Jumieges

On the drive from Honfleur to Jumieges, near Rouen, the GPS was in cahoots with the toll companies. First crossing a toll bridge over the Seine to then cross back over another toll bridge over the Seine some miles later.
Later we were surprised when we arrived at another river Seine crossing. This time a small free ferry.

20140707-195251-71571299.jpg
Wendy was somewhat light hearted about the unscheduled detour.

20140707-195336-71616473.jpg

We arrived at Camping de la Foret and plan to stay here for a couple of days.

20140707-195431-71671336.jpg
It has been another very hot day so Max took cover under the van as usual, whilst Pepsi prefers being in the cab, with the windows and door open.

20140707-195523-71723596.jpg

20140707-195523-71723867.jpg

There’s a derelict abbey here from 1042. Very impressive.
Apparently William the Conqueror visited here after the battle of Hastings; and Edward the Confessor was educated here.

20140707-195938-71978541.jpg

20140707-195938-71978913.jpg

20140707-195939-71979250.jpg

Claude Monet, Giverny

Set off from Honfleur and travelled to Giverny to visit Claude Monet’s house.

20140702-142000-51600441.jpg

20140702-142000-51600588.jpg

20140702-142000-51600261.jpg

20140702-142000-51600779.jpg

We then decided to travel onto Le Mont St Michel one day earlier than planned. With a reasonably long drive we decided to have a McDonalds for dinner except we could not find one over 250kms!
Arriving in the evening we had a choice between parking the van in the car park overnight (€20.60/night) or in the camp site (€15.60/night). We opted for the camp site.

20140702-142530-51930333.jpg

20140702-142530-51930520.jpg

Ready to go!!

So the van is washed, polished and pretty much packed, ready to tour Normandy, France.
It has shiny new front brake discs and pads for this trip. Also fitted a new leisure battery as the original sealed battery would not hold its charge. Fitted a non-sealed battery this time so it can be topped up if necessary, so expect this to last longer than two years.
Unfortunately, we never found the time to install an inverter as planned, but that will definitely happen when we get back.

20140626-214951-78591311.jpg

May Weekend in Ravenglass

We have spent another great weekend in Ravenglass. We arrived on Friday, a bit later than normal due to the fact that I wanted to make sure all of my pupils made it back from their residential trip in one piece.
The weather forecast for the weekend was not great but we were hoping for some dry spells so that the dogs could get a nice run out on the beach. It was therefore a welcome bonus that the sun was shining when we arrived. Having set up we walked down to the Ratty Arms to try and book for dinner, unfortunately they were already fully booked so we had to resort to cooking for ourselves. We did however manage to book for the Saturday evening.
The weather for the rest of the weekend was great and we spent our time walking the dogs on the beach, sitting out on the campsite enjoying the sunshine and eating good food at the Ratty Arms and the Inn at Ravenglass.
It was a really relaxing break and a good prep for our trip to France in a few weeks time as it threw up a couple of issues with the van that we need to address. The bathroom light that was working before we left home on Friday had stopped by the time we arrived, so that needs investigating. A wee bit of a rumble when we were breaking means that we will change the front brake discs and pads before we set off on such a long trip. Apart from this the van was still fabulous and I suppose in the two and a half years we have had it we haven’t needed to do anything so we can’t complain. We might even fit in a trip to North Ledaig in the coming weeks.
20140526-195545-71745451.jpg

20140526-195550-71750787.jpg

20140526-195546-71746168.jpg

20140526-195543-71743652.jpg

20140526-195549-71749853.jpg

20140526-195547-71747928.jpg

20140526-195542-71742697.jpg

20140526-195553-71753525.jpg

20140526-195551-71751544.jpg

20140526-195552-71752558.jpg

20140526-195544-71744534.jpg

20140526-195548-71748901.jpg

The Season is Upon Us

Today the van is getting a much needed wash. It has been in the drive for much of the winter and a layer of grime has gradually built up dulling down its nice shiny paintwork.
Two weeks time will see us making a return trip to Ravenglass Camping and Caravanning Club site in the Lake District. We visited for the first time last season and enjoyed it so much we are going back this year. It won’t be long after that until we head off to France again. Hopefully we’ll also be able to fit in a couple of trips up to North Ledaig in between. We are nothing but creatures of habit!!
We are still hoping to add an inverter and some solar panels to charge a second battery but we have decided to hang fire with the external refillable gas tank for the moment as we haven’ t ever used two whole cylinders in the time we have been away. It might be something we don come back to in the future.
In the meantime I think the only other thing we will be adding for this season is a midge curtain for the gap at the sliding door. Some velcro, curtain hem weights and some netting from here should do the trick.

Getting Ready for the Season Ahead

It feels that the new season is just around the corner. The van is booked in tomorrow for its MOT. Our summer holiday to France is booked and we have already begun to make plans for the places we would like to visit and the Aires we might stay at. To help with getting into the mood we are visiting the Caravan and Outdoor Leisure show next weekend at the SECC. We entered a prize draw and managed to secure two free tickets.
We will be looking at gas tanks for converting to using auto gas. This will mean that when we are in Europe we can fill up at the filling stations and don’t need to worry about running out of Calor Gas. Also we are thinking about installing some solar panels and an inverter so that we can be self sufficient when we don’t have access to electric hookup.

20140202-132638.jpg

Still in Ravenglass

The weather in Ravenglass has continued to stay nice. We have been doing a lot of walking with the dogs and today we crossed the railway bridge over to the other side of the estuary. The dogs had a good run about on the beach and a wee paddle in the water.
This has been an ideal site for us and we will definitely return here in the future. It is quite different from the usual Lake District sites we have been to. It’s a lot less touristy in the village and there is a lack of nearby shopping for groceries. However there is a good mix of cafes, pubs and hotels serving good food if you want to give cooking a miss.

Holiday Site near Ravenglass

Holiday Site near Ravenglass

Catamaran waiting for the tide to come in

Catamaran waiting for the tide to come in

Ian enjoying his J2O!!

Ian enjoying his J2O!!

Roman dig site

Roman dig site

Roman dig site

Roman dig site

Autumn colours

Autumn colours

Ravenglass

Ravenglass

Max

Max

Pepsi

Pepsi

Ravenglass Camping and Caravanning Club Site

For the September weekend we decided to go somewhere other than our usual trip to North Ledaig. We didn’t want to travel too far as it was only a long weekend and we didn’t want to spend most of it driving. The things we like best in a campsite are, set in the forest or near a beach. Having looked at the Club sites Ravenglass seemed to fit the bill, being set amongst woodland yet only 500m from the beach.
The Lake District has in the past caused us some driving challenges but these were when we were towing the caravan. The roads are too narrow in some places for two large vehicles to pass and the tight corners mean you never quite know who you might meet head on, not to mention some of the steepest roads in the UK. However we took the suggested route down to J40 on the M6 across the A66 and down the A595. It was a very easy road and once the morning drizzle cleared up it was a beautiful drive through some wonderful scenery.

Lovely drive to the campsite

Lovely drive to the campsite.

Campsite View

Enjoying the weather

Enjoying the weather

Ravenglass Sunset

Ravenglass Sunset

The campsite itself is set in the woods just before you reach the village of Ravenglass. The wardens were very helpful on arrival and we were on the pitch and set up in no time. The afternoon was glorious and we headed off immediately into the village to get a feel for what was there and what we might want to do over the weekend. The village of Ravenglass is at the estuary of three rivers. In the past it was an important place for the Romans. There is still a lot of evidence of their presence; just up the road from the campsite are the remains of a Roman bathhouse. At present there is a dig going on but it finishes this weekend.

Roman Baths

Roman Baths

Roman Baths

Roman Baths

Ravenglass is also at one end of the La’al Ratty – Ravenglass to Eskdale steam railway. We took this trip this morning and it was very nice. The weather and scenery were both great. At the other end we stumbled across a meet of the Rolls Royce owners club. It was unusual to see so many of these cars in the one place.
At the railway station is the Ratty Arms. This is a nice place to eat. An extension has been built to look like a railway carriage and it looks out over the railway itself. We both had a main course, dessert and drinks for under £30.
So far this has been a fantastic weekend. If you like the outdoors and are not looking for much in the way of shopping or entertainment then give this campsite a go.

The Hebrides Update

Never did quite get to adding to the Hebrides blog. This happened for a couple of reasons, the first being the lack of wifi signal as we moved away from Lewis and also in an attempt to get a signal the mucking up of the settings on our Motorhome Wifi (our own doing). Also the fact that as the weather picked up we spent more time outside and less time attached to a device.

We ended up spending less time in the Islands than we had planned, mainly because of the change in arrangements in Barra. Last time we were there we camped on the grass next to the beach at the airport. This is no longer allowed, in fact wild camping unless in a tent is not allowed on Barra at all. This really spoiled the experience for us so we left a few days early and headed back to Oban and then onto Glencoe. The weather and views were spectacular there so it was no great loss.

All in all we had another great two weeks in the van. Here are some pics of the holiday to give a wee flavour of what it was like.