Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The last trip of the year!

Well it is December so it must be Exmoor House Caravan Club Site in Dulverton.

On the Monday we had the Caravan cleaned at Chipping Sodbury Caravans. I clean the caravan regularly, but find the roof difficult to do so they did it properly for us.

Drove down through Somerset, stopping for our customary burger in Wells.  Then we discovered that every farmer in Somerset had decided to go muck spreading, so that when we arrived on site  the caravan was filthy.  We set up on pitch 13. Venison for dinner and then bed!

Pheasant squawking outside the caravan woke us at 6.30 am! One of the advantages of this site is its location right in the middle of town, so I was able to walk in and collect the papers.

Then when Lizzie had roused herself we went into town for coffee and some retail therapy (Christmas shopping)

We then set off to Morrisons in Tiverton. I do love these empty country roads that twist and turn,so it was into sport mode and a good old trash down the lanes!  Back to site and the Christmas tree and lights were put up!  The Caravan was also washed!

On Friday we drove out to Woolacombe and Coombe Martin. The colours over the moor were amazing. Lizzie took lots of pictures on her ipad, so at some point, when I have worked out how I will transfer them to here.

Saturday began very wet, but we were not worried as we were going to Dunster by candle light. We drove into Minehead station car park. We then caught a bus up into Dunster. There were 12 coaches running a shuttle service from Minehead to Dunster. There were also 8 coaches running a shuttle service from The other side of Dunster. As you can imagine it looked very pretty, with the street lit by candles in Ikea lanterns.

 All the shops were open, but there were only four stalls in the street.  It looked very good, but I do not think it was as good as Chipping Sodbury Victorian Evening.It got so very crowded that after a couple of hours we got the shuttle bus back to Minehead and had a pleasant run home before a Fish and Chip supper.


On the Sunday it dawned very cold,and the valley was filled with mist!

Today it was Dulverton by Starlight, so we spent the day writing Christmas cards and then wandered up into Dulverton.  What a contrast to Dunster. All the shops were open. There were lots of stalls and it felt very good. Even the Policeman had entered into the spirit of things.
We spent a very enjoyable few hours just wandering around, sampling a few beers and spending money on the stalls.  This is one event we will aim to return to next year.

See     dulvertonbystarlight.co.uk

Then it was back to the caravan to cook a roast chicken dinner, and to watch the finale to Dulverton by Starlight that was a spectacular firework display from Dulverton Church.
A really super day to start off our Christmas festivities

On the Monday we cleared up in a leisurely way before driving home, stopping again in Wells for a burger and a brew from our favourite burger van The caravan was popped back into storeage until early in January 2104..

So ends our 2013 caravan year. We have been away every month and have had a truly wonderful year!
Hopefully 2014  will see some major changes, but more of that in 2014.

Cirencester Park CC site. 19th to 24th November.

It may seem strange to zoom off for a few days so late in the year, but we really started to miss our caravan, and we are trying to get away each month of the year. All UK based children and grandchildren came up for the usual Tuesday lunch and general mayhem, so after we had eaten Lizzie and I set off. The site is only 40 minutes or so up the road so a very short jaunt for us.

The caravan was terribly cold so the first thing on once we had pitched was the electric heating on full. The pitch we were on was 127, a south facing plot, which we got the full benefit of the sun during the limited hours of daylight.

Then as we were setting up a minor problem! One of the arms of the aqua roll handles had disappeared! It had probably fallen through one of the ventilation slots in the front locker! Fortunately our neighbour let us borrow his so I was able to fill both Aqua rolls ! Dinner went in the oven and was soon served in a now toasty caravan. TV reception was very poor, so tomorrow's job will be to set up the satellite system so we could watch the news from our region.
Slept well, I always do in the caravan.


Wednesday dawned bright and sunny, so after breakfast and having read the papers, Lizzie decided to I take her pills! She realized she had forgotten some rather important ones, so despite the fact that it was now absolutely hammering down I jumped in the Freelander and set of on a rather hazardous journey home. As I was passing Chipping Sodbury caravans I popped into buy a new Aqua roll handle. Pills collected from home I returned to the site, having to wear sunglasses for the return journey!  English weather at its best!
Then it was into Cirencester where we spent time Christmas shopping and updated our emails at Costa coffee! as the Internet on the site was not working properly.

On Thursday we went to Malmsbury, principally to visit the Abbey and it's Christmas shop. We then wandered round Malmsbury, which used to be a lovely town, but is now going down hill rather fast, caused mainly because there are so many empty shops, we drove on to Swindon outlet centre, where yet more Christmas presents were purchased.  Back the to site where Venison was prepared for Dinner.

Friday morning was very frosty, so I took the opportunity to prepare breakfast specials! I watched a chap a few caravans away from us shaking his blue gas bottles as he thought they were empty!  They were not it was just too cold for the gas to vaporise.
We then set off for Gloucester Quays where there was a Victorian market. We enjoyed wandering that for a few hours, watching all the people in Victorian dress and looking at an amazing array of stalls, non of which inspired us to buy anything!
There was a rather good 'folk trio' playing though!

We got back to site and watched the new arrivals pitching up! Which is always an interesting experience! When you pitch up there is a peg on the site, that your rear off side corner of the caravan should be lined up against.   Many caravanners can not reverse, so they just get out and move the peg!  This means many caravans are not correctly positioned as far as fire breaks are concerned and some wardens get a bit miffed!   Why the do not put the pegs in the ground permanently I will never understand!

On the Saturday we drove up to Bourton on the Water for yet mor Christmas retail therapy! Then on to Stow on the wold, wher parking was horrendous! The weather was crisp and clear with bright sunshine so it was lovely drive through the Cotswolds.

There was no frost on Saturday night so on Sunday we cleared up in a leisurely way, even getting a dry awning down.

This is a good site that we enjoyed, although due to its size, 200 plus pitches means it would be very busy in the summer.