Saturday, 21 April 2012

Synderborough Farm, CL site, Sidbury, Devon 15th April.

We travelled down cross country rather than using the motorway. Found the site easily  and then spent some time setting up as the site fell away to the west. For the first time ever we had to use double levelling blocks under the near side wheels. the front had to be quite high as well.

We  have the site to ourselves,  The electric point is directly behind the caravan along with two taps!  The height of luxury!

A tractor came to spray the field in front of us. It looked as if it was trying to take to the air!

The views over the countryside are amazing, and there are many different birds to be observed. We are frequented by Buzzards riding the air currents over the valley in front of us.  Unfortunately we do not have a camera that is good enough to photograph flying birds!

The view from our lounge!
The valley we are in is the Syd valley
The view from the nearside window,
The bungalow is some 300 yards away

As dinner was being prepared we ran out of gas so a hasty trip to the front locker to exchange bottles.

On the Monday we popped into Sidmouth, 3 miles, and then to a camp site at Salcombe Regis  to collect a new bottle of Propane gas.  We usually run on Butane, but during the colder time of year we use Propane as it burns better.

Tuesday dawned bright and clear, although it had been a very windy and wet night.  we just lay there listening to the wind and rain lashing the caravan. Thank goodness the awning has fibreglass poles, as they move in the wind rather than bend or snap like metal ones.

We drove to Dorchester and met Mary for an excellent lunch. It was really good to see her as we have not met up since last summer.  The trouble with the roads round here is the number of 'mumpties' driving along at thirty and holding everyone up.

We drove home along the coast looking at Axminster, Seaton, Beer and Branscombe, mentally making a note of which places we would not like to live in!

Very hard rain and strong winds during the night lashed the caravan again!

The poor weather lasted into the morning, so it was a late brunch, followed by a lazy rest of the day.

Thursday was again windy but fortunately dry. We went into Sidmouth for a couple of hours.

 Here we found what is possibly the worst cafe I have ever been in, run by an eccentric ex-theatrical lady.  We left ann mooched around for a bit until we found another more hospitable cafe where we were able to sit and read the papers.  We asked directions to Waitrose from a lady in a charity shop!  She directed us to drive through the ford, and turn right at the T junction1

The ford was successfully negotiated, and we followed her directions!  As we zoomed up the hill, Lidl loomed up on the left, so with cheaper prices and excellent quality we went into stock up!

On the way back to the site we notice a road labelled public Byway!  So down it we turned.
 A steep drop off the road, and then a neat little lane!

 Through the ford,
 a very little ford I will add.
  and..... Well it then got steeper and muddier, so deciding that as we were on our own, and had no map,  common sense should prevail, and we should retrace our steps.  Getting back on to the road was a little challenging!

For dinner that night I prepared, and cooked Roast Duck, roast potatoes and all the trimmings!   Excellent it was!

We decided that as the weather was getting more unsettled that we should clear up on the Friday morning  and come home.  Heavy showers early on, then hot sun!  Fortunately we managed to get cleared up in the dry, and as we left the site the heavens opened!

Another successful trip. Now need to decide where to go to next!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Transfer box delivery time!

We drove down to Burrs Caravan Club Site to meet Kathy and Rob for the weekend!  They only live a mile from the site!  We were also carrying a transfer box for a Land Rover.  This had been in my garage since January, when I had collected it from Frog who had driven it to my brothers place in Basingstoke.  It was on its way to Blackie.

The journey from the previous site to Burrs Park could have been superb, if we had managed to see anything, but it was foggy.  Proper thick fog, not like the stuff we get down south!

When we got to Burrs Court we were told that only grass pitches were available. Suited us down to the ground as this was the view!
Then Blackie rang to say he was on that train and would soon be with us to collect the transfer box! yippee, now the Freelander would be able to travel at its normal high speeds, without that lump in the rear!

Then it was off to Robert and Kathy's for Dinner.  Robert collected us, in the jet propelled roller skate. We sat in their garden supping wine, and then Mark and his gang turned up!  Dinner cooked by Robert was a really special occasion! We got a taxi home, they are so cheap up there compared to round here!

Sunday dawned bright and clear, and we wandered down to see Kathy and Ethan do the sport relief mile!

This was everyone gathering at the start. So many were doing the 'Mile', that they ran several separate ones.

Soon it was time for Kathy's race!

Then they were off!

Kathy whizzed round the course, not quite doing a sub four minute, but still an excellent performance!

It was then back to the caravan, where we set around for most of the afternoon enjoying excellent weather.  It was warmer during late March, than it was in the summer of 2011.

We also watched more trains!

The following day we went on the Tram, from Bury to Media City.
Really enjoyed the tram rides, as I was able to sit behind the driver and pretend that I was driving!  Strange that we were on a 'old' railway line one minute and the next we were traveling on the streets of Manchester

 Media City is a bit of an impressive place. It is set round part of the old docks. Next door ITV are building their new studios as well.  There is also a branch of the Imperial War Museum, that we visited briefly as it was free and we were in need of a comfort break!
Manchester was certainly an interesting place.  Hopefully in the Autumn we will be able to visit there again for a longer period..

On the Tuesday Robert popped in to say farewell.   We cleared up in the warm sun and set off for home, a four hour run which returned a MPG of 27.  Not bad when towing!    Wepopped the caravan back in storage, ready for the next trip after Easter!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Oxenhope 22nd-24th March

Checked we had the camera and left home at about 10.30 am and set off for for Upwood Holiday Park which is just outside Haworth. The journey took about five hours as we were held up for a long time on the M6 where it crossed the Manchester Ship Canal owing to an accident that had happened in the early morning.

The site was a mixture of residential vans, Holiday lets, Statics and Pods.  There was a small area set aside for touring caravans which had marvelous views over the country side, little did we know but we should have taken the photographs then.  We set up the caravan, and discovered that the built in TV aerial worked.  First time ever!  It would not work last time out when we could actually see the transmitter.

Pete and Pilau picked us up at 7.00 pm and  we went to Petes place, Very nice flat.   From there we got a taxi to a rather good curry house.  We were looking forward to this, as our favourite one in Chipping Sodbury  shut a few months ago, and we were not disapointed!  Then it was a Taxi home for us, at a cost of £30.00!

Woke up to thick fog!

Went out for a drive and met Pete and Pilau at Petes work place for lunch for lunch.  Inspected his office and his dental equipment.  Pete was in the process of looking for a new place to live in Ilkley.  It was now a warm day, so we sat outside for a sandwich and a drink. wandered round the town and spotted this rather smart vehicle!

For those who are not into Land Rovers, that is what is called an Overfinch and costs about £100.000.
Left Pete and Pilau and drove over Ilkley Moor that looked like this

Then the fog returned, rapidly with a vengance, so it was back to the camp site which was a total white out!

As there was a club house, we settled on having an evening meal there which was excellent.  We turned in early, as we had an early start in the morning down to Bury!

The morning dawned thick fog again, so we set about breakfast and clearing up!  The manager of the site kept checking up that we were clearing up ready to leave as he was going to put a caravan on our pitch!

We set off to drive to Bury, again in thick fog!

Excellent site, that we would visit again!

Pitts Farm on the Mendips 16th - 19th February

Our first real venture on to a proper greenfield site, just water and waste disposal, plus electric hook up for the grand total of £8.00 per night

When we pulled on to the site there was only one other van there. The ground was very soft so it was a good job we were in the Freelander. We set up at the other end of the field to the other caravan. Everything went well as we set up, even had the satellite TV system set up in 10 minutes. Then washed the front of the caravan.  It was plastered with mud and other unmentionable things from the road that ran through the farm.  All came off easily as it was still wet!

Checked to make sure that  we had everything!  I had forgotten the camera!

Popped down into Wells, only ten minutes away!

Very cold outside over night, but toasty inside the caravan..

On the Thursday after a fine fry up for breakfast, we set off for Clark's Village.  wandered round, and did not spend a penny. Not a place I care to visit again in a hurry.   On the Thursday night the caravan had gone, but about 6.00pm a motorhome appeared and set up right beside us

Friday was quite misty, but that soon cleared into a bright fine day. We set off to Burrington Coombe for morning coffee.  From there we drove over the top, via Charterhouse into Cheddar.  There were a lot of people around, but nothing apart from food shops seemed to be open.  No wonder the Somerset tourist board is encouraging shops to open more out of season to catch tourists.

We returned home and popped the caravan back into storage ready for our next trip, which is to be up North in a few weeks time when we will make sure that we remember the camera.

An excellent site to stay that we will use again!