As it was getting dark, we then headed for a canal-side aire in the village of St Venant in France.
When our neighbour turned on his engine at 8:30pm it was clear that he was giving his van heating a boost. With the prospect of a repeat performance at an early hour of the morning disturbing our sleep we promptly moved across to another area of the parking, right next to the canal.
We had a very peaceful night’s sleep, and Sophie’s only complaint, once she was awake was that the ducks were making too much noise. To be fair, a couple of them were particularly noisy and persistent, but certainly not a problem.
We then headed into Béthune, and took a stroll into its very attractive main square, with its interesting old architecture. Next stop was an aire in the small town of Grenay, where we had our lunch break, then topped up with free water.
Following a drive through the towns of Loos and Lens, we found ourselves at the enormous and impressive Canadian Memorial on the top of Vimy Ridge, with glorious sunshine highlighting it against the dark rain clouds that had just passed. The memorial could be seen from some way away, and as you’d expect, the views from the monument were extensive.
Our intention is to hunker down here for the night. Now, none of my research shows that anyone’s stayed here before, and with security chaps doing the occasional rounds I’m half expecting that knock on the door. It’s almost 6pm now so I reckon if we’re going to be moved on it will likely be sooner that later. Just to speed up that event, Sophie has put the pasta on to boil, so we might see Mr Security any time now. As it happens, I do have a “plan B”, which is an aire about 20 minutes away, so all will be well either way.