2014-01-03 – Transport Meerbusch – Cambridge
At 22.00 we set off again towards Calais. Sun was calm and allowed me to put her travel boots on without having to keep hold of her or tie her up anywhere. She loaded within a few minutes, even though this had to be done in almost complete darkness. The only light guiding her way was the one inside the trailer. Again, this didn’t seem to pose a problem and we were able to set off as planned according to our schedule.
The ferry we wanted to take was going to depart at 4am from Calais to Dover.This is where the problems arose and caused us all some stressful and sleepless hours:
The captain of the ferry told us we weren’t allowed to board with a horse due to the rough sea conditions. After having waited for 2 ferries, and still being rejected on board for what looked like the whole day, we were sent to the Channel Tunnel train service. There we were told we had to open an account with a horse transporting company specifically for the transport (which would be responsible for the tunnel part of the transport only) and their office was only opening at 9am. Therefore we were sent away again. After this shock we tried our luck with another ferry company. They seemed to be more optimistic about this issue and allowed us to come back a bit later.
I thought I’d had it after being asked whether I could strap my horse down in the back… BUT after having to wait what felt like an eternity we were finally allowed to board the third ferry and the journey across the channel could commence! (NO straps to tie her down in the back, obviously!)
Sun had been so incredibly calm and easy going the whole time and was fine on the trailer without stomping or kicking in the trailer. She had to stay on there because we couldn’t unload her on a car park or in front of the ferry. She enjoyed her meals, snacks and water on the trailer instead.
The customs did not even want to check Sun on arrival in the UK and so we were on the „finish line“ – the last bit of the journey into her new home. We had a brief rest at a service station in order to give Sun some more water and then were headed towards Cambridge.
Upon arrival at her new home she unloaded without causing trouble, let people say hello and let us take her travel boots off. I walked her around for a bit to stretch her legs but she seemed fine. We then walked her over to her new field and let her settle in.
Sun is doing fine and enjoying the English weather (which is incredibly mild at this time of the year). After all this trouble and the stress involved it almost seemed too easy and I am only starting to grasp what this now means for us. It is a very nice feeling to be able to see your horse as often as you would like to without having to get on a plane!
All this is due to the help of two very nice and good friends – Tom and Heike Vester. I can’t thank you enough for making it possible! 🙂