Whilst Mary was loading her dogs into my boot and transferring her bags, I toddled into the services to use the facilities. On my way in I passed a young lady holding up a cardboard sign saying 'hitchhiking for charity'. Curious I asked her where she was headed (all the whilst thinking 'you're bonkers!' and 'how dangerous' and 'I wouldn't let my daughter do that!'). "As far as I can get" came her reply. Turns out she's doing a 'jailbreak' from Royal Holloway University, having 36 hours to get as far away as possible to raise money for East African Playgrounds (!!). "Well I'm going to France via the tunnel if you'd like a lift but I warn you, the car is very 'doggy', there's three of them in the boot and not much room on the back seat". Needless to say she was very grateful (she's clearly nuts) and immediately called her friend to tell him she'd secured a lift! HER FRIEND??!! There seriously was barely room for one person yet alone two - "don't worry, we'll put all the bags on our laps and around us - it will be fine, thank you SO much" and that's exactly what they did and I'm not exaggerating when I say they only had room for one foot each on the floor and I could only just see their faces poking out from the bags! Charlotte and Shammy were so nice and as we queued to get on the train, we chatted about their trip so far (up and down the motorway and getting nowhere fast) and chatted about where we all came from blah blah blah. In an incredible twist of fate, it turned out that her best friend was the son of a good friend of mine (and I'd been hearing about Charlotte or CGR as she's known, for years!!). Incredulous, she picked up the phone and dialed my friend "You'll never guess whose just picked me up" and she passed the phone to me. My friend was lost for words (it doesn't happen often) - failing to grasp how I was chatting to her on CGR's phone at 7 in the morning? It is a small world indeed and even more amazing, I have never picked up a hitchhiker in my life and probably never will again!
Since CGR & Shammy were such good company and were knackered after only three hours sleep on the seats at the service station, I asked if they'd like a lift to Strasbourg and they said "yes please", shuffled in their seats and gave their other foot a chance to rest on the floor. When we stopped for a coffee break they made a live broadcast to Insanity Radio, informing them of their 'jail break', where they were and who they were with (a couple of middle aged ladies who smell of dogs & talked dogs and zzzzzzz). And so they slept.
We dropped CGR & Shammy at a petrol station on the main road in Kehl Germany with one of their phones out of charge and the other with only 20% charge. They hoped to get to Munich. The place was deserted, the weather grey, grim and bitterly cold. Eeeeek. I hated leaving them but then I remembered that I was nearly at my destination - the Chateau, a nice meal and a drink were awaiting me. What if they didn't get a lift? What if they froze to death on the forecourt? What if the bar at the Chateau closed?? I sped off.
We managed to grab the last table at the restaurant next to the Chateau and had a very pleasant meal and a little drinkie. Now I'm not saying they are a bit odd here in Strasbourg, but this dude wore a crown throughout his entire meal. Not odd at all.
Must get a move on with this blog post, I'm starting to get bored and if I'm bored, you must be really bored. So let's crack on.
We went sightseeing in Petite France.
We did actually manage to blag our way onto an earlier train and I was delighted to finally walk through my front door at 22.30.
What's that you say? What happened to CGR and Shammy? They were never seen or heard of again.
I got home to a lovely Facebook message from CGR to say that they made it to Munich! They were now home after spending 24 hours on various coaches. It really was quite a trip!