Cheltenham to Mons (Belgium)
I always knew that the worst bit of the trip to Europe would be getting out of England. It took about 3.5 hours in the end, from Cheltenham to Folkestone. As expected sections of the M25 were like riding through a supermarket car park. Traffic was stationary in places, it was Friday afternoon after all. But then there was the added problem of Operation Stack, this involves turning large sections of the M20 into a lorry park and closing it to other traffic!
From J8 to J11 diversions were in place to take all traffic through normally quiet, peaceful villages along the A20. I spent many miles weaving past various traffic jams and lines of waiting cars. Finally arriving at Folkestone about ½ hour before scheduled departure. Due to a backlog there was about an ½ hour delay in boarding, but once aboard the shuttle we were soon in Calais.
After a brief stop for a drink and fuel top up I was on my way to Mons. Traffic was relatively quiet and the journey pretty rapid. It took about 2 hours from Calais to arrive in Mons, where Dave had wheeled his barbecue out of the garage for only the second time.