Our first adventure began in Lille, France.
As we departed from Goodwood Circuit, it was just Jeff and I at the helm. Driving on the wrong side, in our Fiat Panda, Timmy, with the steering wheel on the wrong side. We talked to other ralliers the day of launch and met some the night before as well. I know that we will cross paths with them again, but at this point we were on our own.
Our first waypoint is the chunnel, about 2.5 hours northeast from the race track. We take a quick 10 minute break at a beach along the way and make plans to get to a city and have dinner before the chunnel train. Before you know it, we are just pulling into the chunnel entrance right before our departure time. The only thing available for dinner is burger king in the waiting area. A perfect summary of our departure from UK.
They announce that the next train is ours. With our dinner in hand, we walk back to the car and drive onto long train in single file line. Once aboard, block the rear tire, button down the hatches, and off we go. The ride is quick and comfortable, and 30 minutes later out we pop into France.
Our planned destination of Lille, France. We reached it at 9pm or so and we enter the city without a map. It's not that we don't have a map it's just that the resolution of our maps are fine for getting city to city, but once you enter the city you are pretty much on your own. So we blindly start wandered the city in search of a place to stay and eventually stopped in front of some sort of outside venue that has finished. There are some people hanging out outside and look like they potentially know the city. With my french skills I approach the first people I see and ask where I can find a hotel. Neither of the girls knows, but she goes to her car and acquires what looks to be some sort of tour book for Lille. They recognize the name of one of the hotels and say this one is good. They are super helpful and call up the hotel for us and verify that there is room available and how much it costs. we were set, now we just had to drive to the hotel.
During this time Jeff was approached by another guy asking what we were doing, having seen our loaded and stickered car. His english was good and eventually all three of them offered to have us follow them in their car through the pebble laid road to central Lille to the hotel. We waved our thank you and good byes, and off to our first night of sleep.