Lockdown Week 14: Solving the Dilemma

Houdini

We’re still in lockdown, parked up in our little spot. The weather has heated up a lot this week and it has been unbearable at times, this week and the thunderstorm that was due never really happened.

Boris has announced some lifting of lockdown measures and we are able to travel away from home and overnight (in England) from 4th July, so planning is beginning.

Our dilemma: did we want to buy Nortia or take her back? In the words of an eighties game show – “Come on down! The Price is Right!” Yes, we’ve agreed a price with Etrusco, just waiting to find out where we need to go to complete the paperwork.

We’re heading off again next week and this week we’ll be sorting out our junk. It’s amazing what you can accrue in 14 weeks of Lockdown and nine months on the road! So far, we’ve sorted out the wardrobes! If it hasn’t been worn since we’ve been out then it’s now in the loft! British weather being what it is, we’ll probably need something! Also, the law of the sod, says “we’ll need something!”

In other news, Reg continues to grow, we’re starting to change his meals to two a day, gradually. We had to buy a cool mat for him as he was too hot in the heat and he loves it. He did give us a scare on our last trip out as he pulled out of his harness and sat down under my feet, in the cab. Maybe, we should have called him Houdini.

As always, thank you for reading, hopefully we’ll have done something interesting in the coming week to be able to share with you. We’re still healthy and well, despite our wings being clipped, and hope you are too.

One year on, Lockdown and a Dilemma.

Handover Day 19/06/2019 Cleveland Motorhomes, Darlington

A year ago today, 19th June 2019, we arrived at Cleveland Motorhomes in Darlington and were handed the keys to Nortia. We started our trip with a little get-to-know-you adventure driving south, slowly before heading to Europe.

We visited Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, France, Monaco, England, Scotland, Wales, Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. All in covering 25,000 miles in nine months, then Lockdown hit and our plans for the next three months were changed in an evening.

Lockdown began for us in Sussex, when Boris said all unnecessary travel was prohibited and only essential businesses should remain open. The campsite we were on, was closing. We headed off home and parked up outside, plugged into the electric, logged onto the WiFi and filled up with water. Here, we dutifully stayed parked up, until we were allowed to go out for day trips in June. On our first trip, we had to check the tyre pressures and dust off the cobwebs, which were everywhere – wheels, wing mirrors, bike rack. We had been stationary for so long, that driving was a new experience and we actually forgot about the cruise control and sixth gear! We headed to the beach, hoping to show Reg the sea, but so had the rest of the county, so we headed up into the South Downs National Park instead.

Our views, whilst away, have been magnificent, the fjords in Norway, mountains in the Dolomites, the Alps in France, marinas in many countries, sea views and green fields. We’ve stayed in towns and in isolated areas, with many people and on our own. Now our view for the last three months has been a fence and garage doors!

During Lockdown, we’ve managed to stay sane, trained a puppy, been in good health and we’re still talking – there have been moments, but with the three of us in a 7.4 metre long motorhome, you’d expect some fireworks.

Our plans had been to travel up to Wales and over to Ireland (perhaps, to the Isle of Man), on to Scotland and the Hebrides (Inner and Outer), but they are on hold for the time being.

Life is slowly beginning to get back to normal, non-essential shops are allowed to open and campsites are beginning to get ready to open on 4th July, still no word about pubs, restaurants or hotels.

Now our dilemma, Etrusco need to sell our motorhome – our year has come to an end, but we have been offered first refusal, we’re just waiting for a price. We’ve started looking at the market, to see what we can afford but, we need to move on if campsites open.

Our dilemma is two-fold – without a price for the Motorhome, we don’t know where to book!

  • If we have to return Nortia, we need to plan to head north and sort out a plan to return home to start again; or
  • If we can buy Nortia, we can start to book our next trip, into England and see more sights, Wales looks like it might be opening its borders soon so a slow trip west could be on the cards.

As always, thank you for reading. We’ll update you with our plans as soon as we know what we’re doing, Government guidelines depending.

Lockdown Week 13: Places we’ve been (Part 6 – Belgium, England, Scotland, Wales, Spain and Gibraltar (with a night in Portugal).

Ominous Skies

Week 13 in Lockdown. Although we can travel out, we can’t stay out overnight. The weather has not been great this week, but next week looks better!

Reg had to have a new bed, this week as he’s outgrown his! We’re hopeful that we can move in three weeks, but waiting for Boris to give us the ok.

Belgium

We headed out of the tunnel on our first trip and headed to Belgium, so we could get Nortia fixed the following day in Geel at Dicar Motorhomes https://www.dicar.be/ and despite trying we couldn’t find anywhere with space, so had to head across the border to the Netherlands for the night.

  • De Klinge – we stopped, once Nortia was fixed at Camping Fort Bedmar in Belgium. The campsite was our first one in Belgium and in a lovely place. There is a statue in the town to Gustaaf De Loor, winner of the first La Vuelta, in 1935.
  • Ypres – we stopped at the Jeugdstadion, just a short walk from the Menin Gate and the town.
  • Bredene – Camping Veld & Duin, just a short distance from the beach and the town centre. Almost next door is a Chinese Restaurant!

England

  • Richmond, Yorkshire – Richmond Hargill House (CMC) Camping and Motorhome Club site. Our very first stop in Nortia! Close to Catterick, Darlington and the Yorkshire Dales.
  • North York Moors CMC, on the edge of the North York Moors near Whitby. This site was the first we have ever stayed on without facilities, and a good way to get to know Nortia (and our limits)!
  • York – Rowntree Park CMC, on the edge of the city. We love this site! If you venture out of the back gate you come across a lovely neighbourhood, with local shops, restaurants and services. Out of the front gate and follow the river into the city centre. This site does flood!
  • Maplethorpe Camping and Caravanning Club SIte, a short walk to the beach, passed a lot of holiday parks.
  • Thetford Forest CMC – another site with no facilities, but in the middle of the forest and with the Desert Rats Memorial and designated trail. Perfect for dog walking.
  • Ashwell, Baldock, Hertfordshire – Ashridge Farm CMC, in a idyllic English Village, complete with two pubs and a cricket green.
  • Henley – Henley Four Oaks, close to the town of Henley and the river Thames.
  • Littlehampton CMC, close to the town of the same name.
  • Folkestone – Black Horse Farm, ideal for the Tunnel and Ferries.
  • Bearstead CMC – close to the Tunnel and ferries. In the countryside with a good dog walk.
  • Polstead Camping and Caravanning Club Site – a gem of a site (we’ve stayed here twice on the trips first in October and again in March). Close to Flatford – scene of Constable’s Hay Wain.
  • Oakham, Rutland – Rutland Caravan and Camping Site. Close to the town and with a lovely dog walk.
  • National Memorial Arboretum, Burton-on-Trent – As we were passing, we wanted to visit the site of National Remembrance. It was very wet when we arrived and we had a great day out here.
  • Swadlingcote – Conkers Camping and Caravanning Site, Derbyshire.
  • York – Sheriff Hutton Camping and Caravanning Club Site, a nice site, not too close to the City. We stayed here at Halloween and it was here I (Sarah), managed to nudge a caravan when reversing! If you are going to nudge a Caravan, make sure the owners aren’t sitting having a nice cup of tea, watching your every move!
  • Alnwick, Northumberland – River Beamish CMC site. We stopped here so we could visit Cragside, the first house in the world to be lit with hydroelectric power.
  • Berwick-on-Tweed – we’ve stopped here before and love the views and the town.
  • Hawes, Yorkshire – Britain’s highest market town. The campsite is a short walk for the town centre.
  • Castleton, Derbyshire – after a hairy drive over the Snake Pass in the rain – the road had been closed but was passable with care. We stopped at the CMC site in the village.
  • Shrewsbury, Shropshire – Love 2 Stay Campsite – a very modern campsite.
  • Cheddar – We stopped at the CMC Site, just on the edge of the town and close to amenities.
  • Dartmouth – Hiilhead CMC club site – lovely views of the coast and an all-purpose campsite, with restaurant and swimming pool. We left here using the Kingsweir ferry and stopped for lovely lunch in the town.
  • Truro – Carnon Downs Caravan Park. We stopped here on our way to the Lizard and Lands End.
  • Tavistock – we stopped at the Camping and Caravanning Club Site, close to the market town and Dartmoor.
  • Charmouth – Manor Farm Holiday Centre. Close to the town and the beach, but not a lot of character.
  • Wareham – Hunters Moon CMC site. A brief stopover, with a lovely dog walk.
  • Brighton – CMC site, at the edge of the city. Close to the seafront.
  • Crawley – Gatwick CMC site. If it wasn’t for the fact it is close to family, we might not stay here! The runway is literally a road away, so very noisy.
  • Moreton-in-Marsh CMC site – on the edge of the Cotswold village.
  • Leek – Blackshaw Moor CMC, in the Peak District, great views and walks.
  • Skipton – Bolton Abbey CMC on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, great views and walks and drives.
  • Harrogate – Harrogate Caravan Park, just outside the town, next to the Great Yorkshire Showground. We stopped here as Nortia, was booked into Steve Mann Caravans, to repair a fault we had with the water pump. https://stevemanncaravans.co.uk/
  • Barnes Green, Horsham – Sumners Ponds. Close to home and a gem of a site.

Scotland

  • Edinburgh – CMC Site. We had hoped to go into the city and have a look around, but the weather turned and rain set in. Be aware, there is a lot of cycle theft up here and the site have lockers for you to store them in, safely.
  • Dalbeattie – Glenearly Caravan Site. We followed the South West Coastal 300 (SWC300) around the south west of Scotland. We found this campsite almost by accident and it was lovely.
  • Stranraer – Low Glengyre Farm Certified Location – a gem on a working farm.
  • Moffat – Moffat Camping and Caravanning Club Site – on the edge of the town.

Wales

  • Llanberis – Morris Leisure Touring Caravan Holiday Park. Right at the edge of the village, close to the Snowdon Mountain Railway and walks.

Spain

We started our tour of Spain on the Costa Verde travelling along from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Campostela, before heading south.

  • Zarautz – Gran Camping Zarautz – our first night in Spain, this campsite was right on the Atlantic with a lovely view of the sea and beach and a walk right around it.
  • Loredo – Camping Loredo Derby – Right on the Atlantic, sand was blown along the campsite roads. We discovered in the night that we had parked side on to the wind, so a fairly sleepless night ensued. The facilities were incredibly basic.
  • Onis – Camping Picos de Europa – a campsite right in the Picos de Europa Mountains. This is where we heard the wolves in the morning.
  • Castropol – Camping Vegamar – due to the amount of rain they had in this part of Spain, the grass pitches were not available, so we were allowed to camp in the car park.
  • Santiago de Campostela – Camping AS Cancelas – a lovely site close to the centre of the city and a hypermarket and shopping complex. We didn’t get to see much of the town, as it was here we spent the night (almost) in the hospital.
  • Salamanca – Camping Regio – heading south we crossed into Portugal, then back into Spain and spent the night here. The campsite is behind the hotel and a reduced price fixed menu meal was available.
  • Cáceres – Camping Cáceres – Our first campsite with a private bathroom.
  • Hinojos – Camping Doñanarrayan Park – we arrived to a closed campsite after a horrendous journey in heavy rain. The Barman, came out and explained we could camp but we had to wait until the morning to pay etc. We were given a basic map. After walking the dog, we found the only sanitary block, but it did have heating and hot water.
  • El Puerto de Santa Maria – Camping Playa Las Dunas San Anton – this is another site we don’t want to share but…. we arrived for two days – then Christmas and left 16 days later. We made some lovely friends here and will return.
  • Tarifa – Camping Valdevaqueros, The time had come to say goodbye to the friends we had made and head off on our adventure. Heading south we stopped outside Tarifa on the beach and contemplated asking to go to Morocco, then we heard from our friends www.rewindthegap.co.uk that the Erwin Hymer Insurance wouldn’t cover us, so we couldn’t go. The campsite is close to the beach accessed via subway and home to a lot of kite surfers.
  • Marbella – Camping la Buganvilla. We found this campsite just outside the town hoping we could cycle in, but without cycling on the busy A7 there was no way.
  • Viñuela – Camping Presa La Viñuela – Up in the mountains above Malaga, behind a restaurant. There are walks along the river.
  • Granada – Camping Suspiro del Moro, Otura – This is another lovely gem of a campsite, just outside Granada and you can get the bus or cycle into the city.
  • Roquetas del Mar – Camping Roquetas del Mar – we were going to stay for two nights, but this is where Albi fell sick and passed away. We stayed for another night whilst he was in the vet clinic. We did manage a cycle out along the sea front and will probably return to explore further.
  • Mazarrón – Camping los Delfines – we stopped here in desperation of somewhere to stop and were contacted by Karen and Colin – Rewind the Gap, to say they were nearby and did we want to meet up?
  • San Javier – Camping Mar Menor – after a Burger King Brunch, we arrived at this lovely Stellplatz. Our place had been held by Karen and Colin (much to the dismay of others who’d been turned away). The campsite has the best facilities, we’ve seen for ages (especially for a Stellplatz). It is behind the former Airport – now home to the Spanish Air Force display team
  • Villajoyosa (Benidorm) – Camping El Torres – a must on our to do list. Neither of us had been to Benidorm before and we had heard the tales. A short cycle ride from the campsite and you are in Benidorm!
  • Moraira – Camping Moraira. This is another hidden gem. We cycled out from here to Cova des Arcs at Cala del Moraig. The beaches and bays around here are fantastic. Even better, at the bottom of the hill to the campsite is an Indian Restaurant and takeaway!
  • Valencia – Camping Coll Vert, El Saler. We arrived for two nights, so we could cycle along the beach to the city. Then we were hit by Storm Gloria, and the two nights turned into five. Sand and water was everywhere.
  • Benicassim – Camping Tauro – a one night stop over and we found ourselves in a Caravan Club rally. The campsite was full of Brits! We could have stayed at home.
  • Peñíscola – Camping El Eden – close to the beach in a gem of a town, overlooked by a castle (in Game of Thrones) with cycle routes around – when the sand is cleared. When we were there the sand was over a metre high in places!
  • Amposta – Parque Natural Delta del Ebro – A free spot with Motorhome Parking (services are payable – water and disposal), in the heart of a natural park, with Flamingos.
  • Cambrils – Camping La Llosa – we loved it here. You can cycle into the town and on to Salou. We picked up an Indian takeaway and met some more lovely people here. We stopped for two nights and left after five! We got the train from here into Barcelona.
  • Prades – Camping Prades Park – Up in the mountains, with stunning views and walks. We walked up to La Roca Foradada, the holed rock. Another weather warning was in force when we arrived, but thankfully it wasn’t too bad
  • Taradell – Camping La Vall – still in the mountains, the weather turned colder and we headed back to the coast. We liked this site and will return!
  • Palamos – Empord’Area Palamos – A Motorhome stop just outside the town and with more cycle paths into the town and around the countryside. A supermarket is within walking distance.

Portugal

We only spent one night in Portugal, hoping to return later in the year. We will be back, just in a little while!

  • Chaves – Guest House Chaves, on the back of a park and on the edge of the town. The campsite is in the garden of a guest house. It was a lovely taste of the Country, especially having driven over the mountains and through the countryside.

Gibraltar

We should have stayed longer. We actually stopped in Spain but it was so close to the Border, that we’ve added it under Gibraltar.

  • La Línea de la Concepción – Alcaidesa Marina Motorhome Parking. On the edge of the marina, close to the town and the border and an ideal cycle ride onto the Rock.

Lockdown Week 12: Places we’ve been (Part 5: Croatia, Italy (Monaco and Switzerland) and France

Waiting to get back on the road

We remain in our parking place! We have ventured out, giving Nortia a drive and getting rid of cabin fever. We had hoped to take Reg to the beach, but so had everyone else! We picked the last day of the good weather! Lockdown in England, now means we can go out for the day, but not stay out! and we can meet in socially distanced groups of no more than six.

Positively: Reg’s walks are getting longer; Ric and I are still talking; Nortia, continues to be an ideal home for lockdown, even if our location needs a bit of a view; and we’re safe and well.

Croatia

We travelled to Croatia, primarily to meet my (Sarah’s) mum, who was on holiday there. She wasn’t aware we were going there, apparently she hoped we might, until the day before – we couldn’t surprise her, in case she’d booked a day trip!

  • Ičići / Opatija – although two towns they were joined together in 2006. We stopped at Camping Opatija, overlooking the sea. We walked along the promenade to meet up in Opatija, and had a lovely lunch in a small cafe, before walking back to the campsite.
  • Pula – We stopped at Camping Stoja, on the beach and at the edge of the town. This was the first place we were aware to have a tidal wave warning system on site.

Italy

  • Belluno – despite a major road closure, we found our camping spot for the night at the Agriturismo Sponga. A stellplatz at a restaurant at a fishing pond location. The restaurant doesn’t open on Sunday evenings.
  • Mazzin – a lovely location in the Dolomite Mountains. It was a little chilly at night but the location and the town were lovely. Camping Soal.
  • Lake Garda – Agriturismo Pardiso. Located a short walk from the Lake and within an Olive grove, where you can buy the home produced olive oil.
  • Busana – Located in the Reggio Emilia district, amongst chestnut trees, it was a blessing to find. We ordered bread for the following morning and it was delivered to the door handle! Camping le Fonti.
  • Levanto (Cinque Terre) – Camping Acqua Dolce. We loved it here and would happily return. The campsite has a free shuttle bus (on demand, when we arrived) to the beach and station. It also has a great restaurant onsite, selling home-made pizza.
  • Finale Ligura – we have stopped here before and had a lovely meal in the bistro down the road. This time though, we were disappointed and have decided not to return.

Monaco

We popped into Monaco, on our way past, so we could get Nortia into the Pole Position on the Grand Prix Circuit. We had managed it before in our VW, but its a lot easier to manoeuvre a small vehicle in the small streets. Success, after a couple of trips around we stopped the traffic and took a photo!

Switzerland

Having tried to avoid Switzerland, just because we weren’t certain of the rules regarding tolls and entry, we found ourselves in Geneva and at CERN. We had to take a few photos at CERN, just because!

France

Crossing the border into France, we were searched by border control. We don’t mind too much as it is a necessary precaution against people smuggling and illegal immigration.

  • Villeneuve-Loubet – Birthplace of Auguste Escoffier. We found a lovely campsite just by chance – L’Hippodrome. It was just behind a supermarket – perfect for bread in the morning and close to the town.
  • St. Tropez – after singing, “Do you know the way to St Tropez?” all the way, we stopped at a Yelloh! site under the trees. Here, we tried to decide which way to head along the coast or north. The weather report on the radio, informed us of a RED weather warning. We bit the bullet and headed north. We later found out how difficult it had been for people who had parked up on the Mediterranean, with flooding, wind and rain.
  • Route Napoleon – Castellane (Elba to Grenoble): We followed the route from Castellane up to Gap. The route is scenic and we’d done part of it previously.
  • Digne-les-Bains – we arrived here just before the weather caught up with us. We were just sorting dinner on the barbecue, as the rain started – not too hard at first, but as we found out on the dog walk the following morning – torrential. Water drained out of my boots, Ric moved Nortia to hard ground, and after wringing out my walking clothes (I’d also packed up the external gear, as I was already wet!) we set off further north.
  • Gap – we stopped here for lunch (in the car park of the Casino Supermarket). Not our most scenic place but ideal to get away from the weather.
  • Lépin-le-Lac – What a find! Camping les Peupliers, is not the most up to date campsite, but right on the lake and with amazing views.
  • Col du Grand Colombier – Instead of going through Switzerland, we chose to go up this hill! As you’ll have already read, we went through Switzerland anyway! The Col du Grand Colombier, is the highest road pass in the Jura Mountains and a frequent hill climb in cycling. In the Tour de France it is classified HC  (Hors Catégorie) – meaning beyond classification. The views from the top are magnificent and worth the effort.
  • Gex – on the edge of Parc naturel régional du Haut-Jura (worth noting dogs are not allowed in the national park)! We stayed just outside the town at Camping les Genets. A short walk in either direction gets you to the Supermarket (and bakery) or the town centre. More fantastic views from here.
  • Chalexeule – Although we remember the campsite and the surroundings, not much more springs to mind. It is a short walk to the bakery.
  • Colmar – Just outside the town, a fantastic site. It’s a Huttopia CityKamp site and well worth a stop before walking into the town with its historic buildings and old town. This is on our list to return to.
  • Andelot – In the middle of the countryside, our only neighbours were the cows in the field behind. Arriving out of season, the facilities were mainly closed and the owners were working hard to upgrade the washrooms and toilets. This is a gem – Camping le Moulin and worth a visit.
  • Compiègne – we made a conscious effort to visit here. The Armistice Agreement of World War I was signed here ending the war.
  • Thiepval Memorial – I had visited here before and wanted to show it to Ric. It is a big memorial to the fallen of World War I. However, since I had previously visited, there is now a large visitor centre.
  • Péronne – We chose to stay here for two nights. It was ideal as a stop as there is a vet and it is within the timescale we had to cross back to England. Camping le Port de Plaisance – the town is walking distance along the river.
  • Dunkirk – Another two nighter, at the Camping de la Licorne. A cycle route takes you right into the town centre along the sea front. There is a trail around the town showing the historic sites. A word of warning – the sand hurts as it whips off the shore in the wind.
  • Marcilly-sur-Eure – Heading back south after a trip in the UK, we stopped at a little campsite just beyond Rouen. As we arrived, it looked closed, but it was open! The pitches were arranged in little circles – with a sanitary block in the middle. When we awoke in the morning, the campsite was shrouded by mist, giving it a fairytale feel. Campsite Domaine de Marcilly.
  • Saint-Georges-lès-Baillargeaux – Ideal for Poitiers and Futuroscope, we stopped at Campsite le Futuriste.
  • Oradour-sur-Glane – if you are in this part of France, this is a must! I’d always wanted to visit and had told Ric about it, but last time we were near, the weather was too hot to leave a dog in a campervan. This time, Nortia, gave Albi, the perfect base while we set off. Oradour-sur-Glane is a memorial to those who died, when the Nazis (in response to D Day) destroyed the town on 10th June 1944. The inhabitants were rounded up and shot and set on fire. The village, remains exactly as it was at that time, as ordered by President de Gaulle.
  • Exideuil-sur-Vienne – Camping de la Rivière is an absolute gem and deserves a visit!
  • Urrugne – Gateway to Spain! We got as close to the Spanish Border as we could, as there was another national strike in France this weekend. Camping Larrouleta, is a large site, at the foothills of the Pyrenees and we found sun for the first time, although the temperature did dip at night!
  • Saint-Jean-Pla-de-Corts – in the Pyrenees on our return to England. Campsite Les Casteillets, is in the Languedoc- Roussillon, just across the Spanish Border and has views of the snow capped mountains.
  • Canal du Midi – we followed the canal as best we could the whole way from it’s start at the Atlantic to it’s end at Marseillan Plage and the Etang du Thau. We travelled up to Colombiers via Agde and Beziers.
  • Colombiers – Camping les Peupliers, is situated just off the Canal and an ideal place to pick up the tow path. We cycled along the tow path to Beziers via les Neuf Écluses de Fonseranes (the nine locks) and the Basin de Beziers and around the old town, before returning to Colombiers and the Malpas Tunnel.
  • Le Lac de la Thésauque – we stayed at the campsite on the lake, having followed the canal up around Carcassonne and on towards Toulouse. Due to the amount of rain, France had in the last few months, the campsite was very wet and we had to change pitches to ensure we could leave in the morning.
  • Deyme – what a nice campsite. We stopped at Camping les Violettes, just outside Toulouse and not far from the canal towpath (it is a short walk or cycle on the busy main road first). We cycled north to Toulouse and south as far as we fancied, seeing a sunbathing (and then swimming) beaver on our route.
  • Toulouse – still following the canal and wanting to visit the Aeroscopia Museum, we stayed at Camping Le Rupé. We cycled to the Museum and on another trip into the city. The staff at the campsite were so welcoming. A short walk down the road towards the canal is a lovely bakery, too.
  • Créon – a brief overnight stop on our way up to Bordeaux, still following the canal to its source, we stopped at Camping Bel-Air. The town is about a half hour walk away, or a quick cycle!
  • Bordeaux – Just outside the city centre, in amongst the conference centre and the new Stadium of Bordeaux (currently the Matmut Atlantique) is the Village du Lac campsite. Cycle paths take you right into the city centre and beyond.
  • Arcachon – we drove out to the coast (backtracking slightly) to the town of Arcachon. The campsite was a means to and end for us. Arcachon Nature Camping et Location.
  • Dune du Pilat – the reason we came to Arcachon! We arrived (along with the rest of France!) mid morning on a Sunday, and joined the masses climbing the tallest Sand Dune in the World.
  • Île d’Oléron – We crossed the Gironde Estuary on the Royan ferry, completing our trip along the Canal du Midi. We chose to stop for the night on the Île d’Oléron, and out of season. We stopped at Camping les Gros Joncs.
  • Île de Ré – We stopped at Camping Les Grenettes, having driven around the Island. The weather changed and weather warnings were issued for flood and sea events – a little worrying as the campsite was 300 metres from the sea! We survived!
  • La Givre – we headed further north towards Brittany and stopped at Camping La Grisse in the Vendee. This campsite was another little hidden gem.
  • Nantes – stopping at Camping Nantes, it is ideal for a visit to the town. We wanted to see the Mechanical Elephant, but again the weather changed and brought rain and wind.
  • Piriac-sur-Mer – we stopped at Camping Le Véridet, right on the sea, inside a walled campsite. On our way up we had our wing mirror clipped by a passing delivery driver and managed to find all the bits – thank heavens for mirror protectors. We settled into the small campsite, just as Storm Jorge arrived!
  • Pont Scorff – more rain! We stopped off here at Ty Nenez. It has the potential of being a nice site, in the high season and good weather.
  • Ferme du Bout de Monde – We loved this campsite and the two dogs who greeted us.
  • Locquirec – We headed along the coast to the most westerly point of France and then along the coast to Locquirec. We stopped at Camping du Fond de la Baie, with lovely views of the beach and the English Channel.
  • Dinard – we stopped right on the beach, at Camping du Port Blanc, and the views in the sun were amazing. Having been into the town for lunch, the weather changed and the wind picked up. We managed to see the Statue of Alfred Hitchcock, before battling the wind back to the campsite. We had to try to move Nortia to a more sheltered position as sand was accumulating everywhere – like snow!
  • Saint-Martin-des-Besaces – https://www.sous-les-etoiles.camp/ Have you ever stopped at one of those sites you don’t want to share with the world? This is one of ours!
  • Le Treport – we headed to the campsite so we could be close to the Tunnel. The campsite however is only open until 12:00 on Saturdays, in low season. Luckily there was a nice Aire behind and about half the price.
  • Montreuil sur Mer – close enough to the tunnel, and just outside the walled city ( a quick walk to the top of the site and through the passage in the wall). The campsite, Camping la Fontaine des Clercs, is another gem.

Lockdown Week 11: Places we’ve been (Part 4: Poland to Slovenia)

We’re still in lockdown. Rules are being relaxed but, we still can’t camp overnight. The weather has continued to be nice and sunny and Reg continues to grow and get more adventurous.

We’re continuing on our review of places we’ve been, remembering happy times travelling and waiting for the time we can continue.

Poland

  • Ryn – our first stop in Poland. The campsite here, although the Campercontact App, stated it was closed, was very much open, and it was an absolute gem of a site. We can’t recommend Camping Mazury enough. We were even shown to a big fenced field next to the woods, where Albi was allowed to roam free.
  • Warsaw – the roads into the city were very busy so we chose to stay on the outskirts at Camping 222 in Kaputy. It was here we bumped into our fellow Bloggers and friends, Karen and Colin – Rewind the Gap.
  • Auschwitz – we made the decision, if we were going through Poland, we had to go to Auschwitz. We stopped for the night in the Motorhome stop in the car park opposite and explored the site the following day.

Slovakia

  • Námestovo – after a drive from Poland, up into the hills / mountains and over the border we found a campsite on the edge of the Reservoir. Another lovely small site – ATC Jumi.
  • Kremnické Bane – The geographical central point of Europe. A plaque is mounted on a stone outside the church of St John. We arrived at the same time as a coach of school children, in the rain. Be careful when looking for the sign posts, as it was on a steep bend!
  • Čilistov – we stopped at a small Stellplatz on the edge of the village, near the river Danube. We had been looking for a campsite, but they were all closed, and stumbled on this site, complete with honesty box for payment. It is also close to a Hotel – the Hotel Kormorán and the X-Bionic Sphere Sports Resort, with it’s wonderful Sculpture – Colossus, the largest Equine Statue in the World.
  • Bratislava – we stopped at the Motorhome Parking on the edge of the River Danube and wandered around the town, stopping for lunch. The Parking is a free car park, with no time limit.

Czech Repuplic

We stopped in the Czech Republic, after having a difficulty crossing the border into Austria – all part of the adventure!

  • Lednice – we stopped at the campsite ATC Apollo. It was a little stuck in the 1950’s and not somewhere we would chose to go back to.

Austria

We sorted out our little issue (what vignette we needed, and whether we did need one) and headed over the border.

  • Tulln – another town on the Danube. The campsite, Donaupark, had the potential to be lovely, but due to a Rally on site, we were placed at the edge of the site.
  • Burgau – the town was a lovely place with a castle, and the Camping Schloss Burgau was located behind it.

Slovenia

One of our favourite places to visit. We can not get enough of this country.

  • Ptuj – crossing the border into Slovenia, felt relaxing. We headed into an area we hadn’t been before and the town of Ptuj. Located on the river Drava, the campsite is a short walk into the main town with its historic old town and castle.
  • Reccica ob Savinji – A small town out in the Upper Savinja Valley, this Camping Menina is one of the most relaxed but lively campsites we’ve stayed at. It is on the river, with activities available in high season and a restaurant on site.
  • Ankaran – on our return from Croatia, we stopped off here on the Adriatic Coast. Despite the weather (it rained all the time we were there). The Adria Camping and Resort, is between Croatia and Italy and looked like a very lively place in the right weather!
  • Bled – Camping Bled and the town are possibly our favourite places. There is so much to do and see around here. We cycled round the lake, climbed up the hills, picked up a Chinese takeaway. We will happily return here over and over again!

Thank you for reading. We continue to be safe and well (if a little bored) and hope you are safe and well too.