Exiting the tunnel at Calais we headed for the fastest route to Spain (having tried several different routes in the past) which is directly toward Paris; around the Peripherique and onward toward the south of France and the Pyrenees. Big mistake!!!!
Now I love France and their roads are fantastic compared to the UK but they do tend to lack giving directions at times..... a bit of 'ok find your own way now'!
As we neared Paris we suddenly hit a diversion as the motorway was closed due to repair work (I know - we should have checked before we left to see if there were any roadworks). Exiting the motorway we followed a van to try and find our way passed the closed bit and back onto the motorway. However when the van appeared to go in a totally wrong direction we thought that perhaps he was delivering somewhere and so took what we thought was the right road - WRONG. Two laps around Chantilly later we were wondering where the hell we were going to end up! The Sat Nav wasn't much help as it kept trying to take up back on roads that were closed and our instincts were somewhat hindered by the fact that it was now about 2.30 am Friday!
Very tired and by now very fed up with driving around Chantilly (although I must admit it's a lovely place) we stopped for a moment to try and gather our thoughts. Mick keyed in another route on the Sat Nav and we decided to give it another try; after all we were the ones that were tired not the Sat Nav.
Following instructions we headed back in the direction we had already come from but were then swung across country to link eventually back up with the Peripherique - eureka!!!!
A13 heading toward Versaille and by 4.30 am we had reached the A10 and were back on route. By now we could have slept standing up so we pulled into the next Aire and crashed out for 2 1/2 hours.... part three coming up.