Getting Ready To Get Going


This, hopefully, will be the tale of our fifth adventure which will be detailed on the same web address and which this year will be (surprise, surprise) more or less the same as previous years. The main difference will be The Journey page introduced last year will disappear, blogs can often be boring enough to read without blow by blow details of a trip from Southend to Basildon or where-ever to wade through, and more to the point it was boring and tedious to produce. I am of course willing to witter on at great length about any any road or journey that I can remember so if you want information about a road trip we have done just ask.

So - Where are we going? and What will we do and see?

Well, we have a number of appointments and meetings we cannot miss (or get out of) throughout the summer so must stay in UK till the autumn. There is one place we have been to several times but still has large areas we have yet to explore and that is Scotland. So Scotland it is.

We have arranged to meet good friends Frank and Rosemary just south of Edinburgh and plan to spend some time at the “Fringe” other than that nothing is planned.

For the coming winter we will, almost certainly, finish up in Spain and Portugal again. We would love to try southern Italy or Greece but everyone we speak to, and I do mean people who have been there and tried it (not those that have a cousin whose next door neighbour’s brothers, heard that ……….) say that of all of the European countries only Portugal and Spain are set up to take advantage of the winter “pension pound”. We have met several people who have enjoyed spending the winter months in Sicily, but it’s a very small island with few campsites open year round. Still lots to do before we need worry about winter.

Since we have been back I have had a rush of buying new toys and as you are probably aware there is little difference between men and boys simply the size and cost of their toys. The new toys have to be installed and played with which may take some time as several are quite complicated (particularly for men of a certain age - like me) computer types.

Several years ago we bought a SOG toilet kit - a what? - I hear you say, well it is a gizmo that when installed in the caravan keeps the loo clear of the nasty whiffs of stored erm!! lets just say unwanted materials and makes the use of chemical breakdown agents unnecessary. We were unable to fit the SOG because of space issues, that’s posh technical talk for could not get the bloody great thing in the tiny space available, so it has resided in the lock-up for the last four years until we gave it to R&F. Frank is one of those people that can manage to fit anything. He fitted it to his caravan and declared it well worth it so we have arranged for one to be fitted - expensive but a good chemical weight saving and those chemicals do cost so, in two or three life times we may be into profit.

Until January 2014 our Oyster 85 satellite dish gave sterling service locking on to the UK Freesat signal everywhere in Europe we tried it. Sadly UK changed the satellite footprint in January 2014 after which (outside UK where we spend around 75% of our time) the Oyster 85 - cost a fortune, auto find, satellite system -  became a 20 kg waste of payload so I have had it taken off the caravan roof (already sold at a giveaway price) and dug out the old 1 metre dish and all the cables etc and gone back to the old “set it up by hand and bleepy meter ” system which if all goes well will enable us to get a reasonable number of UK TV channels when in Southern Spain and Portugal. I can’t tell you how as it is sort of . . . technically . . . . erm . . . . illegal.

To part fund the new toys I have sold some of the old ones on “fleabay" - never again!!! I was inundated with stupid questions like that from the moron who complained that he could not get a lid for his Cadac BBQ from anywhere so would I sell him the lid only from mine, and the guy who asked if I would accept a “buy it now” price of £20.00 for an item that had an auction start price of £40.00, I said the minimum price I would accept was £39.99 and if that was too high he should try negotiating with Amazon who had the same item for sale at £99.99. Perhaps they would let him have it for £20.00.

We are in Holland as I write this, we popped over to see Dirkje and return to her the items we brought back from Spain for her. I’m going to miss the coffee maker, in fact I may be forced to buy one.

Talking of visiting Holland we used to enjoy going for trips on ferries, we always seemed to board quickly and easily and, more importantly leave quickly. The last two trips have though been less than perfect in the disembarking department. Arriving back from Spain a few weeks ago we were among the last four vehicles to leave the boat, we waited so long that when we arrived at the customs office the officer looked at us and said “blimey we nearly missed you we thought every one was off ages ago” and on this latest trip to Holland we were (without the caravan) directed to an upper deck that was hydraulically moveable so we had to wait until all other vehicles were unloaded before the roadway could be lowered into position and we could disembark.

Well we are sitting on the MV Stena Hollandica waiting to return to UK after a trip to see Dirkje. The ferry owned and operated by Stena Line is billed as “  . . . the largest combined freight and passenger ferry in the world. . .” It may be the biggest but is not the most punctual, it should have left at 14.15, it is now 14.45 and yet to move an inch.

Last update - Thursday 3rd December 2015.                                  © S W Ghost 2015