It was a 06:45 alarm that woke us today, followed by a six and a half hour journey from Inverness to North Shields, with two stops to take on fuel: one for the car in the morning in Pitlochry and another for its passengers in the early afternoon, just outside Grantshouse.
We managed the whole 460+ km without a single puking incident from Lucas. If I tell you that we’ve had days on this trip that he puked in the first 8 km, you have some idea of how windy the roads are on the Scottish islands.
For me, it was a nice drive with plenty of variation: some two-way road, some dual-carriageway and an all too brief stretch of motorway. The two-way stretch yielded the usual frustration of slow drivers who refuse to pull over, but we made good time, were able to stop and eat lunch and still arrive just 35 minutes after check-in for our ferry had commenced.
After a short wait, we drove on board, parked and made our way to our cabin for the night. And what a welcome sight it was.
After dumping our stuff, it was straight down to the play area to reward the little blighters for having been so patient in the car. Neither of them slept at all during the journey, which was very surprising.
Ship time is CEST, not BST, and there was a kids’ event scheduled for 19:00, so we made a restaurant reservation and ate dinner at 18:00, which our stomachs thought was only 17:00, so we weren’t particularly hungry.
Eloïse went to play in the kids’ group at 19:00, followed by Lucas as soon as we had finished eating. Eloïse happily joined in with the treasure hunt, going up and down the length of the boat with the girl running the event and the other kids, apparently not giving a moment’s thought to where her parents might be. That girl’s come a long way in coming out of her shell.
After some colouring and being given some sculpted balloons, it was bed time.
I left Sarah in a darkened cabin to put Lucas to sleep and went downstairs to enjoy the corny cabaret entertainment. You have to admire people who have chosen a career in show business and are currently on the rung of the ladder that is show girl or musical performer on the Newcastle to IJmuiden ferry.
If I sound denigrating, it’s unintentional. I really have the utmost respect for people who don’t consider a gig like that beneath them. Everyone has to start somewhere and one of these people might make it big one day — no, really! — but here they are, giving it their all for a captive ferry boat audience. Respect!
After taking part in the pop quiz, which I did pretty well on, but didn’t win, I gave up on the nightlife and went back to the cabin, where I’m typing this for upload in the morning.
I’m knackered. Time to sleep.