Devon to Dorset

After a very windy night on the beach, we decided to move East and into Dorset. We had a plan to park up in a National Trust carpark with a view of Chiesl Beach, we dropped into Bridport for a couple of beers and a curry on the way. Another windy night in the van!

We parked up in a national trust car park overlooking Chiesl beach, a very quite night and the clouds cleared for a great Sunset

we also a great view of the stars, even if it was brief as the next front moved in from the West. The following day after a short walk on the beach where I found fosile.We decide to head home as another storm was on its way. Before we got home we stopped of to have a walk around Dorchester.

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Yes you guessed it after a couple of days in Exeter we have moved onto Exmouth via Topsham. Pauline recommend we swing by Topsham and she was quite right. It is lovely, right on the estuary and with a splattering of nice shops. I bought some Cheese but Bettie managed to find another bag to buy. Here are a few photos of the van and the estuary.

Having now moved down to Exmouth, we sampled the Fish and Chips for lunch. We also use the showers at the local Sports Center. I had a walk around the beach and cliffs while Bettie got settled in the Van. We have parked right on the sea front, £5 for the nights so it could be a wild one if the wind gets ups. More photos.

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A short break to Exeter

We are off in the Van again. Feb and storm Dennis is doing its worse to spoil our fun. We have decided to head into the eye of the storm and head for South West of England. We are planning a couple of nights in Exeter and then drop into the coast at Exmouth. Here’s a couple of photos of the quay area.

We are parked just around the corner in a council run carpark. Another glamorous location. Although it is quiet at night and close to the town center.

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2019 in Photos

Christmas 2018 In Val Thorens, With Ray And Jacky. Not really 2019 but close enough.

A winter Break in Croyde/North Devon, “Van hunting” Jan 2019

Had Stop my bike on the way home from Squash Club, 13th Feb 2019,  to take this photoimg_20190213_181056

Back to Devon and Cornwall to pick up the new Van, Feb 2019

York with the van, Travelling on the bus , Diagon Alley? March 2019

Skiing in the Dolomite’s With friends

The Garden is coming back to life March

An evening stroll in Cookham, before the Pub & Curry Marchimg_20190326_1821352

Cycling in Belgium, Gent-Wevelgem

Cycling trip to Italy, Hotel Dory, with Alex and Friends

A first Birthday Partyimg_20190423_092158

Scotland in the Van

Long Weekend in Cheddar, Bettie tries Rock Climbing

Our First Festival May 2019

Off to France with the lads for 4 days of Cycling in Brittany/Normandy

June was mostly in the Van, South Coast/Devon and Cornwall

I took the train to Cornwall with the lads and we cycled back from Landsend

July and we chase the Tour de France

August and we visit Darlington and ride in Yorkshire

September, back to France to cycle up Mont Ventoux, With Alex and Friends

A quick weekend wild camping in Milford on Sea

October found us in Wales

A quick weekend in Bristol October, Great Campsite for the van

December in Family Pre-Christmas get together



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Day 9 and 10 of our Wales trip

After leaving New Quey, we headed for Tenby, another seaside town this time a little bigger than some others we have visited on this trip. This meant it was a bit more lively and the town centre was busy with most if not all of the pubs and restaurants open.

We arrived in the early evening and set about finding a place to park up for the night, we had given up on trying to find an open campsite on this trip. Fortunatly on the drive to Tenby we stopped in a motorway services and took advantage of there excellent showers. Over the years on my travels around the UK I have often seen showers at the service stations but didn’t know how they worked or how you got to use them. So I followed the instructions on the door. Ask for key at WH Smiths. When I asked how much and what the procedure was. The lady just said you give me your car keys and I give you the showers key, when your finished we swap keys again. No charge. The showers were great so we both got clean again. Now before you get the idea that we are just traveling around without washing, we do have a shower in the van and of course a hot water system, but at this of year its not so easy to get the shower area dry and it’s a very small space, so we just tend to strip wash every day and then get a shower every other day at a leasure centre or “now that we know” in the service station.Back to Tenby, we use a phone app called “park4night” to fine parking places. It is a user based list of sites that people add to or update and comment on, its very user frendly and has loads of places where other campers have parked up for the night. Although the UK seems to restrict and tries to prevent campervans from staying outside of offical campsites. i can understand this in June/July and August but its very helpfull to us when all the campsites have closed down for the winter. It seems to me that most people with campervan at this time of year are very responsible and only stay for a night or two.

. After breakfast we packed up and headed for Cardiff. Arriving late afternoon we headed for the National Express coach terminal and car park. You can park overnight here for £17, it is also very close to the centre of Cardiff with just a five minute walk to Cardiff Arms Park/the Millennium Stadium and the pubs and shops. After setting up the van we headed off into town for a couple of beers and a site seeing mission. We ended up in a bar called Zerodgrees it is a micro brewey and they brew all ther own beers on site.

we had a plesent eveing but most of the pubs were setup for the stag/hen weekend crowd with bouncers on the doors and very load music. Not really what Bettie and I were looking for. So back to the van for some food and a good night’s kip. Up early’ish the next day we headed back into town to visit the shops and market stalls. It is a very nice town with some old lanes with small independent shops and cafe although we were informed that one café had a 40 min wait for food. After parting with a big chunk of money on a new Goretex jacket, we stopped of at the castle on the way back to the van.

of course we were to tight to pay the entrance fee so we just stood in the entrance and took a quick photo. We took the short walk back to the van and the drive back home. It had been a great trip and although the weather had not been great we managed a few good walks and saw a lot of Wales.

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Day 8 of our Wales trip

Last night we parked up in a Carpark in New Quay. £8 for the night, the place looked deserted and I’m not sure if anybody would check if we’d paid or not, but we paid anyway. The bay is lovely and the town is surrounded by Caravan Parks (all closed). We went to one of the local pubs and were the only ones there for a couple of hours, when a few locals turned up for a birthday meal. Talking to the barman he told us that the town is really quiet this the of year with just him and the chef working. In the summer they have three bar staff, three waiting tables and three chefs. I guess most seaside towns in the UK are the same at this time of year.

After a quiet night we went for a walk along the bay is was very quite and rugged. Here are a few photos

While walking along the beach we spotted some sea scum

washing up. I have often seen this but didn’t know what caused it. So I thought I would check Wikipedia and it turns out it is mainly caused by organic matter braking down which give the foam/bubbles and more solid form and prevents them bursting or braking down. This is usually caused by the breakup of Algee blooms, but can also be caused by high volumes of compounds derived from petroleum production and transport, synthetic surfactants, and pesticide use can enter the sea surface and be incorporated into foam. The pollutants present can also affect the persistence of the foam produced. Crude oil discharged from tankers, motor oil, sewage, and detergents from polluted runoff can create longer-lasting foams. These can exagurated by high rainfall and runoff from farmland etc. So the short answer is I am better informed but still don’t know if it is a natural formation or caused from pollution.

Still it was a nice walk and now we have driven to Tenby and are planning on parking just outside of the town in a quite road overlooking the sea. We will let you know how we get on tomorrow.

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Day 7 of our Wales trip

Today we were awaken by the locals. They were all around the van makeing a racket, one of them was even rubbing himself on our bike rack. Bloody cheek.

Well Bettie has a few words to say:

I have really enjoyed our trip in Wales so far. I love the scenery, the quiet remoteness (especially when we had no phone signal last night! )and the freindly people always willing to chat & help wherever we go. It reminds me of Scotland alot.

I shouldn’t be but I am surprised how many people of all ages and backgrounds are speaking Welsh as their first language, slipping comfortably to English if needs be.

The wildlife and respect to the environment is easy to see and we as campervanners have been welcomed out of season when the tourist hoards are not braving the weather and changes in temperature.

We have alot of places to go still around UK but I’m sure we will be back again. I’m looking forward to the next few days in Pembrokeshire heading around the coast to Cardiff.

Over and Out Toot Toot!! X

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Day 6 of our Wales trip

Today we are heading away from the coast and up into the mountains of mid Wales. But first a trip to Aberystwyth, to see if it was as I remembered it from 30 years ago. Apart from being a whole lot bigger the least said about it the better. From here we headed to Devils Bridge, this is the other end of the train line that runs between Aberystwyth and Devils Bridge. It is a tourist steam train line that is closed at this time of year. We stopped for coffee at the Hafog hotel and café to plan our next move.

Also they charge to see the falls at Devils Bridge, it’s just a turnstile and walking track and it cost £2 each. As we are a couple of tightfisted old gits, we spurned the falls and headed for the hills. There are many waterfalls and they are all free to look at although we haven’t got any photos to prove it. We headed for a roadside parking place at the head of the Elan Valley.

No phone signal no lights just sheep and cows and some majestic views.

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Day 5 of our Wales trip

Today we woke to a glorious Sunrise. We camped on Black Rock Beach again and we were the only ones there. Here are a couple of photos of the van.

. We headed into Portmadog for brekkie and to make a plan for the day. General plan is to head south along the coast as much as we can and then head for Brecon Beacons, before Cardiff. So it was a driving day. We did drive over a toll bridge which cost us a £1. It was a beautiful setting so we stopped to take a few photos.

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I tried to convince Bettie that we should stop for the night as there was a pub and cycle/walking track, but she was having non of it. So after the photos we headed on along the coast. Tonight we are parked in the White Lion Pub carpark. So a few beers and a pub meal before we head to bed for an early night.

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Day four of our Wales trip

We parked up on Black Rock Beach last night. It was great to wake to the sunrise at our backs and the sound and sites of the sea in front of us. A great place to camp, very quite and secluded there were only three vans on the beach which is about 3 miles long. The only problem was that when we finally dug ourselves out of bed, had coffee/tea and some breakfast the rain had come in and it was belting down. No problem we read our books for a bit and waited for the weather to change. Soon enough the rain had passed and we joined the doggy walkers on the beach. The good thing with cloud and low sun it leads to some great photo opportunities. Here’s a gallery of the best from today.

I think we will park here again tonight. After a few beers and a curry, of course.

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