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Caravan Adventures

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Ten Days in Norfolk & Suffolk - 3

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

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Jaydug

 

Ten Days in Norfolk & Suffolk - 2

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

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Jaydug

 

Ten Days in Norfolk & Suffolk - 1

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

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Jaydug

 

My fridge had become a cupboard

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

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Jaydug

 

Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 16

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

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 15

By mid-week, the weathermen were forecasting high winds and heavy rain for the Costa del Sol after the weekend. Certainly, by Saturday the view out to sea was looking very stormy.   In view of that, I thought it advisable to take down my awning on Sunday, ready to leave on Tuesday.    Saturday morning was spent cleaning the kitchen equipment and emptying the awning ready for packing away the next day.     I was most grateful to see Willy and Jim come down to lend me a hand.     B

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 14

Time is running out for me here and I wanted to give myself at least one more day out before I leave.     Somewhere I haven’t been before – which is difficult after so many years.     But the internet and Google Earth came to my rescue.     After packing some lunch into the cool-box, I was ready to leave El P by 9. 15.      I headed along the A7 in the direction of Malaga.     I took exit 251 and within five minutes I’d arrived at La Cueva de Higuerón at Rincón de la Victoria.     It’s one of th

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 13

I came across an old aerial photograph when I was visiting a local museum the other day. , It showed the coastline near to the site where I’m staying. The photo was taken in 1960 and had the lighthouse not been in the picture, there was nothing from which to identify the view.   Trawling through dozens of other pictures, I found one taken from a similar viewpoint but about forty years later.     Comparing the two images, apart from the lighthouse, the onl

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 12

Yesterday’s drive to Maro was only eight miles along the coast road. It’s a tiny place situated on the cliff top and long since bypassed, first by the N340, then more recently, by the A7 motorway.       All the parking is outside the village so I unloaded my bike in a space close to El Acueducto del Águila ---- the Eagle Aqueduct.        The design is copied from the Roman style of building aqueducts so it’s made up of 37 arches arranged in four tiers.       Buildin

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Jaydug

 

Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 11

Is anybody still using a Microsoft Autoroute programme on their computers?    I have the 2010 version and together with Google Maps & Google Earth, use it for all my route planning.    I had decided it was time to plan for another day out, away from the site.     Usually, I try to work out a circular drive with three or four stopping off points.     The route which I’d done for yesterday began by doing the nine-mile sprint westward along the A7, then taking the familiar road along the valle

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Jaydug

 

Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 10

Had it not been for a Senior Moment, you would be reading a piece, and looking at photographs of Nerja’s Three Kings Fiesta.     But I got the date wrong!    How could I do that?    For the past umpteen years, I’ve attended the Fiesta on the evening of the 5th of January.      For some reason, I got it into my head that it was on the 6th.       Fortunately, by lunchtime on the 6th, I’d realised my error.     So as my bike was already loaded in the car, I decided to drive and then cycle.      I d

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 9

Phew!………………….What a busy eight days that’s been. On the 19th Dec, I drove over to Malaga Airport to collect my two girls and grandson off an Easyjet flight from Gatwick. No sooner had they got themselves installed in their rented villa two or three miles along the road from my site,     than they were congratulating themselves on their choice of travel date, for that same evening, Gatwick Airport closed down for 36 hours because of the drone trouble. Once they had settled

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 8

The Internet is a mine of misinformation. A few weeks ago I Googled the date of the Migas Festival in Torrox. The answer came up as being “The Migas Festival is always held on the last Sunday before Christmas.” So this year that’s the 23rd of December. Brilliant – my daughters arrive in Malaga on the 19th, so for once, they can experience the Festival rather than listen to me telling them about it. They were delighted!. But then last Thursday I saw the warning notices for road closures on th

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 7

Usually, I write about somewhere I’ve been, but here I'm going to write about someone I’ve met……… Or rather - I'm going to write about his hobby. It features friend, William – a guy I first met here several years ago, who with Yvonne, has been a regular visitor to El Pino for a lot of years. Every morning William and Bentley - his dog, take a walk, down the road, along the beach and back up along the river. As they wander along the shoreline,     William picks up lik

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 6

It’s two weeks since I arrived at El Pino and the weather has been pretty awful. In fact, it’s probably the worst autumn weather I’ve experienced in all the years I’ve stayed here. Yes! In previous years we’ve had rain that’s gone on for 36hours at a stretch. But then, it has stopped and the sun has returned again. Not so during the past fortnight. Just an odd dry day interspersed with day after day of thunderstorms and torrential rain, turning site roads into rivers and flooding some of th

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Jaydug

 

Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 5

Another decent day at Olvera so I drove into the town. Olvera is built on the side of a hill with the church and castle crowning the peak. Being of Arab origin, the streets are narrow and steep. Certainly no place to try and park a car, so I parked on the perimeter and walked up towards the church. What a steep hill! The final 50 yards was not only steep, but was stepped as well. Finally I reached the small plaza where the church is on one side with another steep track leading to the castle

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 4

The weather was determined to make my departure from El Escorial as unpleasant as possible. My plan was to drive 90 miles to Talavera, but to detour slightly and visit the archaeological park at Carranque where there’s the site of a Roman Villa and mill. Then later I wanted to visit the site of the Battle of Talavera which was the Duke of Wellington’s first major victory of the Peninsular War. Followers of Bernard Cornwell’s fictional character, Richard Sharpe, will remember it was at Talaver

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 3

I was ready to leave Fuentes Blancas by 9 am and being Sunday, the roads were quiet. Very soon I’d reached the start of the A1 which is a toll-free, two-lane motorway which goes all the way to Madrid. You won’t find service areas on the road but there are many filling stations, some with large parking areas alongside them. However, most are entered from a service road, and some of them are long. One of my favourite stops is at KM150. And another, just before the Madrid ring roads at KM27.

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 2

To reach Burgos from the port at Bilbao, one needs to take the A8, then the AP68, then finally turning to the AP1. The road is a dual-carriageway toll motorway with several service stations along its route. Drivers take a ticket shortly after the start of the motorway and payment is made by cash or card at the exit. The final peage is situated just before the exit for the Burgos campsite. For the 100 mile tow, the toll charge was €21. 50 Fuentes Blancas at Burgos is a popular site used

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Jaydug

 

Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019

It’s the end of October and time to head south again for the winter. This will be the twenty-fifth winter when I’ve spent some of the months caravanning in Spain. Our early visits were comparatively short: the first one being only four weeks. But gradually, they have lengthened, so that now, I stay for the maximum time my insurance will allow - 122 days. Over the years, we’ve stayed at several popular areas from Alicante on the Costa Blanca round to Albufeira on the Algarve, but our favourit

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Jaydug

 

Ten Days in Devon.

Friday was departure day for our annual holiday my two girls, grandson and I spend together. . This year, they rented a ‘cottage’ in Devon. The ‘cottage’ turned out to be a three bedroom, two bathrooms house overbooking the bay at Bigbury-on-Sea on the south Devon coast. And just up the road, in the next village there was a Club CL that had space for my van.   All of my long journeys invariably begin with a drive along on the M25 in one direction or the other so I left home at six i

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Jaydug

 

Back to Kent

A full week with nothing in the diary so why not take the caravan down to Kent for a few days. My first choice was Black Horse Farm at Folkestone but it was fully booked for some of the nights I wanted so instead I looked at Daleacres on Romney Marsh. They had pitches available so I booked. I was quite looking forward to seeing the place again. The last time we went there as a family, taking our Siamese cat with us was in 1970. I have memories of our cat taking himself off for a prowl along

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Jaydug

 

Electric windows are great - All the time they work!

Fitting a new window regulator isn’t a caravan job – unless you happen to be a motor-caravanner. Most door windows these days are operated by the flick of a switch. They’re great – until suddenly they don’t work. Whatever the make of car, they nearly all have the same type of mechanism. See the picture below. ................. The wires rust where they go around the pulleys. ...... Eventually, a wire snaps.   One afternoon at the end of February, just before I was due to return ho

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Jaydug

 

Changing the 12volt lighting.

Avondale fitted two G4 halogen lights under the overhead cupboards to light up the sink unit area and cooker. They gave a good light but they ran very hot which was possibly one of the reasons that the bulbs didn’t last very long. And they used a considerable amount of battery power compared with more modern lights. It was maybe time to replace them with LEDs. Browsing ebay I found sets of four lights. I chose these:- https://www. ebay. co. uk/itm/4-X-LED-12-VOLT-SURFACE-LIGHT-CARAVAN-BOAT-

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Jaydug

 

Fitting a new hitch boot.

Whilst I was away in Spain I noticed that the rubber boot on my tow hitch was beginning to swell and tear. It was time to replace it before dirt got in to contaminate the grease.             The disintegrating boot.   The method for changing is the same for both Winterhoff and Alko stabilizers.      Also these notes and pictures may be of help to anyone wishing to change their hitch from Alko to Winterhoff or vice versa.         I began by removing the A-frame cover whic

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Jaydug

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