Thursday, 26 March 2015

In the Begining

In The Beginning!

Hello and welcome to our brand new site. As you can probably see, we are still in the process of building and developing this blog, so in the near future you will hopefully see improvements and developments as we learn how it all works.

As a pre-amble we would like to share with you the back ground of why we have chosen this new motor-home life style. When our children were young we often took them camping in what they may now call 'god forsaken locations', and in all sorts of weather! We often had adventures of exploration which were sometimes verging on endurance, and we called these 'Holidays'. Since they have flown the nest we have continued in this vane, developing our love of hiking and cycling. These expeditions included some long distance cycle routes including C2C, Way of the Roses, Coast and Castles, The Isle of Mann and back home, a coastal tour of Cornwall and a few Cols in the Pyrenees. On these journeys we have sometimes camped or stayed in B&B, either as a couple or with our dear friends Sharon and Paul.  

However, since the grey hair and aches and pains have taken over, we now need a more comfortable place to rest our weary bones after our adventures, hence the advent of 'The Tardis', (this is what we are calling our new motorhome). Why The Tardis? Well, our little space houses a full kitchen, a fully functional bathroom, a mostly sunny dining room, a very spacious lounge and a huge comfortable bed, and additionally, it has swallowed all our possessions with the greatest of ease.

Our ultimate goal is to sell our house and live in the motorhome full time, but for now, we are busy sorting and selling our possessions while I work my notice prior to my retirement so that we can join " The Grey Nomads ".

Our journey so far.

19th March 2015

Today was a very exciting day for us because we collected The Tardis (our Brand new Autotrail Imala motorhome) from Brownhills of Newark.  We stopped over on their site for our first night to check out all of the van’s functions and idiosyncrasies, however,  it was too much information and I think we probably forgot more than we remembered, but I suppose that’s why they gave us a stack of manuals!  

The hospitality at the showroom was excellent and their on going after care is fairly generous too. The site is free for our use for up to 20 nights per year and provides electric hook up, hard standing pitches and use of their brand new facilities block, swimming pool, sauna and hot tub all thrown in.  I'm sure we’ll be back !

The van is exactly as we expected and we are both sure that we can live in it, but we are also sure we are going to have to make a fair few modifications to our lifestyle (for the better) to make it the success it has to be now we have made the life changing decision to sell up and go full time on the road for a few years.

20th March 2015

Anyway, after a comfortable first night we set off for home and when we got there we conquered my first fear.  I had been quite worried that we wouldn't be able to get the van onto the frontage of our house.  All along John had told me not to worry and that it would be easy!  Well for once he was right, and as soon as I’d moved my car out of the way he reversed it straight in without any problems - phew - glad that’s sorted.

Now we were home safe and sound it was time to rush round and get ready for going away tomorrow, but progress was slowed by a very welcome stream of visitors who wanted to see our new home.  First came Sarah, Paul and little Thomas along with John’s Mum; then it was Vicky and Jack.  The boys were very excited and as they were playing they decided they wanted to take us on a journey to the moon, but as one of them pointed out, we couldn't go there because we hadn't got any rocket boosters, so we settled for the seaside instead! Finally, Ben and Louise came to view the van and brought with them some good news of their own, but more on that later.
Unfortunately our son Adam couldn't get to the party so he still has that pleasure to look forward to.

21st March 2015.

After the final rush around on Saturday to finish loading The Tardis, we set off on our first adventure.
This is the first of two short breaks we plan to take in order to iron out any snags with the motorhome and acclimatise ourselves to a life on the road before going full time, hopefully in July.
We plan to spend this holiday in Hadrian Wall territory and our first port of call was a small site in Dalston near Carlisle. On arrival we settled in for the night, cooked a nice meal, opened the vino and planed our outings for the next few days.

22nd March 2015

Today was a cycling day. We set off from the site and rode down Cummersdale to the river Caldew which we followed into the centre of Carlisle. From there we picked up Sustran's route 72 which took us out towards the line of Hadrian's Wall which finishes at Bowness-on-Solway. However, along the way at a little place called Drumburgh we found a lovely spot with built in seating over-looking the estuary so we decided to stop for lunch. We tucked into our soup and sandwiches and commented to each other how fast the tide was coming in!! At this point an American couple pointed out that the rising tide was flooding the road over which we needed to return. Oh dear!! we wish we had taken more notice of the warning signs 'This road is liable to flooding'. As we quickly set off back the first section of road was already too deep to cycle through but luckily we managed to clamber round on a bank side. Further on we just went for it and rode through two sections of water that were rapidly rising as we frantically peddled. The rest of this 28 mile ride was uneventful but very enjoyable and we finally arrived 'home' in time for tea.

23rd March 2015

A day spent with a walk into Carlisle, a bit of retail therapy and then lunch out - a Burger and a pint!! Last of the big spenders.

24th March 2015

Today was another day spent cycling (only 30 miles this time). We set off towards Cummersdale again, but this time we went South along the riverside path past Dalston and on to Bridge End. This is where we picked up Sustran's route 10 which took us down the Cumbria Way through the extensive pasture land of Hawksdale Hall. From there on we followed minor roads crossing the River Caldew frequently heading towards Caldbeck. Unfortunately, I ran out of energy so we never made it that far, instead, we stopped on a little village green at Hesket Newmarket, but drat, the pub was closed. At this point the weather turned cold and threatened rain so we high tailed it back as fast as possible to The Tardis, but we did feel compelled to stop at the local Co-op to stock up on a little tipple of cider - pay back for the pub being closed!

25th March 2015

Moving day. We travelled further along Hadrian's Wall (and I drove!!) to our new resting place just outside Gilsland. This turned out to be a tiny field down a tiny drive, and since we arrived the wind has rocked us to sleep each night. It's so windy even the lambs where wearing coats (look carefully).

We're staying here for the next three nights so we will update the blog in a few days time.

Our Camping Spots in Great Britain