I’d realised a few days before that I’d bought a return ticket to Poole rather than Portsmouth.  This was on the Brittany Ferries Normandie Vitesse.  I’d booked this because I wasn’t keen on rolling off into British road traffic in the dark.  As it turned out, the ferry was still badged as “Condor Ferries” – presumably bought up by Brittany Ferries comparatively recently – but it was very quick, with a crossing time of 2h15.

Exiting Poole was a bit of a shock to the system after the gentle traffic we’d had in Normandy – but once out onto the motorway and A34 we rolled along OK, except for a major hold up due to an accident on the A34.  The A34 becomes more monstrous in its traffic levels each time we use it.  Astonishing to think that a few years ago we were still using it as a time trial course, albeit early on Sunday mornings.