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burstneraddict

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About burstneraddict

  • Rank
    Over 500 posts

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    North of Scotland
  • Interests
    Walking
  • Towcar
    Toyota Avensis Tourer D4-D
  • Caravan
    Burstner C480 TL

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  1. Thanks. Drove it in beautiful sunshine last week with lots of snow on the mountains. Steep descent with long hairpin bends but absolutely no problem. We we were over Brenner Pass within 1 hour of leaving ACSI Card site in Mittenwald.
  2. Ian, Thank you for that. Noted for future reference. Being so relatively close to Paris, did it become crowded at a weekend?
  3. The only problem with those routes is forcing yourself to concentrate on the road rather than the absolutely stunning scenery. You will see what I mean when you drive them. That said, they are both comfortable tows but with lots of bends in some stretches.
  4. Thanks everybody for the helpful replies. I had already done the Via Michelin part which seemed OK but I preferred first hand experience rather than a computer programme's route approval. David (Klyne)'s suggestion proved to have the solution as some helpful motorhomer had videoed his descent and put it on Youtube. The steep section looks ok with lots of warnings and run offs but we have experienced that in other places and I am comfortable with my car and caravan. It does however demonstrate the difference between towing and solo as I know that I have driven the road several times solo in the late 80s without ever thinking that there could be a problem - even with the passage of all those years, I still remember roads that have been challenging.
  5. We are travelling to Italy at the end of April and the route I am looking at takes me via Mittenwald and Innsbruck then over the Brenner Pass. It is about 30 years since I drove this route and I was solo at the time and cannot remember how easy a tow the section from Mittenwald via Seefeld to Innsbruck would be on the 177. I have just read a comment in the CMC Touring Europe book on one of the sites in Mittenwald that we plan to use that the road has only just been opened to caravans. Could anyone who has towed that way comment please.
  6. If you use the Newcastle - Amsterdam DFDS ferry before the end of April, you will find that the caravan goes free on a Sunday and Monday nights. This makes it a relative cheap crossing but much more expensive when you return later.
  7. We were there a couple of seasons ago. The site had just been taken over by new owners and had undoubtedly had a lot of effort put into improving it. It is along the shore with many of the pitches actually shore side. You are looking West towards Inverness so the sunsets can be special. You can easily walk along to Chanonry Point which is the best place to spot the Moray Firth dolphins. From our experience, just before high tide, particularly if there are small ships coming in is the best time for a display. You can make it a circular walk by coming back along the eastern side of the Point as far as the other camp site and then cutting back across. We are not dog owners but it seemed like good beaches and lots of room for them. There is a reasonable selection of shops in Fortrose. Cromarty is worth visiting with a good walk up onto the headland (The Sutors) that gives views over both the Cromarty and Moray Firth. From the headland you can see all the rigs being serviced in the Cromarty Firth and the Cruise Ships visiting Invergordon - worth checking the visit schedules on line.
  8. If you look 6 topics down the page, you will find this already being discussed under Sites near Silverstone.
  9. LTC. You mentioned that you plan to go to Arisaig. I recommend that you book whichever site that you hope to use. The area has become incredibly popular in the past couple of years with all the sites full. Our friends who live there warned us not to come down without booking as we had done in the past. Mentioning weather, we had the most glorious week at Oban in May this year but have gone home early from Arisaig on three occasions when the rain was arriving horizontally and forecast to continue to do so. It is purely a matter of luck as on one of those visits, we had ealier taken the ferry to Eigg for the 3 hours or so that you can spend there and came back sunburnt.
  10. The route that Black Grouse recommends for LTC from Cambridgeshire to Morvich is most definitely the way that I would go. A good tow all the way and the scenery just gets more spectacular. Worth a stop a few miles after Fort William at the Commando Memorial with easy parking with the van hitched and great views. The problem stretch of the A 82 is the 6 miles or so North of Tarbet (note this is not the Tarbet I mentioned in my input above about Durness). Here the road is between the Loch and the rocky hillside with bends, restricted width and difficult to see ahead in parts. It is possible to tow but whenever you meet a lorry or bus, it makes for an uncomfortable moment. Black Grouse's route avoids this stretch and also the traffic in Glasgow. You may wish to route back via Crianlarich and near Killin after you have been to Barcaldine.
  11. I agree with both of the above comments about routing to Durness from Inverness via Ullapool. The road is good twin track all the way to the Kinlochbervie turn off ( it was improved and the bridge built to replace the ferry at Kylescu to improve access to that port). The single track stage is mostly very open with good viewing ahead so not a problem spotting the oncoming traffic. You will not have any problem on that route with timber lorries as there are no trees to harvest and transport. However, whichever route you take, I think you should be prepared to be a little later than 4 arriving but not too much. My computer usually tells me that I average 38 mph towing on the roads up here and you will undoubtedly want to stop to admire some of the views. There is a good layby at the Kylescu Bridge, I would strongly recommend booking as you will be arriving after many of the NC 500 have already stopped for the day. Black Grouse mentions fuel at Inverness, The more practical one with the caravan on is Tesco as Morrisons is towards the centre. Tesco is very easily reached as you take the slip road and roundabout signposted A96 Aberdeen and after less than half a mile take the second exit at the first roundabout on the short stretch of dual carriageway. You have to make an easy U turn into the fuel pumps and either side of the right hand pumps is an easy exit. We invariably top up there when heading North or West with the van on. If you are thinking of shopping at Tesco, I would park in the shopping park rather than the Tesco park as it would be very tight and full - usually lots of spare spots in the shopping area. There are fuel places at Ullapool, Scourie and Durness but the price is invariably high. At Sango Sands, Smoo Cave is worth an explore - the trip in a small rubber dinghy is often full in season but you can see most of it by just peering in. A trip to Cape Wrath lighthouse is interesting. You take a small passenger ferry across the Loch and then an old mini bus ride across the hills to the lighthouse. There is a small cafe there, not much else, but the views and cliffs are stunning. Another day that we have enjoyed is a trip to Handa Island which is a vast bird reserve with Puffins and masses of other sea birds on the incredibly high cliffs. You head back towards Ullapool but turn off before Scourie for Tarbet and take a small rib ferry across to the island. The wardens then give you a briefing and it is a superb circular walk around the island with board walks on any stretches that might be boggy. There is a sea food cafe at Tarbet where we had a memorable lunch. The headland to the North of Durness is well worth a walk for the sea views if the weather is good. I personally would have thought that 7 nights at Durness would be a bit too long, particularly if the weather is not too good. Also from April to Sep, it is very light in the evenings so you have extended days. You may wish to consider having a couple of nights near Thurso and taking the day trip from John o Groats across to Orkney - it is an interesting trip that takes in the major points of the main Orkney Island and an extra experience having come all this way. This would also mean that you see the scenery across the northern coast and down that part of the eastern as well. Wick is worth a visit with an excellent museum near the harbour - there is a Tesco with cheaper fuel just as you reach Wick from the North. Any questions - just ask. It is a super part of the world to visit even with those driving round the NC 500 - the roads have been there for years but only promoted recently.
  12. I ordered mine on Wednesday morning from Vicarious Books (I thought I had already pre-ordered but then I realised that I had forgotten when I read this topic) for £17-50 post free. It arrived in perfect condition on Saturday morning which is excellent service to the North of Scotland.
  13. My outbound is £145 which includes a 2 bed inside cabin with double bed: you have to book a cabin for this crossing. My inbound is £397 with the same cabin. I have not included meals in these figures. This time, we will have breakfast outbound and buffet dinner inbound but we have just picnicked sometimes. You can see why I think the outbound is such a bargain as it is not much more than Dover Calais/Dunquerque at a reasonable time of the day. When I looked at Dunquerque or Calais to Dover around my return dates, the ferry would cost me around £120 and we would probably have planned to spend the night on the parking outside the ticket office at Dunquerque. Thus in round terms, it is costing me £250 to avoid the approx extra 350 miles and at least one night's site fees. We still have a 300 mile tow North from Newcastle but it is an easy tow and we should be home by tea time having had an essential shop and lunch at Edinburgh's Ikea. We have found that the long tow home from Dover with M25, M11, A14 and A1, all full of trucks and traffic, a real dampner at the end of what has invariably been a great few weeks wandering around in Europe. I think that avoiding that is worth whatever the apparent extra cost.
  14. For those thinking of using the Newcastle to Ijmuiden ferry in 2019, DFDS are currently running an offer of a 15% reduction and only require a 15% deposit at this stage. The offer currently expires on 26 Nov. What is not mentioned is that the this years offer of caravans being free on Sundays and Mondays up until the end of April appears to apply as well in 2019. I had been trying to decide whether to go with the 15% offer or wait for an announcement on the caravan free offer and finally decided to book anyway. Imagine the pleasant surprise when I booked a Sunday evening crossing in April and discovered no charge for the caravan and 15% off. The pleasure was reduced somewhat when I discovered the price of the caravan for the return journey in June. Luckily, we are flexible on return dates and so could look at various dates and choose what appeared to be the cheapest sailing nearest our planned return. Towing from the North of Scotland, this crossing, with the bargain of the outward leg, makes much more sense than the additional mileage and time to Dover. I did consider coming back via Calais - Dover but decided that the saving was not worth the effort of towing an additional 500 miles at the end of a trip to Italy.
  15. Mr Plodd, Thank you very much for the warning. We are off to Italy next Spring for about 10 weeks and hopefully will spot the signs before we get bitten. It is a trip down memory lane as we spent 3 years living in Italy some 30 years ago and want to visit old haunts and see how the country has changed. We toured all over with our first Burstner and this time will take its replacement, another Burstner. I suspect that the ruins will be older, the food still as good and the crowds in Rome, Florence and Venice very much worse than before and prices much higher. However, if we don't go we will never know. I once had along discussion with a policeman in Vieste who had stopped me for going the wrong way down a one way street as I had missed the sign and was following a local. I was let off without a fine but given a very serious warning which luckily I could understand as it was accompanied by many hand gestures to emphasise the points that my Italian let me understand,
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