So that’s it! September’s decision is confirmed There’ll be no drive to Portsmouth next Sunday afternoon to board the Bilbao Ferry. For the first time since 1995, it’s going to be an English winter at home. And it will probably come as a relief to my daughters. I know they were fearful about sitting on a plane to spend Christmas with me in Spain.
As something of a consolation, after talking with the girls, we made a ‘spur of the moment’ decision for the three
The battery condition meter fitted in my old Avondale caravan was a simple pointer registering on a red/yellow/green scale. But twenty years on, I felt it was time for something better, so on a wet afternoon a couple of weeks ago, I decided to fit a digital volt meter. I’d previously purchased item 352627865033 from ebay.
With the electric disconnected from the van, I took out the control panel, then unplugged the mains supply together with the connectors for the fridge,
When I was away on my last caravan tour, I got up one morning to find there was no water at the taps. After breakfast, I set about trying to find out why. With the tap opened, there was no voltage at the pump socket and the impeller appeared to be seized. Replacing the blade fuse restored the power to the socket, and my cheapo reserve pump kept the taps supplied (rather sluggishly) for the remainder of my stay. However later in the day, I found the pump was working, but without raising any water
When my two daughters mentioned that they were going to Cornwall to spend a week at Falmouth to help my grandson Sam, move from his halls of residence on his university campus into a shared rented property, I decided it was too good an opportunity to miss by not joining them, with me driving down with the caravan.
Although it’s less than three weeks since I arrived home from Bourton-on-the-Water, I quickly got busy looking for a pitch. But that was easier said than done. I was looking for t
Since I got back from my Spanish winter trip in March, I have been wishing and waiting to spend some time in Gloucestershire. Once the Clubs announced a limited re-opening of their sites, lots of caravanners must have had the same desire to get away, for it was quite difficult to find a pitch for a continuous period of more than a few days. Finally I got a booking at the Caravan Club site at Bourton on the Water.
Living close to the London/Surrey border, a journey from home always begins wi
If your caravan is getting on in years and it gets a lot of use, you would be well advised to take a look at your hot water supply pipe where it leaves the top of the Truma boiler. The 12mm plastic pipe is described as being ‘semi-rigid’ however with age and constant heating up, the first few inches of the pipe eventually becomes hard and brittle – although it may appear to be sound.
During my recent stay in Spain, as I refilled the Aquaroll one morning, I n
What I’ve been dreading arrived earlier in the week……………….Having to think about heading for home. I’d spent the morning cleaning then removing from the awning the oven, the microwave and all the furniture. Most of it went in the car but the microwave went on the floor in the end bathroom. It’s useful to have it there to use it on the journey home.
After lunch, I did what I do most days, I took a ride down the hill, along the main road to the prom,
Today’s destination would be a trip down memory lane. Even when Sheila and I went there some twenty-five years ago, the village was number one on the tourist trail. And seeing the number of coaches in the coach park, it undoubtedly still is. Where I was heading was the village of Mijas just inland from Torremolinos.
As I arrived, the first new thing I noticed was the multi-story car park, which like the village itself, is built into the hillside. And it’s huge. I drove t
The good weather was still with us so time for another day out. Looking at the maps, I chose a circular route through the mountains, parts of which I’ve done before and some that would be new ground. This was my route.
The drive began with seven miles in a westerly direction along the A7, before turning inland along the familiar valley bottom. Although I’ve already visited Viñuela three times this winter, I couldn’t resist pulling into the car park. I never tire of looki
From the time my two daughters went home, it hasn’t been the best of times. They flew out at the beginning of the month to help me celebrate my birthday. No sooner had they gone than the weather went down hill, finally ending with Storm Gloria. The east coast suffered much worse than the southern shore, but we certainly had our share of rain. Malaga City also had a hail storm which left the streets buried for a short time under a 12 inch depth of ice. In our area the period of poor weather culmi
No sooner was daughter, Jenny back home after spending Christmas week in Spain, than she was packing to fly out again, together with her sister and partner. This time to help me celebrate my birthday. They don’t normally come for the 6th of January but as this one ended in a nought, they considered it special. In fact it was my 90th. So on Saturday, I headed along the A7 to Malaga Airport to collect them. Although they were to be here for only three nights, they had been able to book the same lo
On Saturday daughter Jen arrived at Malaga Airport for a week’s stay over the Christmas period. She booked online for an apartment not too far from the site – an apartment which was identical to the one both daughters used three Christmases ago – identical because the two apartments happened to be next door to one another.
Having given her time to get settled, I later returned to her apartment, collected her and we drove into Nerja for dinner at one of our favourite restaurants —The Mirasol
The usual good weather had suddenly deserted us when we got a couple of days of dark skies and almost constant rain. But the forecast insisted that by Sunday the weather would be back to normal. And it was. Sunday broke without a cloud in the sky and very soon the sun was coming up. Which was just as well, because today was the date set for the Migas Festival in Torrox Pueblo – the last Sunday before Christmas Day. The Spanish are never want
Only ninety miles to do before reaching Camping Sierracillia however, I left Villsom at Seville at 9.15. I wanted to be there before lunch so that I could get out sight-seeing during the afternoon. Google maps suggested the first few miles cross-country but it showed no less than 22 junctions or roundabouts in the first nine miles.. I opted for the long way round, doing an extra six miles via the A4 up to Seville, then the ring road to the A92. Having programmed Tomtom with the GPS
The drive from Merida to Seville was only 130 miles and since I did it without a break, I arrived at the site in time for an early lunch. Camping Villsom is a wooded site laid out on a red sandy ground, consequently the sand is easily transferred from shoes to car or caravan. It does however drain quickly after rain. There’s only the one toilet block to one side of the site which has obviously been refurbished to a quite high standard. The electric bollards are situated in the ce
Yes! There was a definite improvement in the weather. At least the rain had stopped. I only had 50miles to do to reach Merida – my next planned stop, so there was no great hurry
to leave Caceres
In fact, it was nearly 11 oclock before I departed and headed north for a few miles to reach the nearest motorway junction. An hour & 10 mins later, I arrived at Camping Merida. Reception was closed, with a notice in the window to the effect that I
Camping El Astral is a large site situated alongside a wide and fast-flowing River Duero. The town of Tordesillas is built on a hill and is situated on the far side of the bridge The approach to the site is along an unattractive, potholed, dirt road, leading into an open space in front of the reception building. I entered the office where I was greeted warmly. My passport was copied but my ACSI card was rejected. I booked in for two nights with electricity. I was given a code with which to raise
The Cap Finistère set out on the 30th of October from Portsmouth to Bilbao without me being on board. An ambulance ride to hospital at the end of August kept me there for a week, and what with further procedures and follow-up appointments, by the end of September, it was looking more and more likely that I would have to cancel – or at least postpone. I had no alternative other than to miss the sailing. So here we are setting out for the Costa del Sol about a month later than usual. For several y
On Friday I drove to the village of Shottery to visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Although it’s referred to as ‘her cottage’, it was in fact the family farm. Her dad was a yeoman farmer so he actually owned the property together with a piece of land.
This is Anne Hathaway's Cottage.
Later in the morning I drove the four miles on to Wilmcote to visit Mary Arden’s Farm. Mary was the mother of William Shakespeare and the youngest of eight girls. Her father was a ‘g
That is the question…………………….………………………...….
With a quote like that, where else could I be going other than Shakespeare Country. Or to be exact, Bidford, seven miles from Stratford. To a lovely CL situated on the banks of the Avon named Dovecote Moorings. In addition to it being a CL, it’s also a marina with moorings for boat owners. 10Amp electricity is available, the water supply is centrally positioned and chemical disposal is at the far end of the site. The nightly fee is a very r
My third stop was 60 miles away near Ipswich. The site requested that arrival should be after 1 pm so I was in no great hurry to leave Red House. Google maps told me that the journey time would be just under 2 hours, which I thought was over-optimistic. I had imagined that the road between Norwich and Ipswich would be dual-carriageway, but No - it was single nearly all the way, with heavy traffic and several stoppages. So I arrived at Bungalow Farm near Hadleigh just before one. It’s a Club CL s
With only 45 miles to do to reach my second site, there was no need for an early start. So I pushed it to the limit and left at 11 am as per site rules. Although it was a Saturday, traffic was free-flowing and I arrived at Red House in Thurne shortly after mid-day. The site is a five-pitch cc CL listed as for ‘Adults Only’. In addition to the CL, the owner also owns a basin off the River Thurne where boats are moored, together with hired craft whose ‘crews’ are visiting the village. The CL has10
There are lots of advantages in being retired but probably the greatest is being able to go away when the time is just right. So for me, that rules out Bank Holidays, school half-term holidays and periods of poor weather. I’d already mapped out a couple of routes during the early part of the year and from the 24th of June, my diary and the weather forecast looked good for one of them to be undertaken. The route I’d chosen was from home up into Norfolk & Suffolk, so on Tuesday morning, I bega
I arrived in Portsmouth in the evening to spend the night on the dockside ready for departure at 08.45 the next day. That was towards the end of October last year. The BF guy assured me that I wouldn’t need to move the outfit until 05.30 the next morning, so I locked the car and got settled in the caravan. My fridge was brim full so the first job was to get it running on gas. But it wasn’t to be. As soon as I released the gas valve, the pilot light went out. Even after holding
In the late evening, four more outfits arrived at Pico de la Miel, bringing our number to six overnight. Since I stayed hitched, I was ready to leave by 8.45. A few minutes with the engine ticking over whilst rear lights and hitch were checked was sufficient to thaw the frozen windscreen.
Within 20 miles I’d reached the foot of Somosierra. The next four and a half miles was a steady 6% climb to reach the top of the pass. But it’s an easy tow on a three-lane motorwa