Monday, 14 August 2017

Green Pastures

We settle in for the next couple of months back at our favourite spot at Dethick in Derbyshire

Its good to be back albeit for just a short time before our return to the wider world..
So different here...We are struck immediately by the crowded motorways and stress levels of folks around us all rushing somewhere or another and worrying about falling off life's treadmill...
The sheer amount of green colour is a stark contrast to recent months and the inevitable rain that comes with that tests our mettle

We visit Mum who is doing splendidly and call on Mick & Deb who are planning their next trip abroad with relish
All the goss and catching up means Mick has plenty of reason to test his latest batch of home brew on us. I like it when that happens... 

Nina's folks have procured tickets for the Bakewell Show so off we go with Martyn as our trusted taxi

Oh dear what a washout!
Real pity this as there were so many stall holders there struggling to break even on the day as the visitors were unable to get comfortably to most attractions and activities due to the very soggy ground conditions

A walk back in to town and we are soon enjoying the delicious local fish & chips

Mick & Deb's BBQ was a real hit with a nice work reunion accompanied by Mick's very strong beer
(Mick had real physiological problems later absorbing said beer 😂😉)

We take to regular walking in our familiar surroundings and are 'kidnapped' one day by a friendly couple intent on showing us their particular piece of heaven tucked away in the hills above Matlock
There was an apartment for sale and were keen on showing us around 
It was on our way so duly obliged...

A random sheep shot as we are surrounded by them most of the time

Above our heads out walking one day the Memorial Flight roar past

Tansley church

The nearby steam rally provides an unusual visitor to the local pub

Plodders above Tansley

Local Talent...

That English game

An evening with Baz & Mandy was a real hit at the local pub
Not enough time though to cover all the subjects on the itinerary though 
They were stopping at the next CL in Lea and were away for the weekend

Three sisters (and Emilja) at a family get together for Nina's Mum's 70th

Nina's little ones....

The days are filled now with walking, visiting my Mum and gathering lots of essentials for the next long trip abroad
There's a couple of events for us coming up shortly which we are looking forward to a lot...
A trip away with Pat & Jane next week to Liverpool and 'Dethfest' (the gathering of the Vanners hellbent on hardcore walking, boozing and campfire rowdiness)
Expect drama!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

A week to reach Blighty

So this is the intended most direct route back to the grey skies of Britain and we have chosen a few stopovers from the trusted App 
(Ignore the one near Castellion)

One big drive coming up!

A cursory glance at the weather suggests our first night is going to be a sticky one

A wall of heat greets us when we finally step out the van at Teruel

Bet its not like this back home....

Essential coolant

Next day a Devilish milestone is reached

This is Jaca near the border with France and quite a nice town 

Our last Estrellas for a while

She's got her name in the stitching mags again and submits another photo in search of stardom!

A gift for Emilja & Richard

The Somport Tunnel hoves in to view and after around 8km...

France appears...

Just to re-enforce the point...

An Aire near Pau and a new strategy..
Travel while its hot then rest up a few hours and continue later on

There's a popular theory that even in a 'One horse town' there's always a bar next to a church
Not so in Villeneuve de Marsan. Saturday night spent on a very good free aire suggests that the ample sized town would be at least a little lively
Oh dear, how wrong can you be?
In line with most other villages and towns, the populous retreat behind their hedges in to their shuttered houses and wait for the early morning call to arms to go get fresh bread...
The Spanish would be out en masse at this time breathing life in to their community long in to the evening
Just Sayin'.....

Those dusty things called push bikes are pressed in to action one afternoon at St Denis les Ponts and we do a nice circular route in the heat of the day

Man made rain

A last chance to avail ourselves of the croissant addiction

We finally reach Bergues near to our next morning crossing from Dunkerque

A final chance to buy some overpriced beers
(No nibbles, no tapas)

Ahhhh, the joy of Britain

Having slated our homeland I, hypocritically decide I need a much missed fry up at a gaff in Stowmarket near to the CL where we stay for the next four days

Jeans (Christ what are they?) are donned and we are soon in action at Emilja & Richards' cooking the communal dinner and out exercising Lola

Super fun this...

I have to say we were worried at one stage that she was going to have a thrombo as she never stopped running after the balls we enthusiastically hurled for her

Next day in the lovely village of Woodbridge its 'Nails' time for Emilja whilst the rest of us go get refreshments including obligatory sausage rolls

A grown man with a milk shake?
Hope he puts up a better performance when I find my first real ale pub!

Classic England as we all would like to think it was..
A violin shop in a beautiful town with 'greeters' at the ready

There's one!

But this will do nicely to satiate my palate...

Here's another box ticked at an RV with Richard's Mum & Dad later at the Butt & Oyster at Pin Mill, Ipswich
Lovely views over the estuary and a chance to catch up with Suffolk goings on and of course those Adnams Ales..