Final day – Sangatte, France

Our final day started with a couple of hours of driving to the north coast of France. We passed the entrance for the Channel Tunnel and went onto the small village of Sangatte. The name of this village is obviously notorious now for the Red Cross migrant camp which was set up here in 1999 and became known as “The Jungle” before it was later closed in 2002. There are apparently still 2000+ migrants in the area, many camping in woodland near Dunkirk. As I write this post now, some days later, 27 of these have perished in the Channel trying to cross. I understand that the French police make routine patrols and tear down the camps twice a week confiscating sleeping bags and tents. Humanitarian charities try to replenish these and provide food and shelter. It is a desperate situation.

We saw no evidence of any migrants, though I must admit to being conscious of the risk. There is a large supermarket by the tunnel entrance which was famous in Motorhome circles as a great place to stock up when entering or leaving France where you could also park overnight. However, the overnight stopping has been prevented now due to desperate migrants breaking into motorhomes to try to cross into the UK. Even those shopping for an hour or two report locks being tampered with etc.

We had arrived just in time for a long afternoon and evening of the climax of the Autumn Series Rugby Internationals, therefore had no plans to leave our vehicle for the foreseeable. We had a moment of panic when our mobile Hotspot did not pick up a signal and even looked at an early crossing if needed. Luckily 5 minutes later we were online and able to stream the full series. We could see ferries over the houses along the front just in front of the parking area. However it was a foggy grey day and I am afraid we did not take any photos.

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