Monthly Archives: May 2016

New Year 2016 in Canterbury

We decided to book 3 nights at the Camping & Caravan Club site in Canterbury over the New Year period.

It was our 1st stay on a  club site and our 1st New Year away from home so we were unsure as to how busy it would be.

We set off on New Years Eve after getting the day off from work and set off on our 4 hour journey to Canterbury in Rio.

We arrived at the site at about 2.30pm and refuelled before we pitched up to save time on Sunday for our journey back.

Upon checking in we were surprised about the lack of people – excellent, just the way we like it!

We were showed to a nice pitch on Park Lane, hardstanding and near to the motorhome service point but just far enough away so not to be bothered by other users.

Looking all festive with our fairy lights around the cab we settled in for the night and put a couple of pizzas in the oven – mmmmmmmmm.

Oh No! the fire wasn’t working. After an hour of checking everything including changing the gas bottles we decided to check the igniter battery and guess what, lit first time – disaster averted however I will not go into the “told you we should have brought an oil filled radiator” which someone very close to me kept repeating.

My motorhome speciality breakfast on New years day went down well and then we just relaxed all day – that was the idea after all!

Everything back to normal on Saturday, a day in the city beckoned.

We didn’t bother to look what time the bus came as it’s not that far to walk but we were lucky and got on  a  bus just outside the site  and before long we were within the city walls.

We visited our favourite shops, the comic book store (american comics etc.) and level up games (Retro game Store – takes me back to my youth) but the boys didn’t buy a thing – what do they do with all that spending money?

Our last night soon arrived and we knew that it would be a while before we would get away again as GCSE time for our eldest son but couldn’t wait for June to arrive.

Total miles driven = 487 at average 30.3mpg – very pleased!

1st outing in Rio October 2015

Having picked up Rio, our new motorhome on 10th October, we were looking for a local(ish) site for our 1st outing.

We chose “The Lawns” a certified site which was only about a 2 hour drive from home – just the perfect distance for us to get to know Rio.

After driving down the A17, we found the site very easily and we were met by Nigel, the owner and he welcomed us and showed us to our pitch.

The pitch was very large and hardstanding with electric hookup. over the fence was a Rally Site which was busy but we were pleasantly surprised about the lack of noise.

Nigel informed us that “cake” would be served from 3pm in the barn – we were a little intrigued and we had to go and see for ourselves.

Needless to say, we had cake, big pieces of cake – Victoria Sponge, Carrot Cake & Chocolate Cake – mmmmmmmmm very nice and it should be for the price (about £12 for the 4 of us)

After a very comfortable night we took a walk around the site.

The site was very nice and well kept with 2 fishing ponds which was a nice addition – we will be back with our rods at some point in the future, much to the joy of my wife.

It never ceases to amaze me how quick the weekends go but the working week always takes for ever.

Total miles driven = 154 at 28mpg

 

Introducing “Rio” our new addition!

It was a normal September Sunday morning, nothing much happening and we decided to take a trip out to a local motorhome/caravan dealership.

Little did we realise that we would be coming home the proud owners of a new motorhome.

It was a simple case of “get the salesman quick” otherwise someone else would have picked this up and I couldn’t blame them if they did.

Not letting anyone else get their hands on this find, we agreed a price, paid a deposit and waited for our pick up day.

We picked up Rio on the 10th October 2015 and what a difference between our two vans – although Terry was going nowhere and we had a plan which would keep him in use for the next 12 months or so.

We have given (or loaned) Terry to the In law’s to use until such a time that our eldest son is ready to drive and I’m sure that they will have their own motorhome adventures which we will hear all about.

Brugge & Disneyland Paris Sept 2015

We fancied something a little different this time, maybe we were getting a little more adventurous and realising that there was a whole new world just waiting for us to visit.

We booked the overnight P&O Ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge with an outside cabin for the 4 of us arrived in plenty of time at the Port (approx 1.30pm) we joined the queue – actually we were 2nd in the queue just behind a Talbot Express camper van driven by a very nice guy who informed us of where to go and what to do – lucky for us as we had no idea!!!

We boarded and collected our cabin key. We had got a cabin on the right side of the ship so that we could see the east coast of England as we travelled through the night – not sure whether this is the port or the starboard but thats not important, I’m not driving the ship.

After an all you can eat evening meal in the restaurant or 3 evening meals and 4 puddings (each) we retired to our cabin, feeling rather full and hoping that we had a good crossing as rough seas and over indulging do not really go hand in hand.

kkk

 

 

Luckily the crossing was great, no sea sickness and ready for an all you can eat breakfast before arriving in Zeebrugge.

 

 

A short drive to Brugge and Camping Memling which was easy enough to find even though just outside the city and within a residential area.

Although we arrived early, we were able to check in and given our pitch which was a hard standing and grass pitch and rather large.

The site had a modern toilet & shower block which also housed a pot washing room.

These were kept clean and overall the site was very impressive and we were especially surprised by the quietness of the place.

By 12.30 we were walking into Brugge, a 30+ minute walk but this didn’t seem to bother us at all.

Fries & Mayonnaise from the fast food hut outside the tower which kept us going until we got back to the campsite later.

Day 2 – after breakfast, we walked to the local Carrefour supermarket which was close by, the local area was full of everything you could wish for, petrol stations, restaurants, supermarkets and leisure centre.

Another day in the city saw us take a canal boat ride which was actually the best way to experience the city and at 32 euros for all 4 of us, very reasonably priced and even after a few euro tip for the driver/guide at the end of the journey, you couldn’t really argue with the experience.

Having seen the attraction from the water, we decided to take a journey through the city in a horse drawn carriage and again at 45 euro’s not bad even with a 5 euro tip for the driver (and horse) we were really impressed and extremely took in by the place – we will be visiting again in the future, that’s for sure.

We couldn’t leave Brugge without visiting one of it’s many chocolate shops and oh my, there are plenty.

We opted for Chocoholic which lived up to the expectations, mmmmmmmm.

Having enjoyed every minute in Brugge, we headed for France for phase 2 of our holiday, Disneyland Paris.

We never get bored with DLP, its such a great place and in my opinion, very under rated as it will always be compared to it’s rivals in the USA which is a little unfair.

Rides, rides and more rides – that’s what we came for and that is exactly what we got – fantastic time.

We knew that we had to make the most of this visit as our next visit in December (by car and staying at the Radisson Blu Hotel) there would be some ride closures due to the refurbishment programme in readiness for the 25 year celebrations in 2017.

It to happen some time, Rain! but out came the rain coats and off we went again!

Disney Dreams was as magical as ever and well worth seeing again & again!

The return crossing to hull was equally as wet, but surprisingly not a bad crossing so we took advantage of the all you can eat buffet again and settled in for our final night away.

There is one thing in life that we all strive for and that is happiness and guess what?

We are very, very happy.

Dover Castle & Disneyland Paris June 2015

A day in dover castle, making the most of our English Heritage membership was on the cards and we can strongly recommend this for anyone who is interested in history as Dover castle offers something for everyone.

It was the reenactment of the Manga Carter which was interesting and amusing too and well worth watching – I may have learnt something too.

It’s always nice to look out over the channel and watch the ferries and wonder what it was like back in the 40’s with the threat of invasion –  just to think how that stretch of water has kept us safe for so many years.

A quiet night parked on Marine Parade with all the other motorhomes, nice spot and free!

Having booked another crossing with My Ferry Link, we arrived in Dover for our crossing but were advised that due to circumstances out of their control, there were no crossings – we later found out that this was due to the ongoing issue regarding the sale of the ships to DFDS.

Our booking had been transferred to to Euro Tunnel so a quick 20 minute trip back up the M20  and a 2 hour wait for our train but this didn’t affect our excitement.

35 minutes later, we were in France, effortless!

A steady 55mph and Terry was very happy, no problems and the boys seemed to enjoy the journey too.

We saw this and had to buy one  – don’t tell anyone that it’s a trivet and being stainless steel, it should be OK fitted to the front.

As you would expect, the weather was great, in fact we found it a little too hot at times, but that’s enough about the weather.

Theres nothing quite like spending quality time with my family, doing all the things that we enjoy and pleasing ourself when, what and where we go – oh, the life of a motor homer!

It’s always a relief to get on the moving walkways back to the car park especially after a few days of walking miles around the parks.

The ferry was operating for our return journey and we embarked on what was going to be our last journey with My Ferry Link which was a shame but we had an idea for our next journey which would include something new for us.

Total miles driven 890 miles at an average of 32.4mpg – excellent!

Disneyland Paris March 2015

Our first outing of 2015 – Disneyland Paris.

We booked our crossing on My Ferry Link again, this was very good value for money and considerably cheaper than P&O and not as busy.

The crossing was pleasant for the time of year although it looked a little grey at times.

Having driven 1000’s of miles over the years, the French motorways are my favourite and I don’t even mind paying the tolls.

The condition of the roads and the simplicity is far better in my opinion although some of the exit roads are in need of some repair especially around the A104 around Paris but after negotiating these many times, it is not that much of an issue.

The drive to Disneyland was faultless and Terry performed admirably, as usual and my navigator, sat in the co-pilots seat, steered me in the right direction at all times  – what would I do without her.

The boys arrived in a well relaxed state and couldn’t wait to get out and about in the parks.

Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a small world, Buzz lightyears laser blast, Phantom Manor, all of our favourite rides done in a matter of hours.

At the end of the day, Disney have their fireworks & light show – Disney Dreams and we never get tired of watching it (well, we don’t but the boys hate the hanging around)

It doesn’t matter to us that we have been here over & over again over the last 8 years, we always have a great time and it satisfies the inner child – your never too old to enjoy Disney!

A return crossing to Dover and an overnight stay on Marine Parade finished off another perfect trip and as usual, we knew it wouldn’t be too long before we were setting off again.

Total miles driven = 888 at an average 29.5mpg.

 

Hunstanton Weekend November 2014

Where has the year gone, its November already and our final outing before the winter.

It seems only fitting that we finish the year off where we started, a weekend at Searles in Hunstanton.

Despite the wind and rain, it was a perfect weekend.

Despite the weather, we were nice, comfortable and warm inside, maybe too comfortable for some.

Only 299 miles on this journey and it must have been the wind but we only got 16.83mpg but no worries, we had the most fantastic year and couldn’t wait to get started in 2015.

Our life on wheels was truly underway!