Friday, February 26, 2010

26th February 2009 – into Spain

So let’s try Morella, one of the few and far between ‘Aires’ in Spain along our route ‘home’.

How impressive this little town is? Perched high on a hilltop in amongst what we regard as the most dramatic scenery in the Castellon province of the Valencian Community. It is a great first or last stop for us on our journeys back and forth to the UK.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

25th February 2009 - Valanjou to Mimizan Plage

On our travels down to Mimizan Plage we witnessed the terrible devastation of the pine forests all down the Atlantic coast. The result of the violent storms experienced some few weeks earlier. Glad we missed that!

On the contrary we had delightfully sunny days in which we experienced Mimizan as it should be empty, sunny and the day finishing with a stunning sunset!! Just gorgeous! We feel an extended stay coming on.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

24th February 2009 – That’s it... we’re off!

Setting out for Spain on our first trip down the west side of France since riding our motorbike down a year before (another story) we had a beautiful drive from the ferry port of Le Havre to Valanjou for our first night stop at an Aire de Camping Car.

There is room for five vans and it is by a river, a delightful night stop. As is the case with all Aires we mention in this blog, full details can, or will soon, be found by members on Club Motorhome’s website. Naturally it is with some trepidation that you take to your bed for the first night in a ‘foreign’ country. Will the ubiquitous ‘ne’er do wells’ come and gas us? Will the heating gas us? Will the gas explode? Will the nearby sheep and goats gnaw through our cable – yes we had hook up! Of course none of this happened and we went merrily on our way the next day. Mmm this free stopover lark is looking good!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

17th February 2009 - Plans are made

We've done what we planned to do which was to spend as much of January and February in the UK to find and buy a suitable motorhome. To then try it out and to become familiar with its workings. Then to carry out maintenance jobs following the try-out.

We now have an overnight crossing booked with LDLines from Portsmouth to Le Havre on the 23rd February.

Final purchases are made, except for last minute food items, and everything seems to stow away within the vehicle very nicely.

The next week will go very slowly while we wait and make quick visits to relatives and friends before the off.

Friday, February 12, 2010

12th February 2009 – How cold is COLD?

The fact that we were toasty warm when we woke showed us that our quilt worked a treat. Two numb and freezing noses alerted us to the fact that the heating wasn’t working a treat - in fact, at all! Ok, what now? Seems like the two gas cylinders provided by our dealer had not actually been full ones(well, I hadn’t actually asked the question) – phew! Or brrr as it actually was!  Oh well, a few problems to sort out and very grateful we had a try out before setting off to France and back ‘home’ to Spain.

Although our supplying dealer was happy to sort out the waste blockage and frost damaged surge damper it was going to cost more to take the Bel-Air back to Devon than to fix the problems ourselves. Anyway being ‘forced’ into doing repairs is a great way to understand the workings of this new machine. Scrabbling around in the freezing cold and a dismantling of the waste pipe from underneath revealed the blockage – yuk! Don’t let anything except water go down the plughole became our first commandment! Anew surge damper was eventually sourced locally and was quite easy to fit.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

11th February 2009 – Teething problems......

Off to Thetford town and a very useful garden centre where we sourced more wastepipe cleaning stuff, a couple of lengths of hose (see you can’t catch us out twice!) and a large wicker log basket – don’t ask! The lights keep switching off and the fuse box tripping. Whatever is happening? Oh - it's because there is water in the wardrobe dripping from the surge damper (as we later found that it is called) onto the wiring below!!!  How frustrating whatever next??

Surge damper in base of wardrobe

At last – the toilet cassette was full! I had been dreading this job but felt secure once I’d donned my industrial grade rubber gloves. I have absolutely no idea why, but I felt slightly embarrassed carrying this box of..... across to the emptying point. Actually, as we all know the job is very straightforward and really nothing to have worried about.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February 10th 2009 - Campsite in Thetford

We may have a new kettle, quilt, pans and place mats to name but a few things, but how would we know that we needed our own length of pipe so we could fill up our tank? Thanks to a ‘Good Samaritan’ in the shape of the site manager we borrowed theirs and filled up.

You may not necessarily remember the weather on these two days but from the photo shown you will see it was a good trial to see if we could keep warm and dry! All was going well - until the sink refused to empty. Various preparations later the sink still refused to empty. A wash up bowl it is then. A lovely site and yes pristine loo and shower block.