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  • Mosel Tour. October 2014. Part 1.

    October 13th.

    Set off on a miserable wet morning. Left Dover on the 0955hrs P&O ferry arrived Calais 1215hrs local time. Cleared port and headed for Ypres. Arrived "Camping Jeugstadum" 1400hrs. Reception was closed until 1600hrs so took a walk into town.

    The Square, Leper.

    This pic is from a previous visit. Had a couple of beers in the square, then back to site. Although it's a campsite it also has an Aire for Motorhomes. 12 euros for one night with access to all the site facilities, this is what we did. On moving Eevie form where we'd parked I saw we had left her on a tow away zone, lucky escape.

    October 14th.

    Woke to another dull day. Left site 1015hrs heading for Bastogne. When we got there we couldn't find a parking place so continued into Luxemburgh. First place we tried was closed so continued on using our book. Arrived at a town called Wiltz 1600hrs, found a very nice site by the sports centre and booked for a night.

    Eevie, Wilz.

    All grass pitches but was dry and firm, only 1 other van there. Sun came out and temp' hit 16c, so walked into town. In a small supermarket we bought some provisions and a bottle of Jagermeister for 9 euros, bargain price. Had a couple of beers in a small bar and was made very welcome by the locals. Back on site checked out the free WiFi, it was brilliant. I suppose because only 2 vans there the speed was excellent. Had a Facetime chat with my daughter Fiona, and using FilmOn app was able to watch BBC tv. We settled early for tomorrow we were to hit the Mosel for the first time at Trier.

  • Plymouth for Teeny Weeny World, September 2014.

    September 28th.

    Left Hawkinge 0900hrs. Heading for Plymouth to get stock for "Teeny Weeny World". The wholesaler is in Plymouth, so we combine a trip in Eevie with a visit for stock. This time we headed for http://www.dolbeare.co.uk a campsite in Saltash 4 miles into Cornwall but only half hour from Plymouth. Arrived at the site 1515hrs, after uneventful journey, though getting bored with the same route. Checked in and parked up.

    Eevie, Saltash.

    Site very nice with very good facilities. Sat outside for a while before retiring for the evening.

    September 29th.

    Woke to a nice day, set off for the wholesaler at 1000hrs. Spent 4 hours there, back on site 1600hrs. Another nice evening enjoying the sun.

    September 30th.

    Left site 0930hrs. Driving up the A38 there is a sign for "Canonteign Falls", we'd passed it many times but this time paid a visit.

    Eevie, Canonteign Falls.

    Pleased we did. Cost 14 for both of us, but a lovely, if strenuous walk. Quite a climb to the Falls but nice,

    Canonteign Falls.

    I believe they are man made, but look very natural.

    Allthough it can be strenuous there are plenty of rest stops,

    Hazel, Canonteign Falls.

    which we made use of. We were there about 2 hrs. We then headed for Cheddar, arriving 1500hrs. Got a pitch on the Caravan Club site. walked into the village for a look round. Hazel got some bits in the charity shops and we had a nice meal in a pub. Back to the site and early night.

    October 1st.

    Had to head home for a funeral on the 2nd. Left site 0930hrs, back at Hawkinge 1430hrs. Liked Cheddar and we will go back and do the caves, Gorge etc. May try site next to club one. "Cheddar Bridge Touring Park" not because there's anything wrong with club one, but being a miserable old git this one is adults only.

  • East Sussex and Hampshire. September 2014.0

    September 14th.

    Left Hawkinge 1100hrs, heading for the "Runt in Tun" near Heathfield, one of our favourite stops. Friends of ours, Colin and Therese were meeting us there. There first trip in their newly aquired motorhome. We arrived at 1330hrs, in bright sunshine. Being Sunday the pub was very busy. We sat outside in the sun eating cheese and biscuits. The others arrived 1700hrs, I assisted Colin with his set up as it was his first time.

    Eevie and the Snail at Runt in Tun.

    Colin and Therese had dinner in their van while Hazel and I adjourned to the pub for food, sadly they had been so busy most food was gone, we had to settle for scampi and chips.
    After food and showers we all settled in Eevie for drinks. Therese got totally pissed and gave our Noddy a beating.

    September 15th.

    Awoke to more good weather. After breakfast we packed the vans, all going our seperate ways. We left at 1100hrs, heading for "Sandy Balls" in the New Forest, we both love the place but Hazel had no idea that was where we were heading. Arrived 1430hrs,

    Sandy Balls

    Hazel was well happy, checked in and it was only 15 per night, this including all leisure facilities. Its quite expensive weekends and high season but for us midweek and low season it's a bargain, in fact it gets as low as 10 per night.

    Settled on our pitch which had water, electric hook up, TV aerial point, and hedged.

    Touring Pitches, Sandy Balls.

    We walked up to the centre where there is a swimming pool, leisure centre, shop, cycle hire, Restaurant, pub and childrens play centre.

    Sandy Balls, Centre.

    Had a couple of beers then back to Eevie, sat outside until the sun went down.

    September 16th.

    Another lovely day. We went to reception and booked one of their Pine Lodges for Christmas. We would have been happy to use Eevie but as Ma-in-Law and Hazels brother Julian and partner Viv were going to be with us it would have been to crowded. Then we set off on our bikes for a ride around the locality. I didn't produce a good one that time, very rough in places and lots of ups and downs. Finished up at the "Fighting Cocks" for beer. Hazel was pleased as we were greeted by 2 donkeys on arrival.

    Donkeys at the Fighting Cocks, Godshill.

    After a couple of beers

    Ale, Fighting Cocks.

    we cycled the short distance back to Eevie. Again sat outside until sundown.

    September 17th.

    Left site 0930 hrs, heading for Southsea. Arrived "Southsea Holiday Park" 1030hrs. What a difference, 35 per night, and the whole place run down.

    Touring Pitches, Southsea.

    We walked to "Portsmouth Historic Dockyard" to see the "Mary Rose", it was over 4 miles. Worth it though as we hadn't seen her since they'd turned of the water sprays. Lots of interesting history for sure.

    Mary Rose.

    This of course is a model, but helps you relate to things as you go round. The Gun Deck gives a good idea of the cramped conditions the crew lived and died under.

    Gun Deck, Mary Rose.

    Anybody over 5 foot would have to stoop. The Galley was right at the bottom of the ship, just a large pot on a brick structure with open fire underneath.

    Galley, Mary Rose.

    I guess the cooks were adept at 1 pot dishes. Interesting though is the rations for each crew member,

    Crew Rations, Mary Rose.

    note the beer ration, not like today, with random drink and drug testing. It was a truly interesting visit which went some way to compensate us for the campsite.
    Got the bus back to Eevie, then settled down for the evening.

    September 18th.

    Left site 0915hrs and and got back to Hawkinge 1315hrs. had been a nice trip apart from Southsea.

  • Chertsey. August 2014.

    August 17th.
    Off to Chertsey C&CC site for a 3 night break. Left hawkinge 1000hrs. Uneventful journey and arrived 1240hrs.

    Chertsey C&CC Site

    We love Chertsey, mainly for it's location, handy for Windsor, the Thames, and nice walks / cycle rides. Took a stroll to the "Bridge Hotel" for a couple of beers, then back to Eevie, where we sat outside til dark.

    August 18th.

    Another lovely day. We went to Windsor, bus to Staines then train to Windsor. Took a walk to Romney Lock to visit Dads bench.

    Us on Dads Bench

    (An older photo with myself, brother, and my Daughter on the bench). Then into Windsor where we strolled around the town. I got a new hat in Cotswolds leisure. Windsor is a nice town dominated by the castle above,

    Windsor Castle

    and the river below. Then made our way back to Chertsey where we had a nice roast in Eevie, bit of tv then bed.

    August 19th.

    Lovely morning so I sorted the bikes, and we cycled to Shepperton along the river bank.

    Shepperton Wier

    Hazel checked out the charity shops and we both browsed in "Nauticalia" by the lock. Then we got the ferry across the river and cycled into Weybridge. After a good look round retraced our steps to Chertsey. Popped in Sainsburys bought some bits for a BBQ which we had in the evening. It had been a nice day,

    August 20th.

    We set off homeward at 0950hrs. Diverted off of M'way down the A21 to Johns Cross Motorhomes to buy a couple of bits for Eevie. Then to "Jempsons" at Peasmarsh to buy some provisions for home. Arrived back at Hawkinge 1500hrs.

  • Stella Plage. August 2014.

    August 4th.

    Decided to take a short trip to Stella Plage, France. Only 2 nights but as we pay only 18 return for the ferry and total mileage of 50 each way it was well worth it.
    Left storage at 0730hrs and caught the 0930hrs ferry. Bit of breakfast on board, nice crossing, arrived Calais 1200hrs local time. Avoided the toll roads as usual and arrived at "La Foret" 1330hrs. Unusual site layout, there are many statics and chalets, but where there are gaps they pitch tourers.

    Eevie, Stella Plage.

    We had a nice one once I'd negotiated the tree. Once all set up we cycled into town for a look round, we were taken aback to see this on a roundabout,

    Camel, Stella Plage.

    but then found out the circus was in town. Had a look round, some nice shops and a lovely beach. Then a cafe for a couple of beers before heading back to Eevie. It was still quite hot when we got back so spent the evening sitting outside.

    August 5th.

    Woke to another lovely day. Had breakfast then cycled to Le Touquet. 5 miles on lovely cycle paths and mostly traffic free. Just like home? Not. Cycled to the beach first,

    Paris Plage, Le Touquet.

    it was beautiful, endless sand. The French get that while we have mostly shingle. Back in the centre we secured the bikes and had a stroll round the shops. Then a lovely lunch of Moule Marinere washed down with Normandy cider, delicious.

    Hazel, Le Touquet.

    Then a bit more browsing before cycling back.
    In Stella Plage we bought some meat for our evening meal. Being still hot we had our first barbecue with Eevie,

    Barbacue, Stella Plage.

    used a disposable that we'd had for 2 years. Not had an opportunity in all that time. It was lovely.

    August 6th.

    Had rained most of the night and was still as we cleared up. Left site 0925hrs and arrived Cite Europe 1030hrs. Did our usual shopping for food and wine, had a bite of lunch. Caught the 1420hrs ferry and back in Dover 1525hrs, arrived at storage 1610. The end of a very nice trip.

  • Devon and Bath, June 2014.

    June 25th.

    Arrived at storage to pick up Eevie, senile moment, I'd left her keys at home! Left Hazel sitting in the sunshine while I went home to get them. Got away eventually and had a trouble free run to Devon in pleasant sunshine. Arrived at Dans (Hazels son) 1640hrs. Spent the evening at their Lodge having a barbecue and playing with the Grandkids.

    June 26th.

    Left at 0900 hrs for Plymouth, to our wholesalers "Streets Ahead". Spent 4 hours there choosing stock for "Teeny Weeny World". Then back to Dans. The girls and kids stayed in the lodge Dan and I had a few beers in the bar.

    June 27th.

    Said our goodbyes and left 0930hrs heading for Bath. I detoured via the Avon Gorge to show Hazel, was ok but Bristol was a nightmare traffic wise. Arrived at the site http://www.newtonmillpark.co.uk and set up.

    Eevie, Newton Mill, Bath.

    Weather still good and spent the evening sitting outside.

    June 28th.

    Caught the 1015hrs bus into town. Stops a short walk from the site and takes 20 minutes into City centre. Bath is a lovely city with plenty of history, The Roman Baths well worth a look and up the hill to the Victorian Crescent is a must for "Oliver" fans. Had a lovely day, then back on site spent the evening outside again.

    June 29th.

    Left site 0930hrs headed home. Uneventfull and pleasant journey until Ashford. Stopped at the "International Hotel" as Jenny had said there was a Dollshouse Fair. There wasn't. Back to Eevie, pressed clutch pedal to put her in gear and the pedal snapped. "Brittania Rescue" recovered us.

  • Scotland. May 2014. Part 12.

    May 23rd.

    Left site 0845hrs, bound for Woodstock, Oxfordshire. The last point of the trip before home. Made a small diversion to visit

    http://www.studybed.co.uk

    at Thame. Glad we did, the perfect product for our spare room at home.
    Then on we went to Woodtock CC site. Arrived 1425.

    Reception, Woodstock CC Site.

    After setting up took a walk into the village, a couple of beers later, walked back to site in pouring rain. Spent the evening with tv and rain drumming on the roof.

    May 24th.

    Surprise, it was still tipping down. Walked to "Blenheim Palace", virtually next door to the site.

    Blenheim Palace.

    By staying on the CC site you get a very good discount on admission. Like most stately homes there is lots of luxury to look at,

    Dinner Table, Blenheim Palace.

    sadly the table wasn't laid for us. We wondered if Queen Anne had dined at it.

    Queen Anne, Blenheim Palace.

    Or even Winston,

    Winston Churchill, Bust.

    I'm sure if he did, there would have been plenty of alcohol and cigars. Any way for us it was a pleasant way to pass the last day before going home.

    May 25th.

    A dry sunny day, left site 0915 hrs uneventful drive and arrived at the storage 1215 hrs.
    This concludes the tour.

    Scotland Tour May 2014.

    The map gives a rough outline of the route.

  • Scotland. May 2014. Part 11.

    No longer Scotland, but living in the SE of England we like to make stops so as not too long on the road.

    22nd May.

    What a difference a day makes, pouring with rain as we left Barnard Castle. Left site 0830hrs. Destination Castleton in the Peak District. Fairly easy journey, rain stopped as we passed through Sheffield. Arrived at Castleton CC site 1130hrs. Nice site and being quiet we had a good choice of pitches. piched up then took a walk. Passed through the town and up the hill to visit Speedwell Cavern.

    Speedwell Cavern.

    An interesting visit. you go down many steps to an underground river, here you board a small electric boat operated by a guide. Then taken along the old mine workings stopping in a side tunnel half way, to allow the previous tour to pass on it's way back. Very interesting place but dark and wet so didn't have any pics. Back to the start then all those steps to climb back to the surface. Much puffed walked back into town. There we visited Blue John Cavern,

    Speedwell Cavern Entrance.

    This was interesting and done on foot, there was only Hazel and myself so had the guide to ourselves. She was very good and made me do various things on the tour, I think it would normally be for the kids but, as there was only us it had to be yours truly. Leaving the cave you follow the river back to the main street in town.

    Castleton.

    Back in town we browsed the shops and Hazel bought a nice pendant.
    Then to Ye Olde Nags Head for ale and food,

    Ye Olde Nags Head, Casleton.

    always a nice way to end the day. A short walk back to Eevie, then bed.

  • Scotland. May 2014. Part 10

    May 21st.

    Left site 0830hrs, taking a scenic route south across the border to Barnard Castle. Made a coffee stop at Jedburgh. Took a walk to see the Abbey.

    Jedburgh Abbey.

    As you can see the weather was good for a change. Pleasant driving for a change, shortly after leaving Jedburgh we crossed the border,

    Entering England.

    and returned to England. Skirted Kielder Water then almost due south to our destination. The road was amaziing, straight for miles but with loads of short steep up and downs, like driving on a switch back. Arrived Barnard Castle C&CC site 1400hrs. After setting up took a walk along the river

    River, Barnard Castle.

    into town. A lovely little town too. Bought Ma-in-Law a waistcoat and other bits in a nice haberdashery. Did a couple of pubs to sample the ales, wine for Hazel. Decided we would eat out for a change. Found a pub with a menu we liked, more ale and good food before the walk back to Eevie. Unusually for this trip the weather was hot and still was as we walked back via the river.

    Bridge, Barnard Castle.

    After shower we sat and watched a bit of TV and I booked a pitch at Casleton CC site for tomorrows stop.

  • Scotland, May 2014. Part 9.

    May 19th.

    Up bright and early, left site 0845hrs, destination Edinburgh. A pleasant day for a change and a pleasant drive. planned on lunch and a look round Aviemore but couldn't fin anywhere to park so missed out. Crossing the Firth of Forth is quite spectacular.

    Crossing Forth Road Bridge

    Lovely view of the historic Forth Railway Bridge but not weren't able to photograph it. Arrived at Edinburgh CC site 1310hrs.

    Eevie, Edinburgh CC Site.

    Set up and had a brew. Went for a walk along the waterfront before settling down for the evening.

    May 20th.

    The site has a mini bus link to the City Centre costing 5 return, resonable value and half hourly service. We got 1000hrs. Walked the length of Princes Street taking in the atmosphere then up the hill to the Castle.

    Sentry, Edinburgh Castle.

    The Scottish soldiers always look imposing in dress uniform, the Afrika Corp called them the devils in skirts. It was very crowded up there and the amount of guided walking tours were a hindrance to those of us not in them, but, nevertheless we enjoyed it.
    Coffee and paninis in Caffe Nero then back down to Princes Street.

    Edinburgh

    We visited the art gallery for an hour, very interesting and free. Got the minibus back to site at 1630hrs. Leaving both Edinburgh and Scotland tomorrow.

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