Posts

Fine we will pay a fine

Image
As night drew in on our Italian motorhome aire it didn't get particularly dark. The light from several lampposts was blinding through the pop-top roof windows which we wanted open to allow the breeze to blow across us. Fortunately I had found my eye mask earlier in the day and, with the Italian campers who'd been pretty loud all afternoon having also retired to bed, I slept soundly until our 4.30am alarm.

The road down from our mountain base for the night was winding but newly paved and smooth. It was beginning to get light when we approached Savona ferry terminal.

We put our bikes inside the van for our ferry crossing with Corsica Ferries after the shock of getting a 70€ fine for having them on the bike rack last year. We still didn't win though. A man, looking really pleased with himself and his measuring stick, called me out of the van, showed me the height recorded on our ticket and demonstrated that we were ten centimetres taller. I say 'demonstrated' but sin…

France does it again

Image
As always seems to happen when we leave a campsite, particularly one that hasn't lived up to expectations, we immediately drive past wild campers. Yesterday was no exception to this rule and literally within a couple of minutes we were passing campervans parked on Lake Annecy's shoreline, so close they could open their leisure doors and dangle their feet in the water. We striked it up as yet another lesson learned.

We had a four-hour drive ahead of us and, before our sat nav cajoled us back on to never-ending motorways we stopped for food and fuel at a Leader Price supermarket.

A baguette and cheese was on my shopping list while Tony filled the tank with gasole. I located the cheese pretty quickly and was on my second trip around the shop looking for the bread when Tony found me.

'There's no bread,' I announced. 'Probably because there's a bakery next door.'

I packed Tony off with a five euro note to buy a baguette while I queued to pay for my wedge of…

Lake Annecy

Image
The journey through the full length of France seems quite insignificant when done as we have. A five hour drive from Calais to Dijon yesterday, a four hour journey to Lake Annecy this morning and then three hours down to Savona in Italy tomorrow ready for our ferry to Corsica on Monday morning.

We stayed on an aire last night and will tomorrow but tonight we're on a campsite where we'll get at least one shower in three days!

We're on Camping Lanfonnet which charges a premium for being on the lake while offering no views of it. I booked it via Pitch Up where it's rated 8.6 out of 10. Reviewers on Google seem to like it less and it has 2.5 stars out of five. Criticism seems to be of an unfriendly welcome, which I experienced, and noise from the restaurant across the road which is open until 1am. I booked based on the Pitch Up rating, not having looked it up on Google. I think we may be far enough away from the restaurant that it might not bother us.

Lake Annecy is a bea…

Summer holiday is here

Image
Six week's holiday starts now! We've just crossed the channel and we're making our way leisurely down to Corsica.

It's now been two years since I was made redundant from my job of 22 years and a little over a year since I started my own business dog walking. At the start of our summer holiday last year I only had two clients. This year I have eight regulars taking 21 hours of walks between them each week. Last month was my busiest ever and yesterday my busiest day - I walked six dogs a total of 15 miles in seven hours. My legs need a rest!

I'm enjoying being the passenger in Cleopatra while Tony drives us to tonight's stopover near Dijon. Tomorrow we've booked a campsite on Lake Annecy for the night and then we're heading into Italy for a night before catching and early ferry on Monday from Savona to Corsica.

You may remember that we visited Corsica last summer. It's a huge island and we loved so much about it and so, when we decided we needed some…

Suffolk Yurt Holidays video blog

Image
The video blog of our stay in a luxurious yurt! Read the accompanying blog post.

Our stay at Suffolk Yurt Holidays was provided free of charge in return for this impartially written blog post. More glamping holidays are listed at campsites.co.uk/glamping who kindly matched us up and helped facilitate this stay and review.

Suffolk Yurt Holidays

Image
I like to consider our weekends sleeping in Cleopatra as more glamping than camping but this weekend we had the opportunity to try really high-end glamping courtesy of Suffolk Yurt Holidays in Woodbridge.
We were given a warm welcome by Jane who showed us the communal areas before handing us the key to 'Apple' our yurt for the weekend. There are five yurts all named after trees, each with a spacious private grassy space. Stooping down to enter its tiny wooden door we were enveloped in a luxurious interior that was definitely boutique hotel rather than boot camp. This is surely camping for folks who don't think they'd enjoy camping!

The bed in our yurt was constructed out of an old wooden boat. Crisp white bed sheets were accented with a bold cushion and pastel blanket. A comfortable futon provided ample indoor seating, a wooden trunk was home to hot water bottles and extra pillows, and a chest of drawers provided storage for our clothes. A rail for hanging garments is…

Uzerche and Camping Moulin de la Geneste

Image
As the end of our Easter fortnight approached we needed to begin heading north which meant leaving Spain and finding a last base for the final few nights of our holiday somewhere in the middle to north of France. The weather forecast had us focus on the middle and, while we considered a sixth visit to the island of Oleron off the west coast, we eventually decided to visit somewhere new to us and found Camping Moulin de la Geneste in the Limousin region. I booked and paid for three nights through Cool Camping. An email immediately confirmed our reservation.

We set off from the Costa Brava at 7am having prepared the evening before for a speedy departure. We'd ensured we needed nothing from the bottom section of the boot before putting the bikes on the bike rack, unplugged ourselves from the electric hook up and stowed the cable, and even turned the driver's seat around. We didn't set an alarm but woke naturally at 6.50am. One chair to turn around, the bedding to be bagged u…

Quashing with the washing

Image
As mentioned a couple of blog posts ago, we had secured an amazing camping pitch overlooking the sea and beaches below our campsite, Cala Llevado in Spain. We were positioned right at the end of the upper terrace with pitches below us gradually descending down the cliff. There was no danger of our view being obscured by the arrival of another motorhome because the small terrace next to ours wasn't a pitch - it was access to a small path.

We quickly discovered that with all the pitches with views taken, new arrivals were eyeing up this non pitch and it wasn't long before a family maneuvered their van into the space. Taking no chances they'd stay there Tony was quick on his feet telling the driver, as he emerged from the front seat, that that was not a camping pitch. 'It's a corridor,' I explained, hoping the French for corridor was similar.
The man nodded as if he'd understood but the family walked back towards reception as though they'd get their way. F…

YouTube stars

Image
While sitting in the evening sun and cooking our dinner by the spectacular views afforded by our camping pitch at Cala Llevado in Spain a Swiss lady stopped to chat to us.

'Enjoy your dinner, boys,' she said. 'I recognise you from your YouTube video.'

I think my jaw nearly hit the floor.

'It is the reason I am here,' she continued. 'When I was researching this campsite I couldn't see anything on Google Streetview and then I found your video. That's why we came. My mother watched it too - she says I have to wear good shoes if I do the walk to Tossa de Mar!'

We'd discover later that the lady and her husband were in a tent on probably the best positioned pitch on all of the campsite with a complete panoramic view of the sea and Cala Llevado's many beaches.

That one-year-old video has been watched 1,700 times. I wonder how many other people have based their decision to book a campsite because of this blog? I ought to get a commission!

Sea view at Camping Cala Llevado

Image
We arrived at Camping Cala Llevado at just gone midday, having first stopped at a Lidl supermarket to take on supplies. At reception we were offered pitch D7, presented with a map and asked to have a look at the pitch and determine if we liked it, or find another we preferred before returning to complete the paperwork.

Pitch D7 is the last pitch on a gently sloping terrace and has a corner plot with perfect views of the sea and beaches below. The previous year we'd had a pitch in the middle of the terrace and just a sliver of a sea view so we were delighted with the pitch on offer. I left Tony setting up for our five-night stay while I returned to complete the paperwork. The booking was fully paid when I completed it online the previous day and so all that was needed was for the receptionist to issue a receipt.

We were on our favourite beach by 1pm which made it feel like a proper holiday day rather than a day wasted travelling. We've arrived at all our campsites between 11.30a…