The journey down to the house was not entirely uneventful. The roads were busy (for France) and although there were no traffic jams the services were full and finding a parking spot was difficult. We stopped for lunch in the ‘baise de somme’ which is in the middle of a nature reserve. There were very few parking spots and the only place we could park was on the grass. We set up our picnic in a place that didn’t smell quite so strongly of p*ss as everywhere else.
When it came time to leave Ian cautiously reversed the van out and went to exit just as Mr Frenchman in a Mercedes pulled in. There then followed scenes reminiscent of the standoff at the OK Corralle, with Mr Mercedes refusing to reverse or go up on the grass, the cars behind refusing to reverse back and Ian getting more and more grumpy! After a few minutes Mr Mercedes very reluctantly pulled over and we were able to leave. As I attempted to get in the van Mrs Mercedes said something to me to the effect of ‘it is a one way’ and ‘you stupid English’. Well, it wasn’t a one-way and Ian was now at the end of his fuse and decided to get out and have a row with Mr Mercedes, convincing him that although English his knowledge of French swearwords was indeed fluent.
Eventually I managed to drag Ian away, avoiding an International incident, and we continued South.