Arrival sur le Continent

In the last post I made here – Ferry Cross the Channel – me, my wife and Piper the dawg, were on board the Transmanche ferry in Newhaven harbour eagerly waiting to travel to France. But on being escorted to the ‘penitentiary’ in the hold we’d decided we couldn’t bear to have our 9 month old puppy locked in a dank metal cage on the car deck! So after the ship’s operative assigned to show us the cages area walked away, leaving us to do the  incarceration of Piper, instead we took him with us in his pet carrier to the cafeteria and stowed him away safely. Or so we thought.

Discovery

As the ferry gently chugged away from dear old Blighty we were in the onboard restaurant eating a fairly average English breakfast. It appeared someone had checked… and Piper wasn’t in the expected cage.

Out of nowhere, a Frenchman in a dayglo safety jacket and Gallic stubble, appeared next to our table shrugging and speaking into a walkie-talkie! On a mission to hunt us down, he’d spotted Piper’s carrier on the floor next to our table.  Hunt us down even though we thought we’d cunningly hidden Piper, in the ‘shadow’ of a waist-high partition. But we hadn’t been smart enough!

The usual suspects

The deck-hand summoned a French, English speaking receptionist and waited with his suspects so we could not escape from under his eagle eye. The receptionist explained what we already knew – we had not put our puppy in the metal cage in the hold as requested. She would accompany us now and wait while we put him in the cage. I explained we were worried at leaving him because we didn’t have a lock. Apparently we shouldn’t worry as we’d be the 1st passenger on the deck after docking. So no one would steal our dog away.

Arrival in Dieppe

On arrival in port, all the foot passengers grouped at the Dieppe reception and eventually we took the lift down to the car deck, only after getting the French receptionist’s “green light”. Thankfully, our Piper was still waiting for us in his non-padlocked cage.

We pulled our mutt still inside his pet carrier, out of the cage and I swung it on to my back, like a rucksack. We lugged ourselves and carry-on suitcases off the ship and onto the Continent!

I can’t remember going through any Customs. We didn’t have to, as we’d done it in the UK (that’ll all change after Brexit!). Things were nicely lax. We walked out of the ferry port area and followed a meandering road out of the Port de Dieppe through town to Gare de Dieppe (the Dieppe railway station) courtesy of the constantly shifting map on my phone. I don’t know how we made it to the station!

Next time I’ll tell you about our train travels to our various destinations…