Monday, 31 August 2015

Time to get going

The time has come to set sail again for foreign lands. In reality this is Mainland Europe and is accessed this time via Stenaline's excellent Harwich-Hook of Holland service

A last reminder of all things British as we stay on a golf course of all places close to Emilja & Richard in Ipswich ready for the ferry
This was The Swan at Westerfield we sneaked in to amid awful rain showers and killing time before our evening RVs with the pair at the marina

A very early start and being completely shattered from a very hectic two months back in the UK, I can only manage this departing view of Blighty as we settle back and relax on the 6.5 hr crossing

We arrive safely and soon find ourselves amongst the Rotterdam rush hour but locate a lovely spot on a Yachthaven early evening. This is breakfast next day after a very big sleep

The next 4 nights are spent at De Haar camperstop site near De Heurne, a favourite of ours and a chance to get those wheels rolling again after a huge two month break from regular exercise

Oops! Not far on this ride and we are holed up in the local market at Dinxperlo

The local 'Nuts' man who gladly sold us several bags of goodies

Mobile coffee shop

Back at the van and we are getting acquainted with our new trappings, slowly adjusting to a new routine

The little red dot is us and we are caught between two very different air masses. For us this means a few glorious days of high temperatures but nights of violent thunderstorms giving the best light shows we've seen in ages
So, little sleep and long lie-ins next day are the norm…

One of these days sees us taking a trip on 'Fozz' to the nearby Obelink store 

This is vast to say the least and we are there for four hours and still don't manage to see it all

Cheap and cheerful windbreak for the burner but effective

A local visitor moos agreement 

A ride in to Bocholt next day and we are saddle sore...

The border street in Dinxperlo, NL where its Dutch on the left and German am rechts...

Just to avoid any unecessary confusion

The flowers here are so cheap...

Its warm so refreshment is required...

That night the moon graces the late evening, soon to be replaced by those thunderstorms…

Having spent the day sweltering by the van its time to break out Fozz and visit the Rhine away in Rees
The history is something, the Allies practically wiped the place out on 16 Feb 1945

Proper 'Amber Nectar'

Ha Ha, caught me….

Guess what, time to visit a brewery next …..

Saturday, 22 August 2015

North Yorkshire

On a rare sunny day we set off for the Yorkshire Dales to RV with Pat & Jane in Hawes

Our new guise complete with 'motorway maintenance trailer'

The trip goes well and both van and trailer perform well. All that strapping down inside pays dividends as the roads on the last 20km are a good test of the rig
Our view from the site in Hawes where our Chums have been encamped already for a day

We are soon off strolling in to town amid beautiful scenery

Best cross in single file then….

Thanks Sherlock….

A mouse's utopia..
Wensleydale Creamery on our route in to town…

And a good place to find our missing fourth member
To be fair to Pat he'd waited a day to enter this fine establishment where you can, and we did, stuff yourselves with any number of free tasters from their huge collection of fine cheeses

Oh how we tittered…...

Two chums..

Not so Chummy when an hour later I discover this on the toilet chalkboard
In jest I physically attack Pat stood waiting at the bar on my return and bizarrely for quite a while he's dumbstruck as to why his kidneys are now really hurting him
I have also gained notoriety at the bar as I'm questioned by random strangers if its me who is Pete Hudson?
The penny drops with Pat and much hilarity ensues as he recalls writing it the night before

I'm secretly annoyed as much later in a revenge graffiti attack the chalk runs out after only managing to write 'Pat'……bugger!

We stroll back to the vans and spend the late evening watching shooting stars and letting ourselves be eaten by the numerous small biting insects keen for a share of the alcohol we'd consumed..

Next day we set off walking in the morning up to Hardraw Falls

The Green Dragon Inn where we took mid morning coffee

A short walk through the back of the pub grounds soon reveals England's largest single drop waterfall

Not in full flow but still impressive

A few sausage banjos later cooked up by yours truly and a short drive taking in Leyburn and some retail therapy sees us pitching up at the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham

Pat has organised the parking arrangements for the night as we get set to take on the town's fine hostelries and enjoy another tour of the brewery

2nd trip for us but Pat & Jane's first and expectations are high

First a walk round town and a few 'looseners'

The equivalent of 'Amber Nectar'

The last tour of the day sees us sat crossed legged listening to the tour guide drone on a bit too much

All important tasters...

Aperitifs before some fine fayre

The next two days are spent at The Howard, Rosedale Abbey caravan club site north of Pickering

This is after surviving Sutton Bank and its gruelling steep incline

This experience was really, really bad for us…
Caravans are banned from this section of the A170 and quite rightly so but, having never used this route and knowing HGVs use it , I stupidly thought there would be no problem if Pat kept a good distance in front of us
We began with wheelslip in the first small gradient and almost wet ourselves when we came across the hairpin bend halfway up. How we got up I'm not sure as the engine was singing away merrily at stupid revs and we were launching ourselves around the tight uphill bends far too fast in an attempt not to get stuck on the hill
Pat & Jane stopped soon afterwards and came to see if we were OK. The sight of me double hunched over the wheel with my fingers locked around it sweating must have been hilarious for Pat…
Never again this way mate..


We settle in amid the rain at the site and later drown our memories of the now hilarious event at the White Horse pub in Rosedale

Next day and boots are donned for 'Pat's Walk'

'That' perfect Des Res

Pat's researched route takes in some lovely scenery and the weather is kind to us today

After seeing this guy it all goes a bit wrong on the direction front and we spend a half hour 'off piste' trying to find the correct route

All is well soon and we set off cautiously...

Not the bull we feared

Its a sign!
The Holy Grail is not far now ladies

Our route back to the site takes in the remains of some old kilns used many years ago to break down iron ore mined locally to make it more suitable for transportation

Cock of the North

That route and respectable legwork

There is a theory that mushrooms left in the sun for ten minutes produce vitamin D
I'm not so sure

But Pat can see it...

Tired teddies at the van in BBQ mode

Our starter...

Our dessert…

On our last morning we rustle up more sausage butties and reflect on our trip away together. 
All too soon its over and we are returning to Derbyshire to regain our strength..
Thanks guys for a super trip, we enjoyed it all immensely 
Enjoy your next adventure in France soon...