We could hardly believe that 3 years has flown by and Krystal was due for a first MOT. Happily she passed with flying colours. A slight blip, with the oil warning alarm light but hopefully that will resolve itself! Colin Edwards in Street, highly recommended by a neighbour and easily sorted out service and MOT, Krystal was legal again, fit and healthy!!
The next hurdle was the habitation check and a trip to Leeds back to her birth place at the Vantage factory. Quite a hike for us but we decided to take a week off from "decorating" and head for some R&R. We always book the habitation check a year in advance. I had booked a Sunday night at a Premier Inn at Knottingly (about 8 miles from Leeds) for the princely sum of £29, Easy parking and a relatively easy drive into Leeds on a Monday morning arriving at the factory by 8.30 am.
Krystal was soon settled in by Jamie. We only had a few minor things to be fixed. A droopy over head cab carpet and a dodgy TV ariel. Not bad really. We did the usual canal stroll into Leeds and had breakfast and a wander. By mid afternoon we were done and back at the factor. Jamie had been very thorough as usual, completed our jobs and had changed the shower head, which had been leaking and tightening up the oven handle which had been loose. While we had been strolling around Leeds we decided to change the plan for next years habitation. Arrive Leeds, Monday late PM and leave Krystal at the Vantage factory. Stroll down to the Holiday Inn Express around the corner and pick Krystal up on Tuesday after her checks. This would avoid the heavy traffic we had encountered coming into Leeds Central on a Monday morning. Worth a try.
Habition done we headed for Moor Lodge and our normal stop over at Bardsley a few miles away. A lovely spot very rural round the corner from The Bingley Arms ( no meals on a Monday)
We enjoyed the sunshine and wandered down The Gunnell ( rather overgrown) for a cold beer.
An easy stroll down, a bit of a hike on the way back...... it could have been the beer.
The next morning we were off to Cheshire, Shays Farm, and a visit to Den's brother Paul and his wife Ann-Maria at Tarporley. We always enjoy seeing them and catching up with family gossip over a couple of good meals. Shays Farm is another lovely site, very up together and quiet.
A good fishing site and great for kids with a big ball field.
Whilst we were there we went out with Paul across to North Wales to a place called Holywell. Sadly, Holywell is not thriving as it used to be. Still we took a nostalgic tour of some of the sites that were so familiar 50 years ago.
Next door was the Opticians also belonging to the family. In the window was some of the family history.
While we were taking photos the door to the opticians opened and we met old cousins and spent some time talking family history which was lovely.
We then went up to the monastery at Pantasaph where many of the family are peacefully lying. We paid our respects in this very peaceful place, which has changed very little over the years. A beautiful final resting place.
Our last destination in this part of Wales was to meet up with Den's cousins Christina and Kieran. We looked around Christina's cottage at Brynford where we hadn't been for many years. Finally, we had a lovely meal in a local hostelry and chatted about old times and memories past.. Altogether a great couple of days we will have to do it again soon. North Wales is a lovely part of the world and even better when the sun shines. Big thank you to Paul and Ann-Maria and the cousins we met on the way, We enjoyed your company.
From Cheshire we ambled back to Wales and soon we were on our way to Shell Island. A unique HUGE campsite just north of Barmouth on the coast. The campsite is only assessible at low tide. We had booked a spot and checked the tide times so all was well. "Camp anywhere", we were told. Sand dunes or mountain views. We opted for the middle ground and pitched up on a hill, sea behind us mountains in front.
Clean showers and loos, bar and food available. All was well until the weekend when it did get rather full. Still we enjoyed the views and the sea air and we would go back off season.
The beach was beautiful and pretty empty. There was soft sand and loads of rock pools. I think if we went again the "dog free" field would be our first choice. Most of the campsite was grass so not sure what it would be like in bad weather, I guess you would have to be careful where you camped.
Strange how some campers didn't seem to understand the 15m rule in operation here. A mid week visit would be best as the site gets pretty crowded at weekends.
Finally we were on our way home but decided at the last moment that one more stop would make an easier journey. A quick look at camper contact and search for sites and we located Lucksall Caravan and Camping at Fiddlers Green not far from Hereford by the River Wye. I rang the site and they had spaces, I also booked a table at the restaurant, on site but run separately.
Lucksall site is absolutely beautifully kept with grass manicured within an inch of it's life. Pitches are a good size and facilities spotless. We had a beautiful meal in the restaurant and a drink in the bar overlooking the River Wye.
People we paddle boarding from the site and swimming further up the river. This is certainly a site we will go back to.
Altogether a very successful week!!!