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01-3-2013 12:08 am  #1

Back From Hoek

Returned this evening unmolestated by the UKBF. Passport control asked me how long I had been away and upon being told that it had been a day trip then enquired of the purpose for my trip. Told him I had been shopping. He then asked where I had been and if I had just been to Hoek.

He didn't asked what I had been shopping for and I felt no complusion to tell him.

There were 3 UKBFootpads standing behind the passport booths ready to spring into action but to be honest they seemed more intent on talking to each other and I just walked passed them.

Anyways the reason for this post is to say that with the rise in tobacco price in Holland (or rather the reduction in size of the tubs of tubing tobacco), the lousy exchange rate, the price of the ferry and the fact that there is nowhere now one can buy tobacco in bulk in Hoek now since the tobacconist closed, it's almost not worth going to Hoek. Sure its still a massive saving over UK prices but compared to the cost of doing a Dover-Adinkerke and the greatly cheaper tobacco price in Belgium...

Bit of an end of an era. Was a time, when Open Borders first came in, when there was standing room only on the Harwich-Hoek ferry but now its pretty dead...as far as Brit Xborder shoppers are concerned. 

Dutch politicians and the shananigans of the UKBA have pretty much put paid to Hoek being the dutch Adinkerke. 

"I, uh, let her out the trunk...heard what, err, She snarled at THEM...."


01-3-2013 12:25 am  #2

Re: Back From Hoek

Welcome back mon ami. l always have mixed feelings when l come clean through. One is l'm glad l have but on the other l've wound myself up ready for battle and then have to get the adrenalin levels down!

http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png We don't do nice ... we do right!

It's not that l have something to hide ... it's l have nothing l want to show you.

01-3-2013 5:33 am  #3

Re: Back From Hoek

I like the answer to tthe 'purpose of trip': SHOPPING!!!!! My last answer where I produced my SOT at initial questioning was 'buying tobacco and cigarettes!'

Still didn't get in my bag though. LOL


01-3-2013 8:57 am  #4

Re: Back From Hoek

Welcome back TBD http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

Last time we came through Coquelles the female agent, on passport control, was far more interested in chat with her colleague than talking with us - long may it last http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

Sorry to see that Harwich ferry is dying a death.

Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force may use your posts here as evidence against you in court.

01-3-2013 9:36 am  #5

Re: Back From Hoek

Things have a habit of going full circle.
I remember a pub trip in the early 90's and we had a few hours at Sluis 30-40mins from Zeebrugge. Proper tourist town and at the time cigs were cheaper in Holland but HRT was cheaper in Belgium. The locals were complaining then that going into the euro had devalued their money overnight and everything was dearer. But the place was still full of tourists.
Willie the Clogmaker's shop was packed to the door, even big queues for the toilets. Called in there a couple of years ago whilst on a trip with the bike and it was empty. Willie sat there reading the paper and I asked him where everybody was. "gone" he said, "nobody comes anymore".

Still worthy of a detour though on a nice sunny day if you've got a bit of time.


01-3-2013 2:09 pm  #6

Re: Back From Hoek

eezyrider wrote:

Still worthy of a detour though on a nice sunny day if you've got a bit of time.

The Harwich-Hoek is still worth doing if one smokes GV or AL or Halfzware. The ferry shop is well stocked with those RYOs -no doubt due to their insane refusal to sell one more than 1KG each way!


Going out with the 23:00 from Harwich and returning on the 14:00 from Hoek costs about £100 as a footpassenger. If one were to bring back  just 2 kilos of GV from the ferry shop (buying one each way) then you'd  save about £300...which is still not a bad deal. Plus one can 'raid' the local "Heinje" supermarket next to the ferry terminal in Hoek if you're into Samson, Drum et al. However it isn't worth the petrol to have to drive to Harwich for a lot of us I guess.


Last edited by The Blocked Dwarf (01-3-2013 2:11 pm)

"I, uh, let her out the trunk...heard what, err, She snarled at THEM...."

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