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England

Staycation Naardge 3

Day 3

Homeward bound day. As seems the norm, last night we had a visit from the Army's Apache helicopters overflying and landing in the field behind the campsite. Again it was dark and they arrived about 9.30pm. They hung around about fifteen.minutes before one took off and looped around about 200 feet off the ground and then it headed east towards the coast.

We had another fitful night with Reggie joining us around 1am. Then unlike at home he wants to pee about 5.30am, then have his breakfast a out 7.30am. All "asked for" by a variety of vocal winging tones.

So it was way after 9am.before we surfaced. Ablutions complete and the campsite gear all our away do we could leave ASAP. We decided to empty the grey water before leaving. As that was draining at the Moho service point I emptied the toilet cassette. Not a fun job but as we only use the onboard loo for "number ones" it's not not as bad as it could be! 😉 Number two = poo.

We left at 1122am. I had planned to stop at Southwold so the route back was a loop via Potter Heigham. We took the new road bridge rather than the old humpy bridge over the river. This is famous on the Norfolk Broads as one of the trickiest to go under in a boat. Many modern floating bungalows can't fit at all!

Bypassing Great Yarmouth and on towards Lowestoft. I expected us to be on the A12 but we weren't. We lost the best part of 40 minutes getting through. A truck had broken down and for some reason Suffolk Police didn't bother to attend. So there was a tailback of several miles trying to squeeze past. Pretty poor show. Maybe they think roads policing is simply speed cameras and the advertised "unmarked police motorcycle" that they operate?

By then the outside temperature was 29 °C and way too hot for Reggie to be out and so I cancelled the waypoint at the Southwold Pier car park. We eventually found the A12 and headed towards London and the M25.

Crossing the Orwell

Crossing the Orwell

We did have a few drive-through trips into "services" before stopping at one a junction before the turnoff for Colchester United's football stadium. It boasted a Shell garage and Waitrose food hall. Reggie eventually went for a pee in the car park of the neighbouring Holiday Inn hotel. The carpark of which was totally empty and much of the grassed areas unkempt and litter strewn ...

We made good progress after that. I set the cruise control to 60, which in reality is about 55mph. At that speed the inside lane is your lane! The only hassle was at the Dartford Crossing . Southbound is over the beautiful Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. Four lanes wide and a 50mph limit. The red crosses ❌ were showing a ove lanes 3 and 4. Why? One the downside towards Kent, there had been a shunt. A car mist have hit something hard judging by how far the front has moved back towards the windscreen. Once past we all toed it!

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People don't give this bridge credit for how high above the river it is.

Even the 50mph limit through Operation Brock didn't hamper us too much. Set the cruise control at 50mph and occasionally switch it off as you catch people that are doing less! Of course, all the while being overtaken by people that don't bother slowing down. I just hope they receive a fine in the post!!!

And so that was it for our two nights away in Norfolk. Next it's two nights midweek at Littlehampton. It's not as far to travel. It's just off the A259, the road that runs by our house.

Posted by InvictaMoto 18:02 Archived in England Comments (0)

Staycation Naardge!

Day 2

sunny 25 °C

Not much to report. A very hot day and we did next to nothing all day. Read from our Kindles!

The Camping & Motorhome Club site here is very nice. The plots are large enough to accommodate a caravan/Motorhome plus and awning and a car if you have one. The gravel is a little coarse though. Putting up the windbreak wasn't easy as the hard base extends about a foot under the edge of the grass.

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Once it started to cool down a bit we decided to take a short walk from Ludham Bridge along the River Ant towards St Benet's Abbey. We went there the last time we came to Norfolk and called in after a drive from Dereham to Wroxham and Potter Heigham. This time it was a walk of about 1.3 miles from the campsite.

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Claire took some photos as well. I make an appearance too.

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And then the same walking back again. It was still in the low 20 °C region but today there was more cloud.

Hopefully tonight we will get more sleep. What with a helicopter landing in the field behind the campsite after dark and then Reggie joining us on the bed, it wasn't restful last night.

Posted by InvictaMoto 19:03 Archived in England Comments (0)

Staycation Naardge!

Day 1

We were up early and Suki was packed ready for a 10am departure. We didn't make it and eventually left at 10.06am. The route was pretty straightforward until we left the A14 near Ipswich.

Taking the M20 and M25. There was only around two and a half miles of tailbacks to get to the Dartford Tunnel. Crawling traffic and people chopping and changing lanes.

The Ohrex decided to take us up the A12 route rather than the expected M11 and A11. Why I have no idea. I have it set for the vans dimensions and weight. I also had to set it for fast routing.

We had a stop for a coffee at Thurrock. Claire went in and I walked Reggie in the shade. The gauge on the dash was showing 28 °C. We crawled along at an indicated 56mph. When the Ohrex detected a speed cam it displays the speed you are actually doing. If only it did this all the time. It showed 50mph.

A further stop for lunch on the A140 near Ipswich for lunch used up another 35 minutes. A couple of toasted sandwiches. A bit dry but okay.

Once at the site we set up all the kit, awning, new groundsheet and one of the windbreaks. After that we deserved a cup of tea and a Gregg's doughnut...

Followed by a walk. Later we will eat in with food we have brought with us and then maybe it will be Kindle time

The CAMC site is quite large and the pitches are spacious.

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Tomorrow? Have no idea.

Selfie taken on Cybershot

Selfie taken on Cybershot

And a quick picture of the "facilities"...

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Posted by InvictaMoto 20:20 Archived in England Comments (0)

Suki mirror covers

The Milenco mirror covers arrived yesterday. I saw them on eBay and at a discounted price.

They fitted in a few minutes and look pretty good. Hopefully they will protect the mirror underneath if there are any hits with hedges and trees. Hindsight means I should have bought them before the massive damage in late June.

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Posted by InvictaMoto 15:12 Archived in England Comments (0)

Staycation August x2

Littlehampton. {Snigger}

Now that Suki has had her incontinence problem fixed, we have planned a few trips away in the UK.

Firstly to Norfolk again. The first time in the van. I have booked us into the CAMC site at Ludham near Wroxham. The site looks good. It's only for two nights. The site looks close to the river and so I am hoping there are some nice walks.

It will mean using the Dartford Crossing and that is always a pain in the butt. Even with ANPR toll collection the crossing through two double bore tunnels going northbound can have miles of tailbacks. The plan is to set off around 10am from here and keep plugging away. Earliest entry to the site is 1pm.

Then a second two-nighter later in the month but closer to home in Sussex at the CAMC site in Littlehampton. I haven't researched too much about this area yet. I went there about 50 years ago on a school trip!!! The only one that wasn't educational!

More to follow once we have been!

Posted by InvictaMoto 07:21 Archived in England Comments (0)

Suki Warranty Work

We noticed in France that Suki a problem with a drip from underneath. It seemed to be coming from the "grey water" tank.

At first we noticed a "stale" water smell and that was treated with soda bicarbonate and vinegar. That cured the smell but not the leak. When we put her in storage a few weeks ago I drained the grey water. Except there was only a dribble coming out.

I booked her into JC and she went in today. They found the hose had split and have replaced it and also made sure it is tied up to make it easier to drain.

Whilst it was there, they fixed a couple of the internal lights as well.

By 4.30pm she was back in storage for a couple of weeks before we go away again.

Posted by InvictaMoto 20:38 Archived in England Comments (0)

Staycation West Country 2022

Four nights in the not-so-wild West

We always try to get away for our wedding anniversary and this year is no exception.

Instead of jetting off to Spain or the US we will stay in the UK and will take Reggie with us in Suki.

We like to have a minimum of two nights when we stay over at a site. One night is okay when in transit, but simply no good when you might want to see something of the area.

So first two nights we are at the CAMC site at Cheddar. It's close to the town and a little longer walk to the world famous Gorge. It's also the birthplace of the famous cheese!

The second two-nighter is not that far away at Old Oaks Camping & Glamping near Glastonbury. Not for the music festival but for the folklore!

I am looking at maybe a single overnight to break up the drive home. As yet I haven't found a site that is on the way without a massive detour.

We are limited with places to go as we have the dog and he is anti public transport. He hates buses and trains! So we need a site that is close to points of interest and maybe a pub, within walking distance at least.

Maybe just stick with the 4 nights away?

Posted by InvictaMoto 21:18 Archived in England Comments (0)

Suki gone to storage!

And what we learned on holiday!

After three weeks on the drive and away in france I have taken Suki back to the local Caravan and Motorhome Club site to go into storage. I forgot to make a note of the end mileage and for that matter the start of the trip mileage, and so have no real idea how many miles we did in the loop around France. It is somewhere in the region of 1450.

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She does look a bit lonely parked up in Bay 10. But there are a few caravans to keep her company.

I'll have to check the football dates and see what trips away we can fit in for a few days away. I will be lookign at midweek rather than weekends. I doubt it will be any cheaper but it may mean fewer people around.

So what did we learn from the last adventure?

1) Fewer miles between campsites. Plan shorter days on the road as Suki is much slower than a bike or even a car and takes longer to go anywhere. Plus need to stop for regular breaks for Reggie.
2) Check when other countries/regions have school holidays! I don't dislike kids but after 30 plus years working in education and teaching even other peoples' kids you can give back at the end of the day are still there in the evenings!
3) Campsites. Choose smaller campsites that are dog friendly have electric hookups and aren't like holiday camps with entertainment 24/7 and noise until 1am!
4) Campsites with a choice of hard standing. Getting off the pitch at Sandaya Grande Cote was difficult with the soft sand.
5) Don't take as many clothes! Giving them a tour of Europe without them coming out of the locker is pointless and adds weight!

What else? It will come to me sooner rather than later.

Posted by InvictaMoto 16:38 Archived in England Comments (0)

Awaycation France - Two Days to go

With two days to go before we are due to be on the Shuttle at 0950 there are a lot of things to do.

We are at the mercy of DPD to deliver the new mirror assembly tomorrow early enough to get our neighbour John to fit it in the garage in Dymchurch. I could probably do it myself but I want it done properly. Fingers crossed it arrives early!

Besides that we have been packing stuff into it, clothes etc. We have canned food that we are allowed to take to France. Of course we have Reggie's dog food to load up too.

The chances are if the mirror arrives that Suki might be away for part of the day. Worst case scenario is that we have to have it fitted on Wednesday morning and delay the Shuttle. Until tomorrow I won't know what to do. If it arrives in time we are in clover. Otherwise I'll have to call Eurotunnel to get the crossing put back.

Posted by InvictaMoto 11:50 Archived in England Comments (0)

Awaycation France - Five Days to go

What could possibly go wrong?

On the positive side we collected Suki from the storage compound at Daleacres in West Hythe. We went to Sainsbury's and filled the fuel tank with a 5p off voucher.

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Then the negative cropped up. On the way back I was on the left of the road on the A20. A log sticking out of the hedge broke the left mirror. Not just the indicator, but the whole thing.

I have taped it up. Checking local dealers and there is no chance of fixing it before we go to France. So we have two weeks of taped up mirror. To say I am angry is putting it mildly. Maybe try a dealers in France?

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Another positive or rather two is that both Abbeywell Vets in Folkestone and the Vets in Abbeville have emailed to say that the AHC is ready to collect on Monday and that our appointment for Reggie to be wormed prior to our return to UK is confirmed.

Things can only get better?

Oh. And Reggie's "Lost by Hermes" bed arrived. Plastic sack it came in was torn but otherwise it seems okay..This one is for the MoHo.

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I have ordered a new mirror unit from eBay and it should arrive Tuesday. Getting it fitted might be a problem though.

Posted by InvictaMoto 14:24 Archived in England Comments (0)

Ohrex Satnav Upgrade

What a palaver!!

I took a backup of the folders on the Satnav last night and saved them to the laptop. There is only one main folder called NAVI.

Secondly, this morning, I downloaded the massive 6.6gb RAR file from the link Ohrex send in an email with instructions in a PDF.

Simples. After 6 hours I finally managed to get one RAR downloaded, but only after multiple failures when it was part way through.

Then I connected the Satnav by the supplied USB cable. It's USB-mini and luckily they supply a cable. Everything I have now is either micro, USB-A or USB-C.

Only then once the RAR file is downloaded and unzipped (7-zip) can you format the satnav drive! Yes format.

Once formatted then use Windows to copy the NAVI folder from the unzipped folder to the satnav. Copying at 2 to 3 mb/sec means that over 7gb unzipped will take a while.

Much easier with the TomTom where you connect and let if check for upgrades....

It took way over an hour to copy from the laptop to the unit.

Once it had finished I disconnected it, switched it off and on and saw that of course all my favourites and history had been deleted. It would after formatting the drive!

I sent Ohrex a message on Messenger from their FB page. I got a quick reply to copy the SAVE folder from inside the NAVI folder from the backup to the unit.

I turned it off and on. The history appeared but favourites was still blank. I did the old switch it off and on routine and the favourites link lit up. Phew. It means I don't need to enter the co-ords again!!

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Now I have done it once it is simple enough. It's just the download that could be the breaker!

Posted by InvictaMoto 16:05 Archived in England Tagged ohrex_satnav ohrex Comments (0)

Staycation West Country 2022

We always like to go away for our wedding anniversary and for many years our destination was to Spain. We have also used the timeshare that I bought off a friend of a friend in 1993. We have had some good trips away and have used it to go to Florida and Arizona as well as France.

So now that we have a motorhome we may try and combine the timeshare and the motorhome into a few trips. I have quite a few years I have "banked" with (RCI) that we need to use. Due to covid we have already had to pay the annual maintenance and haven't been able to go! I am also £180 in charges in credit. Maybe that is something for 2023?

Anyway, back to Staycation West Country. Plans are being formed to go away and stay at a couple of sites in Somerset. Land of apples and cider. Plus Cheddar cheese. I have booked two sites in Somerset already to take us up to and over the wedding anniversary weekend.

Now I need to extend the time away to make it worthwhile. Where next?

Posted by InvictaMoto 17:18 Archived in England Comments (0)

Awaycation France - More Purchases!

After the fortnight away in Devon and the campsite to and from we decided that the folding camping chairs we had and have used for years are simply not comfortable enough!

So we bought new ones. https://www.justkampers.com/ft0060-kampa-dometic-sunset-xl-high-back-chair.html This was the cheapest we could get them even with added postage.

We don't have any decent camping shops locally or within reasonable driving distance and so have to use mail order.

Claire also wanted to add a little privacy when we are parked up on a site and maybe have the awning out. So we saw that lots of other MoHo people had windbreaks and so we had a look around and decided on this one. Like everything Vango who make the tent we used for years, buy their stuff from China. No longer "Made in Britain" for a UK company. https://www.charlies.co.uk/vango-family-windbreak-sky-blue.html

Another purchase was a mat. It's made of recycled and woven plastic. it's to put out under the awning and as it is plastic is it waterproof. It will give Reggie somewhere to sit or lie when he is tied up to the van when on site. https://www.habitat.co.uk/product/9605437

On top of that I have joined a couple of groups that support motorhome or camping-car parking in France and Europe. Most importantly was Crit'Air sticker arrived from the French Government. This entitles road users to enter the main cities, including Paris (not that I want to in a MoHo!) and other clean air areas. The main route to avoid Paris on the non-toll route to the West takes you through Rouen. Although you don't really go all that near the the city centre, there will be a clean air zone from September 1st for all vehicles. I filled in the application form as best I could and sent off the scans of the UK V5 log book. They then check your answers and give you the appropriate sticker based on your logbook! Including postage is about €4.60! Not the rip-off £15 a day that the clown i London charges.

Crit'Air bans polluting vehicles when necessary. The London ULEZ allows them in as long as the owner/driver pays. How does that improve the air we breathe?

If you need one use the link above. There are loads of scammers that Google prioritises over the official Government site.

They are numbered 1 to 5. On any day they can restrict access to Paris to certain numbers. 1 being the least polluting and 5 the highest. There is also a really polluting group of vehicles that don't get a sticker and are banned all the time! I was amazed the Suki got a 2.

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All that was left was to check the height for the Road Lords satnav app and also for the Ohrex onboard satnav. Luckily the builder's rule I have is 3m long. From The top of the tv aerial to the ground is 2900mm. A little more than it says on the Majestic site at 2820mm. That 80mm difference is over 3 inches in our measurements!

Oh. Plus I bought some mosquito repellant candles. Can't be too careful where these little b'stards are concerned.

Meanwhile Claire has bought more mundane things. A mattress protector to out over the cushions when the bed is made up, and some sheets. Expecting it to be warm in France. This week at home it's been mid to high 20's and only dropping to 16° at night. The weather in France and Spain much hotter and drier.

To be honest. I am happy with it dry and sunny and around 20 °C!!!

Posted by InvictaMoto 11:05 Archived in England Comments (0)

Suki Storage Sorted!

Since we bought Suki, she has either been on the driveway and locked up (with steering bars etc to make it more difficult to steal) or we have been away in her.

If the thief wants your vehicle bad enough he will have it away. All you can do it slow them down or make it so that it is easier to go and steal someone else's!

We had thought of storing her when we aren't using her at a local (alleged) safe site or maybe at JC Leisure where we bought her and where she has been holidaying for three weeks recently.

Instead, we dropped into the local Camping and Motorhome Club site about a mile from home and arranged for her to stay there until November 7th. We can go and release her from captivity whenever we want. I'll take her tomorrow and she will be there until the 27th June or so. Then we'll load her up for the France trip.

:)

Posted by InvictaMoto 13:09 Archived in England Comments (0)

Czech Invader Rally Trip - May 2022

Comfortable on the bike

The test of the Hommiesafe airseat wasn't the miracle I was searching for. Tweaking the air in it to get comfort wasn't too successful. It barely has any in it.

So after years of thinking about it I bought some lycra lout padded shorts. If they can help with cyclists arse pain, then maybe me too on Vera!

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Fingers, no, buttocks crossed ..

Posted by InvictaMoto 10:45 Archived in England Tagged czech_trip_2022 Comments (0)

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