Day #15 - Oops!
As planned we drove into the Gated Crossing area and headed off to check Storm in through the pet control section. We knew we had all of her vaccinations up to date and had done them withing the allocated time frame demanded by customs (at least 24 hours but less than 48 hours before departure)...no problems there! As we stood at the control counter waiting to be served we overheard the gentleman in front of us protesting to the lady behind the counter. It seems that the vet he saw in Europe failed to tell him that the dog he had just fostered out of a pound would need particular treatment before heading home. After many red faces he was sent away with his wife and dog to find the vet (who we had already used ourselves in Calais) and get his dog ready to leave. This now meant that they couldn't leave France until the next day at the very earliest.
Matt and I smiled reassuringly at each other as we knew we were prepared for this one. So we stepped up to the counter and waited for the lady to stamp Storms documents...no problems there. Then she says to us 'you booked your ticket for last Saturday'. WHAT!!! Matt and I just looked at each other in shock. We had both checked, double checked, triple checked the dates on the computer when we booked our return ticket and paid for it in full. We had even been carrying the documentation around with us as we did our tour-de-Euro...and had checked it several times during that time. Neither of us had spotted our Huge Mistake. Our cheeks flushed red as we panicked. We were now going to have to pay for our tickets again...ouch. The lady was kind enough to wave the fee for Storm (as was in her power to do so) but the cost of the Eurostar had to be paid again. To make things worse, it was more expensive as it is the end of the school holidays and it's a last-minute ticket. It set us back a whopping extra €200 ($400 Australian) for our mistake. A very big OUCH! At least, unlike the family before us though, we were still able to travel home today....just a bit more out of pocket than planned. We will be more careful next time.