A Travellerspoint blog

April 2022

Emovis Tag UK

Bip & Go!

Filing has always been my downfall. I usually just chuck everything in a box and search through it when I need something.

That didn't work for the "new" Emovis Tag they sent last year. It has been unused as we haven't been able to travel!

So with a trip to France coming up and the hope we can actually get away in the summer I had to order a second one. So another €20 up the swanee.

And then... Today after it arrived, I found the original. I now need to get onto the website and send one back to get the refund.

The new one comes with a UK sticker instead of the old GB one.

Emovis UK Sticker

Emovis UK Sticker

Why bother with a tag? We have been using one in the cars for a number of years, five I think, and it means that there is no messing about at the toll stations with cash or a credit card. Simply drive up and wait for the ping and the barrier goes up.

I have tried using it when on the bike too. Miraculously with the tag in my top pocket of my riding jacket it still works I was going to cobble together something where I could have it on the screen like in the car but in the end it wasn't necessary. In France the toll for motorcycles is less than for a car. I was dubious that it would work it out and even Emovis themselves said to check the account once back in the UK or when I had access to a computer to check that they had charged the right amount. So far so good.

One of the good things about having two tags is having two little clips to affix to the windscreen inner, one for the car and one for the Van!

Posted by InvictaMoto 17:34 Archived in England Tagged emovis_tag Comments (0)

Three go to France 22

Taking an animal to the European Union!

Since we left the European Union the effects of "Brexit" stretch far wider than anyone would have guessed when it was proposed. After all the EU was supposed to be a trading bloc offering free trade amongst its members in line with the old name of the Common Market. Gradually though it changed to become the lawmaker for all the countries, whether they liked it or not. A complete closed shop.

I voted to stay in the EU in the 2016 referendum that was put before the British people. The government of the day was confident that the majority would be in favour or staying. They were sadly wrong. The vote was very close but over 50% of those that voted chose to leave. And here we are a "third country".

Despite the UK enshrining every whim and wish passed by the European Parliament, and the unelected Commission, into UK law here we are being treated like the naughty schoolboy that went over the wall to play football rather then do double maths.

I voted to remain as it was what we knew, however terrible some of the "directives" were rather that the unknown. No one could have imagined how petty the unknown would be, and is.

One of these is the restriction on taking animals from the UK to an EU country. We are no longer able to use the pet passport scheme that worked well, but have to use a system that is virtually similar.

We don't have rabies in the UK. Being an island and requiring animals to be vaccinated against getting it is very important. There are some species of tapeworm we don't have in the UK. And guess what? Animals coming here have to dosed up with a tapeworm killer before they set paw in the UK. It's the same as before but more bureaucracy involved. And of course, greater cost.

Reggie will need a rabies jab at least 21 days before we go to France. So I will book an appointment for him in late May. BUT. We go on June 29th so there will be ample time to get the done when I return from the Czech Republic on June 1st. The next two days are the Bank Holidays for the Queen's Jubilee.

The paperwork has to be completed no more than 10 days before we leave the UK. It last for 3 months. So I need to book an appointment at the vets to get that signed off. Our local vet practice in Hythe handled all this previously but with changes and a shortage of qualified vets (back to Brexit again!) we need to travel up to Ashford to the hospital to get that done. Cost? Currently unknown!

Before we bring him back he needs to have the worming done. This must be done at a vets between 24 and 120 hours before paw it set down on England's green and pleasant land. Our return crossing with Eurotunnel (more on that later!) is 15:50 CET on July 14th (Bastille Day).

So I checked our itinerary to see when would be convenient. We arrive in the Somme region on the afternoon of July 12th. I have booked an appointment with the vets we went to before for them to do the worming and the paperwork. It's a little over 48 hours before we travel home.

We are booked in the Chateau de Drancourt camping for two nights from the 12th and so we can go to the vet first, and then onto the camping near St Valery sur Somme.

Posted by InvictaMoto 13:32 Archived in France Tagged three_goto_france_22 Comments (0)

Ohrex 7" Satnav

I bought this piece of kit a few weeks ago to use primarily in the Van. I have a TomTom Rider 410 that I use on the bike and until the Juke came with its own, in the car.

It's a budget buy. There is always an element of risk when straying from the established, and often, very expensive names. At £69.99 it is the Bluetooth enable version and I connected it to my phone.

The mapping isn't quite up to Google Maps level and intuitiveness went out of the window. If you are used to using anything that uses Google maps to search for addresses or locations, then you might need to work harder to get the Ohrex to locate and plan a route.

It does have an address lookup, but several of the test places that I used weren't found. It has a "helpful" system when it comes to finding a place. Start to type London, and as soon as you have got Lon typed the keyboard cuts out all the letters that you can't use. In the end a couple of the campsites that I need for the "Three go to Devon" trip couldn't be found at all. In the end I located them on Google Maps on my phone and then did a map search on the Ohrex unit to find roughly where I wanted to go. I definitely miss the Google Maps overlays that shows places from McDonalds to hotels and all kinds of other places of interest.

One useful feature is that you can enter the place you want to go go by the GPS coordinates. This is easily found on Google Maps and right clicking on the place and enter the coordinates into the satnav. I had to do that for a few of the places where we will stay or simply visit en-route.

So once you have it programmed. What is is like on the road? The bracket fits easily enough to the windscreen but the unit itself is a little tricky to get to clip into it. It's also hard to get it out when you want to lock up the van and leave it on the driveway!

Ohrex 7 inch Satnav

Ohrex 7 inch Satnav

Ohrex 7 inch Satnav

Ohrex 7 inch Satnav

Once it was in the bracket and switched on. The internal battery seems to last about 2 minutes. It comes with a power lead that plugs into the accessory socket. This seems to be the only way it stays powered on. Of course, every time the engine stops the power to the unit is lost.

Although I have the volume on the highest setting it's not the best to actually hear directions! Luckily it comes with an FM setting where you can set a frequency on the radio and match it on the unit. This actually worked very well. The Peugeot radio though detects when the unit is talking and searches for an active channel! So I have set it up as FM button 6!

What is not so good is the screen dimming. I have found a setting but you can only keep the screen active for a short time. Whilst I prefer voice commands it id often good to be able to check the screen for that turn it has told you about! The screen re-lights if you touch it. It also thinks that you are trying to set a waypoint! I have extended the time it is lit up to see if that makes it any better.

The unit came from Amazon and is supposed to have the latest maps installed. How you check? I have no idea. SO I have emailed the support desk to ask about how I find out, and how to download and install the free lifetime upgrades!

Oh. One annoying thing. Although it says it is for trucks, cars and motorhomes/RV's it is programmable. The only setting I can get to allow me to type in the Van's dimensions is labelled "lorry". I can change the name to "Elddis" and enter the height, length and width, but it still thinks we are in a lorry. A van or motorhome over 3500kgs can be driven on a normal car licence in the UK. It is also able to travel as if it was car, i.e. speed limits. A lorry however, over 3500kgs, is restricted to a lower set of speed limits and also on access to place. So when obeying the 60 limit is annoying when the unit says to slow down as the limit is 50, when it is posted 60!

So far it hasn't taken us under any bridges too low and not wide enough. Although today as we followed the instructions given to us by the campsite it did seem to try and take us down a narrow lane!

So far. A little challenging but it works okay.

As we use it more and more over the summer I am sure it will be okay.. otherwise it will be factory reset and appear on eBay!

Posted by InvictaMoto 14:37 Archived in England Tagged ohrex_satnav Comments (0)

Staycation - Fairlight Wood

The journey here was pretty straightforward, along the A259 from home to about a mile from the site.

We checked in at about 4pm. We're in pitch 28. A bit of shuffling backwards and forwards to get as close to the pitch marker as possible later before we could hook-up to the leccy.

large_IMG-20220427-WA0002.jpg

This threw up the first problem. The cable is just about long enough but not long enough to lay totally flat. The electric point is two pitches away and a group share one. At Painters Forstal it was one between two and it was between them.

After hook-up we had a walk to check out the loos and then decided to have a walk through the bluebell woods to the pub.

278862757_10158346595971744_4748385279186393068_n.jpg

It's a nice scenic walk. The information sheet says 8 minutes. With Reggie enjoying new smells and a few photos it's about 25 for us. A pint and a G&T later we came back to the Van. A bit of Kindle time and then we were back up there for dinner.

The Two Sawyers is thoroughly recommended. Good beer and good food. None of it Slimming World approved.

It was dusk when we walked back. Luckily for all the rabbits Reggie was more interested in sniffing and widdling to see them.

Another spot of Kindle time and then bed.

This time we tried the single bed layout that needs the driving seats swivelled around to give a bit of length. We brought sleeping bags instead of quilts.

A partial success. Only partially as Reggie decided to ignore his own bed and share with Claire. Around 5am he decided he needed a pee and I had to take him out. Before I had got my shoes off, he was in my bag. Three hours sharing for me!

Next time I think we will opt to use the double bed layout and sleeping bags. A sheet to stop his feet making the upholstery dirty.

So here we are. Awake. Coffee made. Ready to go to the facilities for the loos and showers. And to empty the waste tank. What they call black water. We haven't had to do it before. Luckily YouTube to the rescue.

Once that's done it will be back home.

(Originally sent by email so line lengths and paragraphs are all cockeyed - now fixed now that I have access to my laptop)

Posted by InvictaMoto 07:49 Archived in England Comments (0)

Staycation - Three go to Devon Again

An Elddis Van Adventure!

We finally managed to get the Van topped up with LPG for the heating and cooking. Not that I think we'll need to use much of it on this trip we have only four nights in the van and the rest will be in the house we already paid for before we bought the Van!

Both the sites we are staying at in each direction have full electric hook-ups and that will allow us to put the heating on if need be. we have a microwave oven as well as an electric kettle and toaster that were designed to use less power in a caravan situation. The cooker hob has three gas and one electric rings. Once hooked up we have those we can use.

The next thing to get sorted is the Ohrex 7" satnav/GPS. Not the most intuitive piece of kit but so far I have managed to locate the places we are staying overnight and set them as favourites to save too much messing about trying to get it to work. After trying a few apps on my phone that didn't work that well I thought I'd try a £69.99 nav system. Time will tell if it is any good. At the moment it is scoring about 4/10! With familiarity that might go up. It does get a lot of decent reviews on Amazon.

So we are almost ready to go on the first van adventure!

Posted by InvictaMoto 18:00 Archived in England Comments (0)

GT photo test

The entry below was sent by email from Gmail with the picture as an attachment. I also sent a test version using Gmail "plain text mode" and that has never arrived. I have logged a message on the system forum to see if someone can tell me what I have done wrong?

It would be really good to send updates from a phone using email whilst away on a trip.

Test - Gmail standard
<https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0?ui=2&ik=e8197af6f1&attid=0.1&permmsgid=msg-a:r810316729333909004&th=18066f803d69417b&view=att&disp=safe&realattid=f_l2gfrpu60>

Travellerspoint Blog Email - photo not working

Travellerspoint Blog Email - photo not working

Posted by InvictaMoto 17:47 Comments (0)

Links to all my other blogs!

As I said in the first post, here is the link page in this blog to all that went before from 2012 to April 25th 2022.

A lesson on how NOT so start blogging!

Austria
Belgium
Czech Republic/Slovakia
Espana/Spain
France
Germany
Italy/Italia
Liechtenstein
Morocco
Netherlands
Scandinavia
USA
United Kingdom

Then there are a few blogs that cover the trips I have been on using the motorcycles I have owned over the last few decades:

Triumph Rocket Roadster
Suzuki GT750A
Suzuki V-Strom 1000XT

Now that the links are all in the same place I can start to blog in one place and save myself a lot of hassle!

Toodle pip!

Posted by InvictaMoto 17:14 Archived in England Comments (0)

THE FIRST POST

When I started using Travellerspoint way back in 2012 it was a new venture for me.

As a computer professional I ought to have heeded the words of wisdom from my training and undergraduate degree course and planned what I was going to do better than I did.

Upto that point I had simply used whatever was available and started a blog for every trip I did. So when I moved to Travellerpoint I just did the same. As a result I have loads of different blogs that occasionally (too often!) cross over!

So for April 2022 I am going to start afresh. The technology doesn't exist in Travellerpoint to merge blogs. It is actually possible using Google's Blogger.

In Blogger you simply export the blog into an XML file and then merge it into another blog and it even sorts all the entries into the right order. if only this was available here. It would mean a bit of faffing about to export the contents of each blog, then import them into one.

Until that kind of tool is made available it will be simpler just to start afresh and only update one blog, leave the others to fade away, but make a post that has the links of all of them? How does that sound?

I am glad you agree! So here we are. The new all in one blog by InvictaMoto aka Me.

Posted by InvictaMoto 17:07 Comments (0)

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