were selected for a security check by a man who said, “Scrapyard’s that way mate!” and laughed at his own joke.

2014 05 23 06 ferry

We boarded the ferry and then waited for about 3 hours while our departure was delayed by the tides, apparently. It was weird to be sat in the port amongst half-drunk people listening to mediocre cabaret. Later there was bingo, and other things that made me want to jump overboard!

2014 05 23 01 ferry

Adam and I went to the ‘World FlavoursÂ’ buffet for our dinner. There were all sorts of random things on offer and I could have made up a very odd meal-concoction – as it was I went for lemon chicken, macaroni cheese, cucumber and cherry tomatoes… oh, and two puddings!

We spent the evening chatting to our friends, and making new ones. Last year Colin came on Barcelona Bangers for his Stag-do, and this year he brought along his wife, Ashleigh!

2014 05 22 05 grolsch tops

There were lots of bikers in Hells Angels style gear, and too many cool skull back-patches on jackets. One of them won £125 on the bingo.

Later that night I was to be found in the Casino betting GordonÂ’s money on Pontoon… someone said you could win chips! After a few games I managed to get the hang of it. I reckon I made him at least €2.50. Then I went to bed.

2014 05 23 04 ferry

Adam took the top bunk, and I was actually quite happy nesting in the bottom bunk. I liked the red and white colour scheme, even though the ‘room’ was much smaller than the photos had made out and was about the size of a cupboard. It also smelt a bit cupboardy.

Strangely, and much to my surprise, the bed was rather comfy and I quite liked the lumpy, waviness (it reminded me of airplane turbulence), but it was noisy, and hot, and there was too much light coming under the door. By the time I got off to sleep it was time for tannoy lady to announce “ItÂ’s 8am European time and breakfast is served.”

2014 05 23 03 ferry al's breakfast

Breakfast was a buffet mountain. Sleepy people shuffled around with piled-high plates. I opted for Alpen. I did try a pastry, but it was stale beyond belief and tasted of meat fridge. Shudder.