En route to Eurotunnel we took the opportunity to call in on Jill and Alan, friends we had not seen for over a year. Jill had needed a serious operation at the height of the Covid crisis and, although her timing was unfortunate, the treatment went well and we found her looking extremely healthy and serenely convalescing under the strict supervision of Alan. The four of us put the world to rights over a few glasses of wine. It was so good to see them.

Jill and Alan in their beautiful garden

Normally we pre-booked our journey on Eurotunnel but, on this occasion, we had been unable to access their website. So we just turned up and discovered that there were delays because only one train per hour was running, due to staff shortages. We had followed on-line guidance and downloaded a Health Declaration form which no-one asked to see. We also had our masks at the ready as we were travelling on public transport – but they were not required either.

There were long queues of vehicles waiting for trains. This was no hardship for us with the truck – we could make a cuppa, use our loo and even take a nap, if necessary. People packed into cars were not so fortunate. Bizarrely, all the toilets on site were closed and taped off. People (men) could be seen urinating (or, perhaps, worse) in the surrounding shrubs. It was almost three hours before we were finally able to board a train – the toilets on the train were closed too. It was so unlike Eurotunnel to do anything to cause inconvenience to passengers and the decision to close the toilets was unforgivable and would have caused huge embarrassment to many of the elderly / female travellers.

We left Calais without any further checks and drove on unimpeded through Belgium and on to Holland.