Sunday, 31 October 2010

Salcombe 24th - 29th October 2010

Well the weather looked fine and bright on Sunday morning so the last few bits and bobs were loaded and we were off.  Took us about three hours to get to Higer Rew camp site , which is about a mile from Salcombe.

We got a bit lost on our way to the site from the village of Malborough. We ended up going down some very narrow lanes and suprised a few locals when they saw a Freelander towing a caravan negotiating some very tight narrow lanes. We ended up at South Sands and had to weave our way round very tight bends and a long zig-zagging hill to get back to Malborough.  Eventually we found the site, which was at the end of a long narrow lane. Fortunately we did not meet anybody coming the other way.

Camp was quickly established. It was the first time that we had to use wedges to level the van across the axle.  Whilst Lizzie sorted out the inside of the van, I put the awning, that we had bought at the caravan show up.  Went up really easily in about half an hour.  What a difference that made though as we could now store coats, chairs and of course Zoe's crabbing gear outside.
Then into Salcombe to check on the crabbing situation and to get some Fish and Chips for tea.

The view from the caravan was superb. Acres of rolling country side.

Monday was spent mooching around Salcombe.  We went back in by Taxi in the evening, so that Zoe could indulge in her passion for crabbing, followed by dinner at the Fort. Spotted this amusing sign out side Bang Wallop, a  photographers
Zoe is content to sit for hours, catching crabs off the quay side.

As you can see, she carries on long after dark.  Her record to date is 29 crabs, and 3 shrimps   I have to say it was not cold though.

Tuesday dawned wet and very windy, so after a lazy morning we headed for Dartington Cider Press. A collection of shops built at the old mill.  We amused ourselves there before heading home via Dartmouth. Yes we missed the turning in Totnes!

Tea was cooked, then it began to rain, and rain and blow.  Gales were forecast so I checked the awning  was lashed down.  During the night the caravan swayed and the awning flapped, but come morning everything was intact.

Fine and bright weather greeted us on Wednesday morning and we had a hearty breakfast.

Then into Dartmouth to meet, Ami, Izzy Tony and Charlie.  We had lunch together in 'The Station'

After lunch we wandered around Dartmouth, and saw some proper crabs being unloaded from a fishing boat. Zoe was very jealous

Zoe went back to Paignton with Ami and co to stay for the night.
We drove back through Tor Cross to suss out a Caravan Club site that we hope to use next summer.

Lizzie and I visited Hope Cove on the  way home for a quick drink.  The sea was really rough, but it looked good, but guess who forgot to take a photo.

Thursday morning saw us having benifited from a good nights sleep as the wind had calmed down.  We were off to Brixham to stock up in Fish for the freezer. Five kilo's of Plaice, Sole and Dab for £12.00. Place your orders with me for next time! We collected Zoe and drove back over the Lower Ferry in Dartmouth.
Then it was back to camp. a quick change before going into Salcombe, for more crabbing and dinner at the Fort.
After a restless night because of the wind, - well we could have rolled down the hill and crashed, we had breakfast and cleared up.
We left at 12 noon, and managed to get to the main road, without meeting anybody, or any vehicles! Thank you Lord!
Got home safely and then Fresh Dab for tea.

Caravan now washed, cleaned and drained down ready for the winter, although I think we will be using it again before the end of the year!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Crossways Caravan Club Site

Our Landrover fleet grew with the arrival of our Freelander.

After our last trip, the Freelander was ready for us. So after a few days when mudlaps and a towbar were fitted we decided it was time for another trip

 This time, we decided that we would put the bits and pieces in the Freelander, go and collect the van and just go.  Wrong!  As I reversed the Freelander to the van, we spotted a huge screw in the front wheel. Off to the tyre agents, who fortunately were able to fix it.  

At our second attempt we were away!

Three hours  later we pulled on to Crossways site, after getting a little lost, which is down near Wareham.  What a super site. Caravans grouped together in little glades.  Some glades were closed due to soft ground, but we soon found a pleasant spot.

We were camped besdide a railway line and five minutes from a pub. Set up and then walked to the pub and the railway station. Train times and ticket prices looked good so offto Weymouth we went  the following morning. Weymouth has certainly changed since I was last there.  We found a 'Weatherspoons' for an excellent and cheap lunch. 
While we were there we got the bits we needed to connect the television up. So back at camp, while we cooked 'Venison' we were able to watch the news.

The following morning we went to Poole. It was warm and sunny and we were able to sit on the quay side watching the world go by and reading the papers.

The Boss keeping watch!

On the Sunday we went to Swanage. A bit blowy, and really busy.  A place worth going back to again.

The journey home was much easier as we did not get lost!  The freelander towed brilliantly, with plenty of power for the steep hills.

When we were home, aminor electrical problem was fixed quickly by Chipping Sodbury Caravans, the van was cleaned and polished and put to bed on its storeage site until the next time.


For some reason we forgot the camera for this excursion. Anyway we went to a very comercial site on the outskirts of Brean.  We had chosen this one deliberately as Zoe, and her friend Emily were desperate to come with us.  The bunk beds went up easily enough and we managed very well.
There was club on the site that had appaling caberet acts.  We went to Weston and Brean on the Saturday.

The main street of Brean was full of Cowboys, Cowgirls and a few American Indians.  They were all wearing guns, so I am suprised more Police were not about.

It was a good, Sunny weekend enjoyed by all!

Our First Run with the caravan

We decided that the first thing that we would do wwas to load the caravan up with all those things that you need for a comfortable life. So pots, pans, bedding etc were all put aboard. Now to learn about nose weight!  So some work with the bathroom scales and a bit of juggling with the way we had loaded and then we felt it was right.
The open road beckoned so off we went on a trial run, just to see how it handled. Out to Wickwar, up the M5 to the next junction, and then home along the A46 through Stroud.  Absolutely no problems. The Disco toed beautifully. We kept up with the traffic flow, and were often held up by slower 'numpties' usually driving Micras!
With the success of our first Towing session we looked for somewhere to go for a trial weekend.
Wales beckoned, so a Caravan Club site was booked at Pembrey, which is close to the Gowa.

We arrived at Pembrey country park after a two and a half hour run.    The wardens were superb, ex scout camp site wardens from Northumberland.  They offered to come and help us if we needed any help. Fortunately we did not, but it was nice to know that they were there.  Reversed in with no problems at all and set up within the hour. Beef in red wine sauce for dinner washed down with a few bottles of white wine.
Boy did it rain hard that night, but we were warm and dry in our little tin box.

Saturday dawned, sunny, bright and warm. Breakfast was soon prepared on the gas barbecue.

We did the house keeping, Filled the water, emptied the waste and the loo!

Off om a jaunt round the Gowa to Oxwich bay. Fantastic scenery, all bathed in  very pleasant late summer sunshine.
Got to Oxwich, and walked on the sand, collecting shells as we went.

There were lots of people walking backwards and stamping (must be a welsh habit we thought), they were actually drawing up Razor clams. You stamp, look, and if you see an air bubble pour salt on it and arazor clam pops out! They taste like 'scallops' apparently.

from there we went on to the Mumbles for a bite to eat, and of course a visit to the pier!

We did not stay on it for long as it was so rotten. Lizzie did not like it at all.
When we got back we cooked roast chicken with all the trimmings for dinner!

Sunday, dawned beautifully again. Many people were clearing up and leaving but we had negotiated a much later leaving time.

We went and wandered round Pembrey country park, which is stunning. 

After clearing up we left for our journey home over the Old Severn Bridge.

It was a really successful weekend, at an absolutely cracking site. We will certainly be back there next year!

1 In the beginning!

During August 2009 we camped during the wettest summer we could remember. It came down in stair rods, but we laughed and had lots of fun.  We camped lots, either at Scout do's or at Alston Farm, Salcombe. But all the while we talked about getting something more comfortable.
So im March 2010 we bought a bigger tent.  Much more comfortable, but it was still raining.
Having been thinking about it for a long time, we finally settled on a caravan. Well we had the vehicle to tow it, a Landrover Discovery 300tdi, and we were about to get a Freelander 2.

So off we went to look at caravans. Lizzie wanted one with a fixed bed, I wanted one with the sink and cooker close to the door. We tried so many, until at Chipping Sodbury Caravans` we found one that fitted the bill perfectly.  No fixed bed, but a proper shower room and toilet across the back.  The deal was done and we were the proud owners of a 2006 Bailey Ranger 470/4.  A lightweight four berth caravan.

Now for our first trip!