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Showing posts from January, 2015

A weekend in Aldeburgh

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We chose Aldeburgh in Suffolk as the destination of our first full weekend away in Cleopatra and found The Forge, a Camping and Caravaning Club Certificated Site, in nearby Blaxhall. I emailed the owner, Eddie, to enquire about staying and he emailed back within about 12 hours. He said the ground on the usual field would be soft, but that we could use a site next to a shed around the other side of the farm, and so we confirmed the booking.

We telephoned half an hour before arrival at the campsite as requested and using the final few directions given we arrived at the gate. Eddie helped us park and then produced a hook-up cable to plug into Cleopatra. He showed us to the minimal facilities which consist only of drinking water tap, waste disposal, and in a shed, a toilet and sink. There's a small electric heater in the shed so it's not cold, but there are no showers at this site. The only thing I'd call out is the lack of mirror above the sink, otherwise the facilities prov…

Midweek trial run in freezing temperatures

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Cleopatra came home with us on a Monday and the weekend was just too long a wait to get to use her for the first time and so we booked a campsite overnight for Wednesday. Temperatures on Tuesday morning plunged as low as -6C and so it looked like we'd be getting to experience one of the extremes of temperature on our first ever expedition.

We arrived at the Ferry Meadows Caravan Club site site at around 6pm and a lovely lady signed us in and explained how to hook up to the electric. We were allowed to choose any vacant hardstanding pitch and opted for one within a short walk from the toilet block. A few pitches were taken, though most were caravans without occupants.
The roof popped open without problem and we opened the ‘Cali Topper’ for the first time. It’s a tough, waterproof, thick, canvas cover that protects the original roof and helps the van to retain its heat. It turned out to be easy to fit even around the awning.
The electric hook-up proved challenging and we were left wond…

She's finally ours

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A salesman at the vehicle dealership told us how refreshing it was to see people so excited to pick up a car. Apparently he'd never seen anyone so excited as we were to receive our vehicle. I think we had possibly visited the showroom about five times during the week prior to collection.

We were given a complete beginners' class in how everything worked, from putting up the table in the cabin to using the bicycle rack. Then after signing some paperwork Cleopatra was all ours to drive away.

The first thing that struck me upon seeing Cleopatra standing on our driveway was how big she was. I'm sure I'll get used to having a massive great van sitting there, not least because every time I look at her it produces the biggest grin!

We spent an hour excitedly putting five-months worth of campervan purchases in their places, and realising quickly we'd bought a bit more than we can realistically cram in. Then we took her for a spin, driving over to show her off to my parent…

We've touched it

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Our brand new VW T5 California Beach campervan has been delivered to the garage and we've been to see her. She's lovely and just what we expected. It's the first time I've seen the colour in person, rather than in a photo and it's such a cheerful vehicle.

It's now Friday and the garage says we can have her on Monday, so there's one final weekend to get through. I intend to spend it researching the ideal first site for us to spend the following weekend, the best walking routes nearby, and great meals to cook when we're there.

The final thing to report before we take delivery (and this blog starts properly) is that we've settled on a name. She's called Cleopatra.