Showing posts from 2019

Lake Annecy

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

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

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 who kindly matched us up and helped facilitate this stay and review.

Suffolk Yurt Holidays

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

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

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

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

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…

Casa Valerosa

Sometimes you just discover a campsite a little out of the ordinary. We stumbled upon Casa Valerosa nestled in the Spanish mountains, not far from the coast while looking at Google Maps. The weather forecast showed maximum sun potential in the area but none of the coastal campsites appealed to us. Then I spotted this eco campsite that ticked all the boxes.

I fired off an email to ask if Casa Valerosa could accommodate our arrival the next day and received a reply within a couple of hours. It was only an hour and a half's drive from Lake Caspe where we'd spent the previous three nights. A supermarket stop at Lidl delayed our arrival a little but we still arrived very early, at 11.30am. No matter our early arrival though - we were welcomed and shown around the mountainous landscape and allowed to choose our preferred pitch.

We settled on a pitch in what the owners describe as 'the Valley.' We had to satisfy ourselves the van would cope with the narrow, bumpy lane that a…

Camping Lake Caspe

Our loose plans for our holiday quickly came unravelled. We spent the second and third nights as intended at a campsite just outside Poitiers. We didn't think that through properly since the full day we have ourselves to look around the town was Sunday when everything was closed, including an amazing looking board game shop. However the highlight of staying here was that our friends Jules and Pete were able to coordinate a night camping with us on their own way down to Spain.
From Poitiers we were going to travel down France's west coast and have a night at the Pilat Dune and then three nights in the Pyrenees.

Weather forecasts had us rethink. The west coast of France was due for rain and the Pyrenees were just going to be cold. We decided to have a day of travelling and set off for Lake Caspe in Spain, eight hours away.

We were trying not to refuel until we crossed into Spain where's it's so much cheaper. Thinking we've got loads of diesel thanks to the van's…

Easter plans are fluid

What to do with 17 nights in a campervan in April? Trying to avoid the UK's April showers would be a priority. If we could find warmer weather it would be nice and so we decided to head for northern Spain again. With the ultimate aim of spending a week on the Costa Brava we'd be in no rush to get there and could take our time, driving manageable chunks, and stopping at interesting places, some new to us, like Poitiers and the Pyrenees, and taking the opportunity to spend a little longer at the Dune du Pilat.

We were booked on a 9.20pm Eurotunnel train. I'd finish work at 1.30pm and Tony at 3.30. I use the campervan as my work vehicle, driving between the homes of the dogs I walk so I'd have two hours to turn it from the Bark Bus to Cleopatra Campervan. My last two dogs of the day added to my list of jobs when one decided to pee on my canvas hiking shoes - washing and drying a pair of shoes hadn't been on my to-do list.

With Tony home, we set of for Folkestone. Tra…

Camping Val D'or Luxembourg

It was the middle of February when we stayed at Camping Val D'or in northern Luxembourg and for three of our four nights we were the only campers. The site is open all year and so I suppose one has to expect building works to be done in the quieter season. We arrived to find the reception area gutted and covered in sawdust. A workman fetched one of the owners who greeted us warmly in English and checked us in quickly and efficiently. We'd paid in full online through Pitch Up and just had the local tourist tax to pay. We were given an electronic tag with credit for five minutes of showers each per day and, when we mentioned our intention to spend our time hiking, shown a useful map with several circular walks around and about in the hills and forests. We were advised to choose one of four hard-standing pitches as there had recently been rain. Initially we'd been dismayed to find the hard-standing pitches next to the children's play area, but as we were the only campers…


February is a difficult holiday for sun-worshipping Brits who travel by campervan. We only have a week and so there's not enough time to drive to the warmer weather in Spain. 

We decided instead that we'd have a lakes or mountains break with hiking and biking whatever the weather. Our morning homeward-bound departure shaped our plans for the end of the holiday - we're going to spend the last couple of nights in Bruges. It kind of made sense to base our first five nights in the same kind of direction, hence our first camping trip to Luxemburg.
Until now Luxemburg has been that country you go through to get to Germany and we've only seen it from the motorway. But PitchUp uncovered several promising campsites and we've picked one in the northern tip of the country next to a canal and forest.
I booked the campsite as we sat in line at the Folkestone Eurotunnel terminal having decided to stick to this plan. We've booked for three nights so we can stay on another cou…