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.

Lockdown: Week 9 – Places we’ve been (Part 2 – Sweden, Norway and Finland).

Albi in Norway 2019

We’re still in Lockdown, social-distancing and trying to keep busy. Reg still can not socialise, but he’s happy and we’ve been trying to fill our days, with some activities indoor and out. We’ve been on some bike rides, we’re trying to complete our circuit in different ways!

Reg has now had his full sets of vaccinations and can shortly socialise. We’re teaching him commands, slowly, and trying to keep him amused each day. He’s progressed from his basket to the dog trailer and has had a couple of trips in that.

In addition, we’ve been reminiscing about the places we’ve been to in the last year, this is part two and our trip around Sweden, Norway and Finland. We crossed the bridge from Denmark and headed up the Eastern Coast to the Norwegian Border, through Norway up to Nordkapp and over to the Russian Border, before heading through Finland to the Arctic Circle and back into Sweden, travelling down to Stockholm and back over to Finland by ferry.

Sweden

  • Malmö -We’ve had good and bad experiences in Malmö. Our first time here. we stayed at what felt like a pretty rundown site but it was quirky and we liked it. We set off to return here, but it has had a facelift and was FULL! We found another, but although we had a spot for the night on the edge of the sea, the facilities were not up to scratch and we chose to use those on board.
  • Halmstad – a lovely town on the edge of the river. The camperstop was just on the edge of the town right on the river and a short walk to the town centre and a bakery! There is a sculpture trail through the waterside gardens, too, complete with a Picasso!
  • Bua – this is one we don’t want to share! We loved it here, right on the marina, and with the wild coast on the other side of the road.
  • Henån – so good we came here twice! Seriously, we did like it here, another marina with a FREE laundry and town, walking distance away.
  • Gällivare – a ski resort in the winter, but a lovely town in the summer. We saw hares here on the morning walk (and picked up a Chinese takeaway)!
  • Moskosel – we stayed here at Ljuselforsens Rastplatz, by the side of the river. The views were stunning, but the river was very full and as newbie wild campers, was a little unnerving, but we survived and loved every minute of it.
  • Täfrea – we stopped here at the Kvarkenfisk Restaurant Stellplatz. It’s right on the sea with a fish restaurant and cabins (hytte). It was here we met new friends, Ana-Lund and Tommy, while sampling the Surströmming (stinky fish). Don’t be put off by the road to the restaurant – you are heading in the right direction!
  • Ramvik – we had not intended to stop here. but the effects of the stinky fish had started to take its toll and a night in a campsite was required. We headed off from here to the Motor Museum in Harnosands.
  • Galtstrom – we stopped in a wild camp site, next to the sea, with plenty of walks in the woods, a restaurant at the end of the road and the sea, where you can fish.
  • Angra – here we stopped at a campsite, where they will take you on a safari to see bears in the wild. We were joined by free-range chickens in the field, as we cooked. There is a river which runs through it too. Whilst out walking, we discovered there had be a forest fire nearby, and it had literally stopped at the campsite.
  • Nusnäs – home of the Dala Horse Factories, the carved painted horses traditional to Sweden.
  • Lesjöfors – wild camping spot with a toilet on the edge of a lake, with woodlands behind, and a sandy shoreline, perfect for the dog to run around on. It was a quiet place to stop, when we were there.
  • Karlstad – we headed for Karlstad as we had been craving a KFC and it didn’t disappoint.
  • Åmål – a campsite just on the edge of town, but beside Lake Vänern – the largest lake in European Union (and the third largest in Europe – the other two are in Russia).
  • Holsljunja – another Rastplatz, on the edge of another lake. We parked up behind an elderly Swedish couple, who were foraging mushrooms in the woods – not knowing our mushrooms from toadstools, we didn’t venture in too.
  • Solvesborg – we’d driven to a different campsite up the road a little, but it was so busy and the pitches weren’t all that great, so we drove on and found a little site on the edge of a lake.
  • Smålandet Markaryd alg safari – The Moose Safari. As we hadn’t been fortunate to see Moose in the wild we took Nortia on a trip through the Moose Safari Park, after our first circuit, we were fortunate to follow the train through and were able to see more Moose than we did on our own! The fact the train passengers are given food for the moose might have had something to do with it!
  • Tosteberga Hamn – a little Rastplatz on an archipelago. The spaces can be a little tight and not all have electricity but it was lovely. You can also pay in Euros (if like us you didn’t have cash!). They do have an app, but it didn’t recognise an English Bank Account.
  • Karlskrona – we drove into the town, there is a Stellplatz, in the centre of the town, but it was a hot day and the spaces are on tarmac, a bit too hot for the dog. There are a lot of sights to see here and you can get the ferry to Poland.
  • Bergkvara – we stayed on a nice grass pitch as the weather was quite hot. The site is close to the beach and the little town.
  • Öland Island – the second largest island in Sweden. We stayed here for two nights both on the sea. The first was at Grönhögens hamn, a small harbour town, we had a view of the sea and watched the coastguard sail up the coastline. We cycled out to Långe Jan the lighthouse on the southernmost point, through the nature reserve and marshland. The second stop after travelling up to the Northern Point and Långe Erik Lighthouse., was at Boda Hamn, and we had a spectacular thunder storm throughout the night.
  • Paskallaviks – we stopped here, originally for one night but stayed three, it was so nice. We travelled up to Oskarshamn, to see a vet, before heading on to Finland. The Stellplatz has a coded restroom and free laundry. There are two sides to the Rastplatz, so don’t be fooled by the fuller, EHU supplied left hand side! There are walks into the village and a pizza takeaway nearby. There were several locals who arrived to have a Birthday Party picnic tea on the benches laid out on the grass.
  • Valdermarsvik – located on the only fjord in Sweden. We stopped at the campsite on the beach (no dogs). The pitches are lovely and big and there is a restaurant, on site. We later discovered walking along the fjord, that there is a Stellplatz in the town on the edge of the fjord.
  • Oxelösund – stopping in another Stellplatz on the harbour. there is a restaurant on the end of the pier and it is a working port. We had another thunderstorm and lightning display.
  • Sollentuna – a lovely stop over just outside Stockholm and convenient for the Ferry to Finland. The site has access to the forest and lake.
  • Tallink Silja Galaxy – our overnight ferry to Finland, with dog friendly cabin and dog deck. We actually went on a pub crawl (3 bars – 3 drinks) and had a meal on board, before an incredibly early start (disembarkment – 06:00). Finland is 1 hour ahead of Sweden (2 hours ahead of the UK).

Norway

  • Oslo – Bogstad Camping, we made the mistake of expecting to be able to stop in a Rastplatz in Moss, on the edge of the harbour. When we got there it was full, the weather was perfect, as was the view. We continued on our journey and despite trying to find another couple, indicated on the app, we booked into Bogstad Camping. It is ideal to visit the city.
  • Notodden – Lystang Camping – this is one of our favourite camping spots. Our trip was slightly marred by the loss of our phone in a shop, which we did retrieve! The last time we stayed here we took a boat trip on the river, but we’d arrived in a heatwave and it was too hot this time. We relaxed by the motorhome, and cycled to the town.
  • Edland – we followed the Hardinger Scenic Route north to Edland and stopped in a campsite by a lake. While we were here, we (Ric) had to sort an Electricity failure on the campsite, caused by a faulty cable on a different Motorhome. It was solved with a lack of English and Norwegian but just sign language!
  • Taulen – heading further north, we stumbled across this lovely campsite, by the side of a river. It was fine until the middle of the night when the river sounded like rain!
  • Odda – We stopped in Odda for lunch, and after filling up with fuel, we spotted Thord from Ice Road Rescue, a programme we watch and were greeted with a wave.
  • Horndola – We followed Ditsy Daisy Sat Nav, further north and she managed to tell us that the road was closed and gave us a detour. After a lot of tunnels, including the Laerdal Tunnel, we found a place to stop in Horndola. Looking up the attractions nearby we found the Giftesteinen Stone. It is a large stone with a hole in the middle, with a myth attached. We popped up to see it early on a dog walk, and by 09:00 there were over 11 coaches, from the cruise liners.
  • Hellesylt – We continued to following Ditsy Daisy, having passed the point of no return and we found ourselves at the Cruise Ferry Terminal to Geiranger. Although a bit of an expense, we would probably spend the same retracing our journey back around. The cruise was lovely, the sun was shining and the scenery spectacular.
  • Geiranger – Disembarking in Geiranger, the campsites were full so instead we headed up the Eagles Road and on to the Trollsteigen Pass, stopping at the top of the Trollsteigen to complete our previous visit (we arrived in heavy snow and the path was closed).
  • Isfjord – Romsdalseggen Camping, Åndalsnes. We stopped here by the side of a ski resort in a very nice campsite behind a hostel.
  • Levanger – Gullberget Camping (outside Trondheim). We stumbled on this campsite by accident The one we had stayed at before, didn’t look as nice this time around, so we carried on and found this site, on the edge of a nature reserve and close to the main E6 heading north.
  • Mosjøen – we stopped here before on our way to the Arctic Circle and for the return back (the last trip we did was a three week holiday, so only just enough time to get there and back and back to work)! The campsite is close to the edge of town and has a some nice walking paths around. On our way up to Polarsirkelen, we stopped at Mo-I-Rana to fill with LPG.
  • Polarsirkelen – Arctic Circle Centre. As it wasn’t snowy, it looked a lot different to the last time we were here, and we expected crowds, but gratefully it wasn’t too bad. It is definitely somewhere to stop and be a tourist.
  • Saltstraumen – heading north we took a turn to the east and found ourselves at Saltstraumen, crossing over the bridge to the archipelago. On the dog walk, we discovered the saltstraumen tides. In the evening, there was no tide at all, it was as calm as anything , but the tide times said the tides we be high at 08:00 the following morning. The maelstrom is well, worth a visit.
  • Ballangen – continuing our journey north, we stopped on the edge of a fjord. The amenities in the campsite were amazing with a large kitchen for campers. There was so little darkness here, on our trip, that hearing the rain start at 03:30, and heading out to get the washing – it was as if it was 08:00 at home!
  • Tromsø – heading up the coast further north, we were greeted by reindeer walking down the road. The campsite was ok, but the real bonus was an Indian restaurant, nearby with an English app and delivery. It was possibly the most expensive Indian take-away we have ever had – but well worth it!
  • Storslett – Fosselv Camping, another great find on the edge of the fjord and an ideal fishing location. The views near here are amazing and we passed Karen and Myles from http://www.motoroaming.com
  • Russenes – at the end of the E6 and turning east again, we stopped here for the night before heading towards Nordkapp.
  • Honningsvag – we stopped here to get provisions before heading to Nordkapp. The cruise liner, TUI Mein Schieff 3, had just docked and we were amongst several tourists in the town
  • Nordkapp – on our arrival (and we didn’t exactly know what to expect), we were asked if we wanted to camp for the night – it’s included in the price of parking! Facilities are free to enter and open from 06:00 to 02:00. What’s also lovely is you can be there almost alone, once the cruise liner passengers have gone and before the next ones arrive. The views are spectacular and despite the cold, a must to see and do.
  • Ifjord – heading away from Nordkapp and on towards Finland and the Russian border, we stopped at a small campsite, which was in the process of being renovated but had potential. It’s not a part of Norway, regularly visited by English tourists, according to the campsite owners.
  • Kirkenes – the border town for Russia and Finland. The town was completely rebuilt after World War Two, when it was destroyed by bombing raids. We had hoped to view the Russian border, but Ditsy Daisy and Gloria Google Maps, couldn’t decide where the border was and we didn’t want to take a risk, especially with the dog.

Finland

  • Inari, our first stop in Finland. Having first discovered that there is a time difference between Norway and Finland. We had to pass through two border controls – one European and one for Russians entering Europe. The campsite was an idyllic typical Finnish campsite (but we didn’t see Moomins).
  • Rovaniemi – we stopped at a Rastplatz on our way to Santa Claus Village. The Rastplatz, was on the edge of a lake and beautiful.
  • Santa Claus Village – a must see tourist attraction, if you’re in this part of the world. However, listening to Christmas music in the sun in August was a little surreal! We put in a good word with Santa for the grandkids, before crossing back over the Arctic Circle again (we crossed it four times in total – once in Norway and Finland and twice in Sweden).
  • Ii – we stopped here on our way back to Sweden, just below the Arctic Circle. We might have stayed longer, but the weather changed, and we were in torrential rain, the following morning. The town, is supposed to be the greenest in Europe, we later found out. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3ct03ms
  • Merikarvia – heading back to Finland from Sweden, we discovered that the start of September is time for Finland to start closing down. We found this campsite by chance and headed off around the southern part of the country. It was here we were contacted about meeting in Riga, Latvia for our film shoot, in a week’s time!
  • Larsmo – After a lot of rain, we arrived in Larsmo, a municipality made up of 360 islands and islets, where there is a Sauna Boat you can hire on the waterway, from the campsite shop. This community is one of the few bilingual Swedish and Finnish speaking, Swedish was the only language spoken until 2014
  • Juva – We arrived in more rain (torrential and thunderstorms) and the campsite was in a woodland by the side of another lake. It was lovely and picturesque, especially as dawn broke, the rain stopped and the mist gathered. The footpaths had a large variety of mushrooms (toadstools?).
  • Helsinki – A city campsite, next to the Metro station. Remarkably quiet and secure. We were about to head out on the Metro, when yet more rain, and again torrential. We will definitely revisit if we’re back here again.

Week 36: France – from the Edge of the World to Montreuil-sur-Mer

On Monday, we awoke to more rain and rain at La Ferme du Bout de Monde, The Farm at the Edge of the World, Kerguidy-Izella, Brittany. We set off to the most westerly point of France, the Pointe de Corsen, where the sun did come out but the wind was bitter. The views were amazing.

We chose a campsite to stop at in Locquirec, right on the bay overlooking the English Channel (or La Manche in France). The view was amazing and when the sun was out.

The following morning we set off on a road trip, recommended by the free guide we picked up in Reception. We headed up to Plougasnou, Saint-Samson, the port du Diben, up the coast to Primel-Tregastel and on to Saint-Jean du Doigt, through Prajou and back to Locquirec. The leaflet called the route the Grand Panoramas along the Tregor protected coastline and it was truly stunning.

Wednesday, we left Locquirec and headed up the coast to Dinard. The views along the coast were lovely and we were only 40 miles from the Channel Islands – we had thought about going there, but campsites don’t open until later in the year and the weather didn’t look favourable for a ferry crossing. Our campsite has fantastic views of the sea and we are almost on the beach! Today, also marked the one year anniversary of our house move, downsizing to fund our adventure.

Thursday, we had chosen to go on a walk around the town of Dinan and down to the yacht harbour, but the weather had other ideas! We walked into the town, stopping for lunch in a little brasserie for the plat du jour! Next, we headed along to see the Alfred Hitchcock Statue, apparently it was put in place for a film festival. As we headed towards the beach, we were sandblasted as the wind whipped the sand off the beach, not wanting to be lightweights, it was impossible to continue our trip, though comfortably.

The change of plans was incredibly fortunate as when we returned to Nortia, she was also being battered, the sand had started to drift over the roadway and was beginning to accumulate in the vents on her side (these are the ventilation points for the fridge). We chose to runaway! We packed up as quickly as we could and sought shelter in a lower and secluded part of the campsite. We have sand everywhere, outside, inside and ourselves – we were still finding sand in our hair and eyes, the following morning.

Overnight the wind did calm and the rain began to ease. We set off up towards the Tunnel and Calais. We have booked our crossing back to England for Monday! We decided to have a longish journey, so we could get to the port with some ease. As we headed up the coast, we found a car wash where we could try to get rid of some of the remaining sand. We drove up to Le Mont-Saint-Michel and although the weather wasn’t good enough to stop for long (and it was high tide), we admired the view.

Our stop for the night was a hidden gem. We pulled into the campsite – Camping Sous les Etoiles, in Saint-Martin des Besaces, Normandy and on first impressions thought it shut up fo the winter, there didn’t appear to be anyone around. We drove back up the drive and pulled over to find somewhere else for the night, when Steve the campsite owner, drove up and told us they were open and if we still wanted to we were more than welcome.

Steve and his wife have only recently bought the campsite, but it is a gem, old buildings some over 400 years old and farmland with grass pitches and the best grass we have seen for ages. There is a bar and a restaurant – used by the locals, and one of the best toilet blocks we’ve been to!

Saturday, we headed off again, this time to Le Treport. The campsite we had found was just outside the town, but when we arrived the Reception was closed (in the winter it opens from 09:00 to 12:00, helpful! We did however stay at the Camping Car Aire just behind it!

Sunday, we wanted to get close-ish to the Tunnel, just in case, but not too close! We had made the mistake a few years before of checking how long it would take us to get to the Tunnel from our site the morning we were supposed to leave and finding the Sat Nav told us it would take 30 minutes longer than we had left! (We did make it, but it was a push)! We’d chosen to stop at Montreuil-sur-Mer.

Montreuil-sur-Mer, is an old walled citadel town and also the inspiration for Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Each year there is an open air performance of the play there too. The campsite is located under the citadel walls and Ditsy Daisy Sat Nav did try and make us do some rather precarious turns, which we didn’t (we’ll try a lot of drives, but a switchback left, downhill with a wall and parked cars, was really out of our comfort zone), we did find an alternative route. From the campsite you can also walk up to and through the wall to the old town.

As we mentioned earlier, we’re off to the Tunnel tomorrow, so find out what we get up to back in England! As always, thank you for reading…

Week 34: Toulouse to the Île d’Oléron via Bordeaux

Monday and it was raining in Toulouse. We had wanted to cycle in to the old town and have a mooch around, but it was that fine rain that will soak you in seconds., so instead we sorted some chores and then headed out to the Supermarket and Garage to fill up with food and LPG (GPL in France).

Tuesday and the sun came out, so we got out our bikes and headed along the Canal de la Garonne to the end of the Canal du Midi, The point where the two meet (along with the Canal de Brienne) is called Ponts Jumeaux (Twin Bridges). We can now say we have been to both ends of the Canal du Midi, although some deem the Canal de la Garonne to also be part of the Midi – known in full as the Canal Entre Deux Mers.

We cycled along the Canal du Midi (we actually thought it was the Canal de Brienne!) until we headed towards the Capitole. We stopped in the square opposite the Capitole, where there was a market and ate our lunch, before heading off to see some sights, including the Monument aux Morts, les Abattoirs and the Pont Neuf, before having a random cycle around and returning to the campsite along the canal.

Wednesday, we left Toulouse and headed along the Canal de la Garonne towards Bordeaux. The landscape changed several times and we passed fruit trees and polytunnels before heading into the vineyards and chateau landscape of the Bordeaux region. We only passed three Convoi Exceptionals, and we didn’t need to drive up any driveways to escape from them! We stopped for the night outside Bordeaux in Créon.

Thursday morning after a short stroll to the bakery for bread, we set off to Bordeaux and a campsite on the outskirts in Bruges. After a quick alfresco lunch in the sun, we went on a short cycle to the city, just to have a brief look. We cycled along the river bank to the Pont de Pierre, along the opposite bank to the amazing Pont Jacques Chaban Delmas, before cycling back over it and back to the campsite. The Pont Jacques Chaban Delmas, was opened in 2013 and has a horizontally rising platform to allow boats to pass under. We had gained a couple of ducks as friends today, although they did get a tad too nosey!

Friday, we set off into the city on our bikes for a proper look and after cycling to the river bank, we headed to the Place de la Bourse – with its square and buildings on three sides (although part of the building was covered for renovations) and its reflecting pool – closed for the winter. Next, we headed to the Cailhau Gate and the Opera building, along with the Big Bell of Bordeaux. We then cycled off on our own random route, before heading back to the river and the campsite. Along the river we saw a barge transporting part of an Airbus A380. Today on the campsite we have another little friend a small black cat who tried to come in to see us!

Saturday, we headed off again towards the coast and stopped in Arcachon. We are going to be travelling up the west coast and this seemed like a good place to start.

Sunday, we started our day with a trip to the Dune du Pilat, the largest sand dune in Europe. We parked up and started the trip to climb it. We think that the whole of the local community and their friends had decided to do the same – it was so busy. After removing our shoes we climbed almost to the top, looking at the amazing views across the bay, but thought we’ll come back another time, when we are more prepared – we needed to take a lunch basket and water to be able to appreciate it better. We also had a ferry to catch across from the peninsula at Point de Grave to Royan.

The ferry to Royan is a brief crossing about 25 minutes long, but it did feel a little choppy – a little like the Solent on a bad day, so not terrible. We carried on to the Île d’Oléron and the campsite we had chosen for the night, but being out of season there was not a lot open and even the one we had chosen, had no-one available to see, so we headed along to another we’d found. The landscape on the island had changed to oyster farms and vineyards. The weather has changed and it’s now drizzly and grey.

Tomorrow, we’ll continue our journey along the west coast. We have a vague idea of where we’re going, but next week we’ll share with you our trip. Thank you for reading.

Places We’ve Stayed (2)

PART TWO: September to December 2019

These are in the order we stayed and not country order. OK – we wouldn’t mind staying again if passing; LOVE – we would go again; NO – we would never stay again.

TYPE – ACSI; CC – Campercontact APP; SP – Stellplatz APP; Sat – Sat Nav CCC – Camping and Caravanning Club; CMC – Caravan and Motorhome Club

NOTES – Things we did or what made it good!

Site NAmeTowntypeVerdictNotes
FINLAND
MericampingMerikarviaCCOKCash only or
International Bank transfer
Strand CampingLarsmoCCOKRestaurant and Smoke House
Hire a Sauna Boat!
Juva CampingJuvaCCLOVEIn forest, by a lake
Helsinki City CampingHelsinkiWebLOVEBy the Metro to the city
ESTONIA
Pirita Harbour CampingTallinnCCLOVEClose to town,
on the Olympic Port
Willipu KulalistemajaPusi, TartumaaCCLOVEOn the lake (border with Russia)
Konse Motel and Caravan & CampingParnuCCLOVEClose to town
Camping PiksekeHaapsaluCCLOVEClose to the Island Ferry
LATVIA
Riga City CampingRigaWebLOVEClose to the city and shops.
Camping Lakeside SiguldaSiguldaCCLOVEquiet small site
LITHUANIA
Camping ZarasaiZarasaiCCOK
Downtown Forest CampingVillniusCCLOVEClose to the city, steep road in
POLAND
Camping MazuryRynCCLOVEPerfect place and site
Camping 222 KaputyKaputyCCLOVEClose to Warsaw
Auschwitz Motorhome ParkingAuschwitzCCLOVEAt the Memorial
SLOVAKIA
ATC JumiNamestovoCCLOVEon a reservoir, beautiful
Stellplatz CillstovCillstovSPLOVEbasic facilities
CZECH REPUBLIC
ATC ApolloLedniceCCNO1950’s feel and facilities
AUSTRIA
Donaupark CampingTullnACSINORally on site, placed out of the way – good facilities
Camping Schloss BurgauBurgauACSINOExpensive, basic facilities
SLOVENIA
Terme Ptuj ResortPtujACSILOVEClose to town, Lovely
Camping Menina Recica ob SavinjiACSILOVEGood facilities and activities
Adria Camping & ResortAnkaranACSILOVE
Camping BledBledACSILOVEPerfect! Walks cycling facilities….
SITE NAMETOWNTYPEVERDICTNOTES
CROATIA
Kamp OpatijaIciciACSILOVEClose to town and beach
Camping StojaPulaACSILOVEClose to town and
beach, good
facilities & restaurant
ITALY
Agriturismo SpongaBellunoSPLOVEAt Fishing Lakes and
Restaurant
(closed Sundays)
Camping SoalMazzinACSILOVEIn the Dolomites
Agricampeggio PardisoLake GardaACSILOVELake Garda, small site
Olive grove and oil sold
Camping Le Fonti BusanaACSILOVEfree coach to train
and beach. Restaurant
Eurocamping CalvisioFinale LigureACSINODISAPPOINTING
FRANCE
Camping l’HippodromeVilleneuveASCILOVEPerfect, supermarket
and town close-by
Yelloh! Village les TournelsSt TropezWEBGOODGood facilities
Camping le BourgDigne les BainsACSIGOODClose to town
Camping les PeupliersLepin-le-LacACSILOVEOn the lake, in mountains
slightly dated but quirky
Camping les GenetsGexACSILOVEClose to town and
Supermarket. Views over mountains
Camping de Besancon-ChalexeuleChalexeuleACSIGOODGood Facilities, close to bread shop and supermaket
Camping d’Ill (Huttopia)ColmarWebLOVEClose to old town
Camping le MoulinAndelotACSILOVEIn the countryside, good facilities
Les Etangs du MoulinSuzyACSINOWestern style saloon and huts
Camping le Port de PlaisancePeronneACSILOVEClose to town and Vet. Good
facilities
Camping de la LicorneDunkirkACSILOVEClose to town and beach, good for tunnel and good facilities
BELGIUM
Camping JeugdstadionYpresCCLOVEClose to Menin Gate and town
Veld & Duin CampgroundBredeneACSILOVEClose to beach and town, Good facilities. CASH only. Chinese next door!
ENGLAND
Bearstead CMC BearsteadCMCGOODClose to tunnel and Dover. Good facilities and dog walk
Polstead CCCPolsteadCCCGoodGood facilities and Indian delivery
Rutland Caravan and Camp SiteOakhamCMCLOVEClose to town, good facilities,
good location
Conkers CCCSwadlincoteCCCGOODnear to National Arberetum
Sheriff Hutton CCCSheriff HuttonCCCGOODClose to York
River Beamish CMCPowburn, AlnwickCMCLOVEGreat facilities and site
Berwick SeaviewBerwickCMCLOVEGreat facilities and site, close to town and beach good views
Hawes CMCHawesCMCLOVEClose to town and countryside
Castleton CMCCastletonCMCLOVEGreat views and facilities
Love 2 Stay Emstry, ShrewsburyCMCLOVEGood facilities and location
Cheddar CMCCheddarCMCLOVEClose to town, good facilities
Hillhead CMCDartmouthCMCLOVEGreat views close to town
Carnon DownsTruroCMCGOODIdeal for Lands End and Lizard Point
Tavistock TavistockCCCLOVEPerfect
Manor FarmCharmouthCCNOExpensive and dated facilities
Hunter’s Moon WarehamCMCGOODGood facilities and site but too many traveller families
BrightonBrightonCMCLOVEGreat site, close to city good facilities close to family!
GatwickCrawleyCMCLOVEGood site, but very close to runway. Close to town and family.
Black Horse FarmFolkestoneCMCLOVEGreat site, just don’t depend on the pub – food OK, no card payments.
SCOTLAND
EdinburghEdinburghCMCNOGood facilities, but bike thefts prevalent
Glenearly Caravan ParkDalbeatieCCGOODOn NW250 route. Good site and facilities, close to town
Low Glengyre FarmStranraerCMC – CLLOVEOn NW250 route, Small CL site
MoffatMoffatCCCLOVEClose to town and facilities
WALES
Morris ParksLlanberisWEBLOVE3 for 2 Close to town and Snowdon

Week 28: Spain – not a good week.

Goodbye little dog, what a wonderful life we have been able to share with you.

Monday morning, a fiesta day in Spain and there was evidence of last night’s celebrations in every town and village we drove through – confetti and foil streamers in the roads, it must have been a great night. We left our little overnight stop in the mountains and drove towards Granada and the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Granada looks like a lovely place to visit properly and has been added to our list! Our goal for today, was to drive the road we’d seen featured in Top Gear several years ago, up to the Pico de Valeta – a ski resort where the road stops! The peak (Pico) is at 3,300m above sea level and there is snow at the top. We checked the weather and ski reports and felt it was safe to do so. The road, was fantastic although we did hear a lot of popping in the MoHo – we stopped and checked all the bottles, as they’d started to pressurise at altitude, but couldn’t find a reason, so on we continued.

The weather was wonderful, clear blue skies and sun. There were cars approaching us laden with skis and people dressed in ski wear – we were still in shorts but… (we do have our whole wardrobe with us, so we are able to change on a whim)! We arrived as close to the top as we wanted to, the final part was full of parked cars and people, and we knew we would have to turn around to come back. At the top we repressurised the fuel tank, by undoing the cap, and with a loud hiss the cap opened – when we were in the Vosges mountains in France the fuel gauge took an age to give us the right reading when we came back down the mountain! We stopped for the night in a lovely little campsite in Otuta, a short distance from Granada and accessible by bus. There were only four vehicles parked there and it had a lovely view of the mountains.

The following morning we set off along the southern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains and stopped for lunch in another little village, before heading to Roquetas de Mar. Our aim was to stop here for the night, before heading up to Tabernas and the desert, famed for spaghetti westerns.

We had a pleasant evening, although Albi started to be a little unwell. He occasionally suffers with sickness and has medication to help him, so although a little alarmed we thought we’d see how he was in the morning. We awoke and although he wasn’t much better, he seemed OK in himself and we thought maybe all the driving, might have upset him, we decided to stay another day and let him settle. As the day progressed he worsened and we went straight to a vet, we’d had recommended – without an appointment, but they said they’d see him. Unfortunately, Albi’s condition had worsened considerably during our wait and he was put onto a drip and had an ultrasound carried out on his stomach. He was diagnosed with an engorged gall bladder, and would need surgery to remove it once he had perked up a little. We were warned his condition was serious and there was a 50:50 chance of survival. We said our goodbyes, just in case and unfortunately, following the operation, his heart failed and he was unable to be resuscitated.

Goodbye, little dog. Albi has been part of the family for almost 11 years, he has been to over 28 countries in Europe, he’s walked the Coast to Coast with us, he climbed Haystacks and Hellvellyn, he’s been to the Inner Hebrides, the Outer Hebrides, the Isles of Scilly. He’s camped in tents, a campervan and the Motorhome. He’s been on boats, ferries, cable-cars and vernacular trains. We hope we gave him as good a life as he deserved and we know we did as much as we could to enable him to live a good life. He will remain, here in Spain. we know where we’ve left him and we can return to his resting place.

After a day of upset and heartbreak, we decided we would continue our adventure and Albi will always be a part of what we do and where we go – he was (is) part of the team – it’s Three go Travelling after all! We headed along the coast towards Mazarron and stopped at a campsite by the beach – we later saw there were a number of wild campsites nearby, which would have been nicer, and allowed us to wake up with a view of the sea. Here, we found out our friends, Karen and Colin a.k.a Rewind the Gap http://www.rewindthegap.co.uk/ were just along the coast at an incredibly cheap campsite, and they would be there for the next day, so we arranged to meet them there. It was a very busy campsite and they had been able to reserve us a space, much to the annoyance of those turned away. The campsite is in San Javier overlooking the Mer Menor, by an airport now used by the Air Force.

We spent an evening with Karen and Colin, and caught up with their news and shared ours. We found out a few places to visit nearby and despite only thinking of staying for one night we stayed for two. On Sunday, we set off on our bikes to Cabo de Palos. Gloria Google Maps told us it was an hour and a half by bike, so easily doable on our bikes! After an hour and ten miles, she told us it was another hour and 23 Kilometers (15 miles) away, we stopped and returned to the campsite. There is a boardwalk, through the nature reserve from the campsite to the promenade, with lots of restaurants and bars (many aren’t open in the low season) but it was very busy on a Sunday Afternoon! We even found a cafe serving Full English Breakfasts – if only it had been a bit closer!

As always, thank you for reading and sharing our adventure. We’re continuing around the coast next week, so we’ll share more of our trip with you when we can!

Week 27: New Year in Spain and onto Gibraltar

Another week, and we’re still in El Puerto de Santa Maria, we will leave soon, but its still lovely to be settled and we’re looking forward to New Year here, before continuing our adventure.

Monday, we headed out in the lovely Nortia. We felt it was her turn to go out and about (and we needed LPG (GLP in Spain), not desperately, but we would need to fill up at some point). We headed out to Cadiz and had a drive over the bridge we’d cycled over last week. In the Parque, today, there were flamingos! Cadiz, was very busy, there were two cruise liners in port, including the Mein Schieff 4 which we think we’d seen before in Honningsvåg, on our way to Nordkapp, Norway!

From Cadiz, we headed inland to the town of Arcos de la Frontera, on the recommendations of our lovely neighbours. Time was a little short by now and although we drove there, we didn’t have a chance to look properly, so its added to a list for our next trip (along with Seville)! We returned to the campsite via the Supermarket, but forgot the LPG!

Tuesday, New Year’s Eve, we’d been told you can see the fireworks in Cadiz from the beach so we were hoping to make the midnight hour and be on the beach! We didn’t really do a lot, got bread, sat in the sun, tidied and joined our neighbours for New Year’s Eve drinks. Thank you Sheila and John. Before midnight, we put the dog back to bed and headed to the beach with a bottle of fizz in hand, eagerly waiting for the fireworks… there wasn’t an organised show this year! We had a laugh, made more new friends and sang Auld Lang Syne, before heading back to our MoHo.

New Year’s Day. We awoke a little later than normal and had another relaxing day. I (Sarah) went for a swim in the sea – it was freezing. The sun more than thawed me out though, so worth doing (my sister had done the same in England, so the challenge was set)! We’re setting off in the morning to continue the adventure, so a few last chores were completed, too.

Thursday, we said our goodbyes and were genuinely sorry to be leaving our lovely neighbours, but the adventure needs to continue. We set off to get the LPG we’d missed out on before and filled up our Gaslow system, headed to the Supermarket, stopping in the Motorhome stopover. In the car park of the Centro Comercial El Paseo, there are about four stopover pitches and a service point, which is free if you present your receipt from any shop to the Management Office, who give you a token for water and electricity (about 2 hours). Once sorted we headed off along the coast to Tarifa, where we stayed on a campsite close to the beach, which was full of kite-surfers.

Friday, off again, this time we went into Tarifa and had a drive around before heading off along the coast to La Linea de la Concepcion and the camperstop at the Marina. It’s a great stop for Gibraltar and we set off through the Border on our bikes, over the runway and into the country. First stop, as you do, was to Morrison’s the grocers! Just a quick check to see if what we’d heard was true, and yes, it was, it sells English food, exactly as you get at home, sausages, bacon, Hovis bread, pork pies etc., after our little trip around the rock, we’d buy some bits! We headed off up the rock on the bikes, stopping at the edge of the National Park, partly as you had to pay for the privilege of going further up, but mainly because it was so steep I (Sarah) could no longer breathe and pedal, and Ric had stopped on a fairly steep incline and couldn’t get enough momentum to get up the hill!

We looked over the Pillars of Hercules, also the Strait of Gibraltar, to the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. Disappointed we wouldn’t see the monkeys at the top, we headed back down the hill, carefully as it was so steep, and there was a big male monkey. Another couple were trying to take selfies with it, but we went for a quick photo and as it decided to move towards us we took off – they are quite large and threatening! We cycled down to the 100 pound gun and then back to Morrison’s, where we did enough shopping to keep us going. We do like Spanish food, but sometimes, you just need a bit of home!

The next morning on the dog walk, we discovered some Haus-Boats, which you can rent out. They are little floating wooden huts, with a kitchen, bedroom and living area. We headed off towards Marbella.

En route to Marbella, we stopped off at Puerto Banus and have a drive around, we headed off to the campsite we’d found, thinking we could cycle on into the town. The campsite wasn’t the greatest and there were so many cats! One thing we know is Albi loves to chase a cat, and he promptly took off, on the lead, causing me to drop a bottle of wine – he was not in the good books! We set off on the bikes following Gloria Google Maps, over the road (the busy A7, via footbridge – thankfully) and down to the beach, where we were told to turn right – no road, path or prom, just sand and beach, so we turned back and tried again, same thing! After about an hour we gave up and headed back to the campsite.

Sunday, we headed along the coast to Fuengirola, Torremolinos and Málaga. Tomorrow is a Fiesta day, known here as the Day of the Kings and a lot of places have special events happening tonight. We headed through Málaga. and up through the Montes de Málaga towards the Sierra Nevada, spending the night in Viñuela, behind an incredibly busy Restaurant, we had to wait for a car to be moved, before we could access the site.

Tomorrow, we’re planning to go up into the Sierra Nevada Mountains – we can see snow up there, so we’ll see how far we get. As always thank you for reading and again apologies for the late post – WiFi in Spain is not as widespread as we had been led to believe!