A Travellerspoint blog

September 2022

Staycation West Country

Some changes to the trip.

Gone are Hurn and Moreton on Marsh. I cancelled them in good time so that the pitches would be available to other members. It's a club suggestion rather than a rule. In the past members have waited until the last minute before cancelling.

The CAMC have changed the booking site and that is due online at any moment. This will take a deposit for bookings. I guess this is to stop the (alleged!) pitch-blockers that book multiple sites for the same dates and depending how they feel cancel and go to one, or none!

What has been added is a three night stay on the Isle of Wight.

There was an offer from Red Funnel of a ferry crossing for a motorhome and three nights at a site for £105. We've not been "abroad" there before as a couple.

I did go on the hovercraft from Southsea many years ago. We had about an hour in Ryde and then we went back! The hovercraft and the funfair at Southsea were the highlights.... And Claire went on a yachting trip years ago too.

I checked out the sites in the package and most pitches available seemed to be only grass. October and UK weather combined don't make me feel confident about grass and Suki!!

So I chose Waverley Park. Hardstanding with leccy hook-up. It's a little more expensive at £128 all-in, but includes the ferry crossings. As we have to drive from Glastonbury, I have booked a ferry for 3pm on the first day, and 1pm on the way back. Both give us time to wander and drive before we have to be there.

It's all confirmed and booked. The site is on the edge of East Cowes and walking distance to Osborne House and the town for the fleshpots and shops.

A plus is that Red Funnel also have a dog lounge when the weather could be iffy. Dogs allowed on the exterior decks anyway. The crossing is about an hour but Reggie can enjoy the sea air as well.

Now to check the GPS locations and enter it all into Ohrex.

So just six days to go before the week away. I need to do my volunteering at Kent Greyhound Rescue in the morning before we set off. I should be home before about 11am and as long as we have the van packed the afternoon before we should be okay.

Posted by InvictaMoto 10:51 Archived in England Comments (0)

Awaycation Summer Sun 2023

If we are still here!

Planning ahead!

Might as well get on with our lives. The economic crises that have hit the UK and Europe, along with the threat from Putin that he will take the nuclear option to get out of the mess in the Ukraine, means that we might not be able to afford any trips in 2023 or even be here to have one!

So where to go?

I like the idea of getting across in the van and then deciding where to go! North or East towards Holland and Germany? Or further north to Denmark? I have always wanted to drive to Norway! Or Sweden?

We have been to Norway on a couple of cruise holidays and I rode across Sweden from Gothenburg to Stockholm back in the late 80's on my way to the FIM Rally in Finland. A summer trip might be a bit too much of mosquito heaven for me!

Or south into Germany and Bavaria..... maybe even Austria?

At a quick glance at booking sites and it looks like Germany is expensive for campsites. They have a national grid of Aires that are either free or low cost. I will investigate more later.

I have been Googling and found a few sites to look at:

Weekend Warriors
Our Tour

The Slaws (mentioned before) that we follow on YouTube did the Romantic Road from Würzburg to Füssen this year and have been posting their trip. Claire and I did a lot of the Road in the 207CC back in 2011 and I did a chunk of it from Füssen to Rothenburg ob der Tauber this May.

Bavaria does look full of nice little towns that didn't suffer during WW2! So maybe I'll look at that as a destination.

As long as we can get fuel and haven't been included in the mutually assured destruction by some maniac, then we can travel and enjoy life!!!!

Posted by InvictaMoto 00:00 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Awaycation Winter Sun 2022 - Another AHC

A job for today was to get the AHC organised for Reggie to come on the trip. I had a look on the Abbeywell site and saw that it is pretty straightforward.

You need to send them a copy of pages 1 and 4 of the previous AHC and as long as nothing has changed, it hasn't, the repeat AHC will be £69.

I did add a note to the the email this all goes in to say that page 4 wasn't filled in correctly by the Abbeville vet as they hadn't a clue how to do it. They were used to the EU Pet passport and the French Government didn't seem to be helping much with guidance on the internet.

Posted by InvictaMoto 15:16 Archived in France Comments (0)

Staycation West Country

Weather has turned autumnal!

Over the last few weeks as we have moved further and further into September the weather has certainly turned. Hardly the time to be sitting in a motorhome on a campsite in England! But it is what it is.

A motorhome is a large investment. For us it's the single largest purchase apart from the house! As such we have been trying to get out and about as much as possible since April when we picked Suki up from the dealers in Rye. We haven't done too bad.

As long as we have an electrical hookup on a site then we can have the Whale heater running on the leccy. Failing that we can try it on the gas! We have two large LPG tanks that we have hardly used at since they were fitted and we later filled in Dover!

What we will need to pack is more winter clothes! Waterproofs and walking boots! Plus all of Reggie's wet weather accessories, his coats and towels to keep him warm and dry. Maybe this time take what we need and not bring stuff back unworn!!!!

It's just over two weeks until we set off. We need to get the van from storage at the weekend and start to see about an outside clean. Getting onto the roof is a major operation and I need to clean the solar panels. I imagine they cleaned them before we bought it, but up there, no one can see without a large ladder.

There is a truck wash up at Lympne where Claire worked for many years at Laser Transport. Maybe we need to go up there next week and see if they can do it.

Posted by InvictaMoto 14:39 Archived in England Comments (0)

Awaycation Winter Sun 2022 - The way home!

Alcocéber to Home!

After a week in the timeshare in Alcocéber we need to think about the drive home. We actually have 9 overnights to cover around 1100 miles. Whilst I'd like to consider the Somport and the A10 way home I am thinking that this might be a risk with the weather across the Pyrenees. Plus, I did it a fortnight ago in reverse on the bike!

What does seem more sensible would be to cross from Spain into France on the Basque coast at Irun. And then follow the non-toll route towards Bordeaux. The area south of the Gironde has been marred in the summer with terrible forest fires leading to major evacuations of the locals as well as holidaymakers. Temperatures had reached into the 40°s and the heat and dry conditions caused flash fires. By early to mid-December this shouldn't be a problem!

So where to go after Alcocéber? I am thinking that we head a little to the south before turning northwards through the centre of Spain to that border crossing with France. Reserving four overnights to get to Calais. One stop en-route to get Reggie's worming pill done. I have an overlay to Google maps that shows vets that can do the job. I will be emailing a few of them along the route once I have a rough plan.

Reggie needs to have the worming done between 120 and 24 hours before we hit the Port of Dover and disembark. I guess I could work it so that we arrive in Sarlat where he has been wormed before, in his old EU pet passport, in good time to get the job done. The return sailing is 1435 CET on a Monday!

So after we leave Playa Romana in Alcocéber I have booked two nights at a camping ground called Km Zero Camper Park in a place called L'Alqueria de la Comtessa to the south of Valencia near Gandia. It gets good reviews and with electricity hook-up it's €34 for the stay. It's dog friendly. I have emailed them to check what is open on site in the off-season. As long as we have electricity we are pretty much okay. We should have plenty of LPG onboard to cook etc. I am hoping that we won't need heating!!!! According to Pitchup there are supermarkets nearby.

So 7 more overnights to plan!

It looks as though Pitchup doesn't have many options for the drive up to Pamplona so it looks as though we will have to rely on the various apps that are available on the Android platform.

Google maps with the no-toll option shows that from Km Zero to Pamplona is around 336 miles. Given the back roads that will take all day and we don't want to be spending all day in the van. Adding Calais port into the equation it comes out at 1046 miles. Gulp.

On CamperContact I can see there are plenty of aires that are free. Some get really good write ups for safety etc. I am looking at Cella in Aragon. It's 156 miles from the KM Zero and we should get there in good time. An alternative is in Teruel. The camper site is opposite the Guardia HQ. Might be safe then.

So more work to do.

Posted by InvictaMoto 05:40 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Awaycation Winter Sun 2022 - The way South!

Slight changes!

I have just returned from Spain after a visit by motorcycle to the Aragon MotoGP. The route we took down was via the N10 non-toll route via Tours/Poitiers and Bordeaux. Crossing the Pyrenees by the Col de la Somport. Most of that looks do-able in a motorhome.

The return route was via the N20/A20/N20 route from Lleida crossing the border into France and heading for Toulouse and then up the non-toll route via Cahors, Limoges and Orleans and then to Chartres/Rouen and Abbeville back to Calais.

That is also very scenic and do-able in a motorhome. The route through the Pyrenees on the N230 in Spain accommodates HGV's and so a Moho would be no problem at all.

I have a friend and old workmate that has moved from northern France to the South in recent years and he has suggested that the N20/A20 route is the way he travels to and from Calais. I need to find where he lives so we can drop in. Nearer the time i might see if he has a vet locally that can issue an EU pet passport for Reggie!

This means that the planned route from earlier just needs a little tweaking. I had hoped to stay at Argèles sur Mer. Claire and I stayed a few nights in a hotel there a while ago when we went in the C3. Many years ago we camped nearby for a week in the summer. But, looking at the Camping-Car app doesn't fill me with any confidence about the aire. From Google maps it looks like an ordinary car-park! The "satellite" version of the map shows loads of cars and not many vans or Mohos.

I have looked for an alternative and the aire at Laroque-des-Albères looks good and is near enough to the town to walk in and get to the shops and maybe a bar for food and definitely a drink. So only one change to the plan.

We have been watching some vlogs of a couple called "The Slaws" on YouTube. They seem to go everywhere and are quite good (and humorous) in the vlogs of their trips. I doubt we'll be in that league...... although Claire has bought a selfie-stick!!

The revised overnights are probably going to be:

- Evreux
- Chaillac
- Caussade
- [[https://www.campingcarpark.com/en_GB/stay/stopover-site-motorhome/occitanie/66-pyrenees-orientales/laroque-des-alberes|Laroque-des-Albères]

You may have noticed that Blanes has disappeared. Part of the refit. More later on the change to the journey down.

So that's the latest situation. I will start to look at the return from Alcocéber soon. It's a little under two months before we set off for Dover and the P&O Ferries crossing to Calais.

I emailed P&O to ask about the pet check-in. At Eurotunnel there is a separate check where his paperwork and chip are checked. At Dover he stays in the car.... We shall see!!

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

Awaycation Winter Sun 2022

More overnight stops investigated!

The Ohrex seems to think that the best route down is to go right down the centre of France. The only problem with that is that there seems to be a rabbit hole of aires and places to stop overnight on the non-toll route. Whichever route we take we still need to have four nights in France.

So I have decided to revive my own plan to go down the A20/N20 route towards Toulouse. The first and fourth overnight are unchanged but I have changed the middle ones to make the distances to travel shorter each day. I am looking to travel around 175 miles or so each day between

The revised overnights are probably going to be:

- Evreux
- Chaillac
- Caussade
- Alenya

The overnight at Camping Blanes is booked for the last night on the road before we arrive at the timeshare. The day will mostly be on the AP-7 (which is now toll free) and looks to be about 200 miles. we can't check in until 4pm so I guess we have all day.

Maybe a quick pass through Malgrat de Mar where we went on our first ever holiday to Spain in the late 60's. It was after my grandad Charlie had died and we went as a family with my "nanny" Lily and Aunt Yvonne, as well as mum and dad and Neill. I had to google to see if the Hotel Planamar is still there.... and it is. Although it looks a bit different to the one we stayed in!

I need to get onto the way back soon. We have 9 overnights between the timeshare and the ferry and so there is scope to go deeper down the Med and then turn for home.

Posted by InvictaMoto 12:51 Archived in France Tagged ohrex_satnav ohrex awaycation_winter_sun_2022 Comments (0)

Staycation West Country

Another night added

What started as a few days away for our wedding anniversary has expanded a little! Until Covid came along to ruin people's lives, and travel became impossible in the face of a global pandemic, we always managed to get away for this event!

Most often to Spain to use a week in the the timeshare and once (or was it twice?) to the US. All these times we either had a dog free life or Reggie went in to the kennels. With covid meaning vulnerable people like me had to work from home meant that Reggie got used to me bing at home all the time. Claire retired a few weeks before the UK locked down! He still follows us around the house two and a half years since lock down started for me on March 12th 2020!

Anyway, I digress.

I have added yet another night to the trip. I was looking for a site to break up the journey back from the Severn coast in Somerset and perhaps that wasn't too far away from a village or town. Having learned a valuable lesson in France not to plan days that were basically too far to drive in the Van, I was looking at much shorter days. So Moreton in the Marsh jumped out at me. The site is quite near the town centre and there is an off road walk from there to the shops and pubs etc. With Reggie not being good on roads, avoiding the A44 that runs right past the front of the site seems like a good idea.

What's next? :)

Posted by InvictaMoto 12:36 Archived in England Tagged staycation caravan_club staycation_west_country camc Comments (0)

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