Saturday 9th October and the booze cruise begins when the alarm goes off at 4.30am. Down the road I meet the coach that will take us through the Eurotunnel into France (1) After the 30 minute crossing we stop off at the discount wine warehouse Pidou (2) Since Tesco closed down their range has improved. I never used to like this place but now there are bargains on good wine from Chile, South Africa, California and Australia. After I average the prices out I'm paying just £1.69 for a bottle of red compared to what here? £3.99 at least! Then we're off to cross the border into Belgium. Adinkerke is about an hour away (3) and Tobacco Road as it's known is just littered with shops large and small mostly selling cigarettes and tobacco at prices we've long since forgotten here. Typical example: Superkings are around £6.05 in Britain. There you pay just £3.80! The individual allowance is 3,200 plus 3kg of tobacco. Golden Virginia here can cost £12.00 for a 50 gram pouch. There - £3.85 WHAT!! Having got what we want by luchtime the coach glides us down the motorway. (4) Obviously a heavy smoker!
(5,6,7) Eoro Citie - a massive shopping mall with a huge Carrefore supermarket at one end and a cinema at the other. We've three hours to kill here so I go to the bowling alley and have three games. Average 155 - not bad considering how little I bowl these days. The kids on the lane next to me keep watching my score. This old geezers not bad! Finally we board the coach ready for the return trip but first we need to check that no immigrants have secreted themselves inside the engine or under the bus. The drivers scare one guy away who's about to slip underneath. In the nearby bushes (8) they wait to seize their moment. Not this time buddy. We get through customs no trouble this time and I'm back home by nine having saved in the region of £900!