Weeks 10 to 13 - The End of a So Called Summer

Weeks 10 - 12
Sunday 27th September 2015

We were off again today, we are going to Cornwall for a few weeks but have detoured to Hayling Island for a few days to wave Rosemary and Frank off when they travel home tomorrow. Regular readers will know we have spent a considerable time with R & F over the past months, they are very good company and we will be sorry to see them go.

Monday 28th September 2015
Well R & F left this morning to catch the ferry to Spain and from there drive the 1000 km to their home. I hope they felt better than I do, we had a bit of a party last night - nuff said!

Tuesday 30th - Wednesday 31st September 2015
We have spent the last couple of days looking around Hayling Island, Sue hasn’t been here for many years and I don’t think I’ve ever been. It is a very touristy place, rather flat but with some superb beaches - like a posh Canvey Island.

Thursday 1st October 2015
Moving day. We will eventually get to Cornwall but first plan to go to Lyme Regis in Dorset (although right on the Dorset/Devon border). We have come to Carnbrae CL a small site on the route to where we used to stay when caravanning here in the late 80’s. We would have gone back on a sentimental journey but the site we used to use still has no electric hook-ups and while we could, we have no desire to “rough it” by going off grid.

We have been down to a fishmonger in town and bought a crab for our tea - fabulous.

Friday 2nd - Tuesday 6th October 2015
We have had a very pleasant few days re-exploring Lyme Regis and the surrounding area, although it turned expensive as around the corner from the site was clothing manufacturer, Country Covers who specialise in huntin’, fishin’ an’ shootin’ as well as police and army kit where we managed to buy not one, not two but three super dooper jackets.

Wednesday 7th October 2015
Another day another move, a long way this time, well not far really, less than five miles in fact. We would be happy to stay where we were but Sue’s brother, sister-in-law and dog-in-law are visiting for the weekend and the facilities (none) are not suitable for that sized group so here we are at Wood Farm a big commercial site just off the A35. Since buying our first caravan in 1983 this is (almost) the only time (in the UK) we have stayed on a commercial site. Previously all our sites had been Camping and Caravan Club or Caravan Club CS or CL sites with the occasional visit to one of the actual club sites. These sites while giving a good standard of facility are rather regimented and rule heavy, for example, when we went to Spain last winter we went by ferry from Plymouth so spent one night at the CC Exeter Racecourse Site. We were staying less than 12 hours and, as the site was virtually empty, was the only unit in several rows of pitches. On a Camping Club site you are required to park the rear offside corner of the van by a short wooden peg and I had driven on from the back of the pitch and managed to get the peg on the nearside corner - you would have thought I had destabilised the world and unless corrected this little error was going to cause the end of civilisation - we were the only unit in the middle of a big empty field. Add to ever-increasing regulation the ever-increasing prices and you have a powerful reason to generally use the small farm sites. We had called in at the Camping and Caravan Club Site less than a mile from where we now are and after telling us what we could not do we were left in no doubt that a look around would be tolerated but certainly not welcomed and that the price would be a very hefty (for this time of year at least) £25.00 per night plus extra for Paul, Carol Beka (the dog) and the car, putting it in the £30.00 a night area.

The contrast at Wood Farm could not have been more different, the site was affiliated to both Caravan Club and Camping and Caravan Club and a discount was available to members of both organisations. The receptionist suggested we have a walk or drive around, perhaps have a coffee (or something stronger) in the restaurant/bar then call back at reception with any queries. A quick drive round confirmed this was where we wanted to spend the weekend and, while waiting for the receptionist to finish with another customer noticed an ACSI sign. ACSI cards were accepted at a cost of €16.00 (£12.00) per night this included car, caravan, two persons, dog, electricity, etc., and if you stayed for seven nights, as we did, you paid for just six making the ACSI fee a paltry £10.28 per night. There was a fee of £5.00 per additional adult making the three nights our visitors stayed just £20.28 cheaper than the C&CC fees for just two of us. OK rant over, hobby horse unsaddled and stabled.

Thursday 8th - Sunday 11th October 2015
We’ve had a super weekend, had lots of not too strenuous walks, plenty of good food, including another super crab salad meal (pity we did not realise that Carol hated salad) created from two local fresh cooked crabs that we cleaned and dressed ourselves and a bottle or two of very acceptable wine. We had just one outing to Forde Abbey and Gardens, entrance to the house is cheap but the entrance to the garden expensive yet I found the house far more interesting the the rather ordinary garden, even if it did boast that at a maximum height of 160ft it has the highest powered fountain in England - notice the word “powered” it is there because Stanway House in Gloucestershire has one with a maximum height of 300ft which it claimed is the highest single jet fountain in the world, but theirs is gravity fed!

Tuesday 12th October 2015
Moving day. We are now at long last going to go Cornwall having set off over two weeks ago. We have travelled to Wooda Farm at Bude. It is another commercial site and it too accepts ACSI cards we could again stay here for just £12.00 per night but feeling in a bone idle mood when we booked in we elected to have a fully serviced pitch at an extra £4.00 per day, a lot of money but it’s still cheaper than a Caravan Club or Camping and Caravanning Club.

Wednesday 13th - Monday 19th October 2015
We have had a very pleasant stay here in Cornwall, a county we have visited may times since spending our honeymoon here in 1971 with some particular highlights. On the food front a very high high was on a visit to Padstow we bought some crab cakes at Rick Steins wet fish shop, without doubt they were the very best crab cakes we have ever eaten, they were superb and made even better by being sold at half price as their sell by date was the day after we bought them. Still on the food front the very lowest of the low also involved crab, it was crab sandwiches purchased from Boscastle Fishing Company the most overpriced, poorest excuse for a sandwich it has ever been my misfortune to experience. Two small, thin slices of (very) stale bread with a crab filling, the filling was admittedly good, but £6.00 for two slices of bread and a spoonful of crab!!!!!!!!!! When we got back to the caravan I looked them up on trip advisor and was not surprised to find the reviews slated it and indicated views similar to mine, imagine the surprise when I went back to Trip Advisor when writing this to find there are thirty three reviews, twenty six are five star “excellents" and four are four star “very goods” when I looked them up on there was, as far as I remember, no five star reviews yet some predate my 15th October research. I was always skeptical as to the value of Trip Advisor reviews and now . . . 

A visit to the Tavistock Goose Fair was a fairly strange experience. We were expecting a large farmers type market with lots of fresh produce (including Geese) being sold. It was indeed the biggest street market we have ever seen but, other than fast food, not a fresh item on sale anywhere - it was like an outdoor “ideal home accessory” exhibition. We bought new pillows, a milk frother and some other items we hadn’t realised we could not live without. On the bus back to the Park and Ride car park we heard someone else bemoaning the same, they were told that there was a very large farmers type market but it was at the other end of the town from where we had been. There were no signs and for a fair that has been running for over 800 years it lacked signage.

Tuesday 20th - Thursday 22nd October 2015
We are on our way back home now, well back to little Henham which we call home while we are in the UK but via Cardiff, our TV has gone wrong AGAIN! A small TV can be bought for around £100 but wanting something a bit more rugged we paid a small fortune for a 12volt caravan specific jobbie, an Avtex. It has been back to the manufacturer twice already, hopefully this will be “three times lucky” We dropped it at the service office around 4.30 Tuesday afternoon and had a phone call from them at 10.00am Wednesday saying it was repaired within an hour of receipt and had been on test since. With a new motherboard and various other bits it was almost a new TV. Not, perhaps the best TV’s but certainly the best after sales service - by far.

Wednesday 23rd October 2015
Well, we are back in Little Henham. We plan to stay here, visiting relatives and in-between doing some boring stuff like car servicing, etc until it’s time to get going again after


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