Week 37: Road Trip – Yorkshire to Sussex and a new Team Member: Meet Reg!

New Team Member – Meet Reg

This week has been a little weird. We set off on Monday from Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales to Harrogate. We had planned to head up to Leyburn and then on to Harrogate, but a road closure meant we needed to travel back to Hawes and north to Kirkby Stephen before heading through the Swaledale Valley towards Richmond and then south to Harrogate.

We walked the Coast to Coast several years ago and were reminded of the route as we headed up to Ravenseat and on to Keld, Muker and Reeth. We like to remember the little tales we heard on the way! Albi also did this walk with us.

We arrived at Harrogate Caravan Site, after having been taken to the wrong address by Ditsy Daisy – Gloria Google Maps to the rescue! The campsite is not too far from the town, and next door to a Farm Shop and Cafe, just up the road is Sainsbury’s. Our reason for coming to Harrogate, was to get the Motorhome sorted. In Spain, our water pump stopped working and we have been making do with water bottles and topping up, but Rachel at Erwin Hymer was able to book us in to Steve Mann Caravans https://stevemanncaravans.co.uk/ for a repair. We consulted with Alison and were able to book an appointment for Tuesday at 09:30. As you are probably aware, Ric doesn’t like early mornings and the thought of a wake-up call at 08:00 was a shock to the system!

Tuesday morning, bright and early we set off to Steve Mann Caravans, where we left a very dirty Nortia and Alison, dropped us into the town and we set off on a mooch. We have to say, this was the day after the Government brought in new measures to control the spread of Coronavirus – Covid-19 and the town was very quiet. We were able to get a bacon bap in Gregg’s but Betty’s – the iconic tea rooms in Harrogate, was closed (the shop/bakery was still open, as we write). We managed to bag a couple of bargains too, before we walked back to the workshop, they had offered to collect us but in light of the current rules of socialising we thought a walk the best way! When we arrived, Nortia was being cleaned, that told us how dirty she was. Pump fitted, we headed off to get some puppy bits – Reg is a Border Terrier puppy, who we are due to collect on Thursday!

We returned to the campsite and took the bikes off for a well deserved clean. They were still caked with sand from France! Before we could go out on a ride, the weather turned and rain clouds loomed, so they were put back on the Motorhome, with the knowledge they are serviced. We took the opportunity to plan our trip back, south. We still aren’t sure what we’ll be able to do or go with the Coronavirus pandemic. Currently, there are no restrictions for campsites here as there are in France and Spain, but we’re waiting. Technically, we aren’t socialising and we’re away from vulnerable people, but we’ll wait and see! We had hoped to take our next tour to Ireland, but with the lock-down we think it might be wise to stay on the UK mainland, wait and see what we’ll get up to, we have no idea at the moment!

Wednesday, we had a fairly long journey to Polstead, Suffolk. We’ve stayed here before on our return from our first Europe tour. It’s a lovely site, in the middle of the country but in true British fashion it was raining. We settled down for the night and got ready for our short journey tomorrow.

Thursday, we headed to Essex, where we were picking up Reg, our new puppy. He’s the new team member. He’s a lovely, lively eight week old bundle of fur. Normally, we would have waited and collected him a week or so later, but with the threat of countrywide shutdowns, we felt it best to collect him now.

From Essex, we headed to our campsite outside Horsham – Sumners Ponds. They have a special offer until the end of March. We like Sumners, we have stayed here before on a number of occasions; it’s on the edge of a footpath and close to the Downs Link, as well has having a number of fishing lakes. It’s the ideal place to stay. We have booked to be here until Wednesday. In the current pandemic situation, we chose to stay within our NHS catchment area, just in case.

Friday, after the first night with Reg, up at 03:30 to let him out (not alone!) and then move him into the bedroom to stop him crying. Until 03:30 he had been as quiet as anything. We were met by my (Sarah’s) mum and practicing social-distancing – no hugs or kisses just an air high five. The weather was still not great and a reminder of those days dog walking in the rain!

Saturday and a less early start. Reg slept until about 05:00. Later in the morning, we took him on a little stroll (we strolled, he was carried!) he saw a couple of horses, which he wasn’t quite sure of. The sun has graced us with its presence today.

Sunday, and a surreal Mother’s Day. It’s not advised to visit family and spend time in groups more than two outside of your own household. We strolled with Reg (who slept until nearly 06:00) to the village shop, maintaining social distancing. Reading through e-mails it was becoming obvious that things were changing in relation to the COVID-19 virus. The Caravan and Motorhome Club have shut their sites, as have the Camping and Caravanning Club. The campsite today, has no intentions to close, so we’ve booked to stay until 1st April. It’s still sunny and becoming positively springlike, following yesterday’s Spring Equinox.

As always, thank you for reading. We hope that you, your families and friends are safe in this current strange time. Please see what we get up to next week and more of Reg’s adventures…

Week 21 and 22: Cornwall to Sussex

We left Tavistock and followed the map over Dartmoor. For a change we had sunshine on the moor, normally it gets dark and overcast and snow falls with a strong wind – regardless of the time of year! We headed off along the road, until we were met with a road width restriction. We were too large to attempt it, so back we went.

On the way back, we saw Dartmoor ponies by the side of the road and then, there they were reminding us of the reindeer at the Arctic Circle, on the road, walking towards us! We have never seen them before on the moor, probably because of the weather, but…

We ventured into Exeter, on to Lyme Regis and then Charmouth, where we stopped for the night. Again we were the only people there! There was a lovely looking pub in the High Street, but it was closed until the next day. The following morning we took a short walk to the beach and looked at the spectacular Jurassic Coast, before setting off along the coast to Portland Bill.

Neither of us had been to Portland Bill before, so this part of the trip was definitely one of firsts! I can remember the television programme from when I was younger, and again proceeded to annoy Ric with the theme tune – which I proceeded to play on you tube to him and it stuck as his earworm for the day!

We stopped and had lunch, before watching a Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter practising manoeuvres. We drove up to the point and the Lighthouse, before returning to look at the Olympic Rings from the 2012 London Olympics’ Sailing Events. We headed on to Wareham, where we stopped for the night, but first had the experience of live tank fire on the artillery range, and road signs indicating which road was open and could be used. The roads have signs warning of tanks crossing too, it was like being back in Poland!

From Wareham we went on to Fordingbridge, where we’d been recommended a jet wash, big enough for the lovely Nortia, who by now was looking a whole lot worse for the weather! All she needed was a typical comment – Also available in white!

After an hour or so we were ready to continue or journey, homeward bound. Nortia, looked clean and despite the weather a little cleaner, although we were a whole lot colder after the experience!

We arrived at our stop for the next couple of nights – Brighton. We are now close to home and were able to make the necessary appointments, pick up post and sort a bike wheel we had damaged – pot holes don’t just harm cars!

The next week or so we’re just going to be catching up with family and sorting appointments and getting ready for our next adventure. We’ve had Albi seen by the vet and his passport checked for our next trip to Europe. We’ve booked our tickets to France for next week and our adventure will continue. The weather has been really bad here, so there aren’t even good photos to show you…

Thank you again for reading and we’ll be back to update you in a week or so…