Tuesday, 4 November 2014

I H Van Final Specification

Well, great excitement this weekend as we headed up to the dealer to finalise the colours and specification on our new van.

We visited the IH Motorhome stand at the NEC and after discussing colours with the very friendly Tiggy, from IH, we almost settled on our new colour scheme. Being the kind of person who needs to cover all bases before making a simple decision, I wanted to have another look at the colour samples before finalising things. The dealer we are getting our new van from is based in the Midlands about 1hr and 30 mins from where we live in Bristol. We did think long and hard about buying from a dealer a bit further from home than we would ideally like, but the Midlands was slightly nearer than Portsmouth, which was our other option. We have had plenty of time to consider our choice of new van since the Malvern Show and the chance to look again in detail at the NEC Show last month. Happily, we are still really pleased with our choice.

We arrived at Nick Whales Motorhomes and spent an hour with Louise who patiently went through all our options again. We had masses of choices of colours and had to choose two wall carpet colours, floor carpet, worktop and door colours. Eventually, we finished and of course reverted to our original colour scheme from the NEC Show, basically browns, beige with a splash of blue ( ish)  Our van has been ordered from Fiat and we just have to finalise a few more IH options which we hope to do next weekend. Looks like we will be going for mostly factory fitted options with just a Thule Towbar rack to get ourselves. Will update after the weekend when we assess the  financial picture, can't wait.

Looks like the van will be ready to be registered for 1st March! In the meantime back to two legs!!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Uphill Walk 7 ( Revisited)

Being perfectionists, we decided after the previous weeks tramp, when our map reading skills went totally wrong to do this walk again properly! It also gave us the opportunity to take pictures with a proper camera. Being minus a van until the new year we will have to forgo the 4 wheels and use 2 legs, probably to the benefit of our waistlines and general fitness. We have also been blessed with some fabulous almost Autumn weather and thought we would make the most of it.

For any readers we may have this is the link to the walk.

Uphill Walk 7. Boatyard, Acccommodation Road, Bleadon, Purn Hill.

The walk is 6.5 miles. Leave out the section along the bank of the River Axe as the path is overgrown and very difficult to pass. When I get a moment I will report it to North Somerset Council. The alternative route is to take the road past the Mendip Model Car Racing circuit and continue down the road to the T junction with the A360. Turn right and continue along the main road until your reach Bleadon Bridge. Not as picturesque but less fraught!

We started this walk by taking a stroll past the marina and sitting on the beach for a bit. Public loos on the right towards the beach clean but you need a 20P piece.

The beach was beautiful and it was such a lovely morning we were tempted to walk along the beach to Weston, but that's for another day.

View out towards Brean Down.

Really quiet on the beach today. All day parking P & D £7.00.

View up towards St Nicholas Church which looks down on the marina.

We strolled back to the marina and spent a bit of time watching the Scouts having a raft race. Everyone looked like they were having a great time .

We knew the way we had to go at the start of this walk and the instructions are pretty easy to follow. Lots of dog walkers and a few hardy cyclists at the beginning.

We did wonder what this boat was carrying?

The path at the beginning of this walk is easy but walking boots or stout shoes recommended.

We continued until we got to the Mendip Model Car Racing Circuit. It was really busy and the place was crammed with motor homes and caravans, obviously a popular sport. We stopped and watched for a bit, noisy but obviously great fun! 
Ever onwards, we did the slight detour and eventually found ourselves on the other side of Bleadon Bridge, a slight discussion on route and we plumped for the footpath through the trees, this was the bit we went wrong on last time!

The view from the hill at the top of hill over Bleadon Quarry. After further discussion and a bit of back tracking, map reading and Garmin consulting, we finally found the right path! Easy with hind site, how could we have missed it last time?

Den in front of the kissing gate. From here down hill.

This time we actually found the right church. 

Bleadon Parish Church

It's really interesting when you discover places you have driven past but didn't really register. This little community has been here since Stone Age Age times and was where Bleadon Man was discovered.

Bleadon Man and More Historical Info.

We sat on the bench and ate our lunch, then on to the safari part of the adventure...wild animals.

Well, they were actually cuddly looking, I thought llamas but they they were actually alpacas. These cuddly creatures were running about in someone's back gardens, we took their picture. I later found out they were actually big business!

 The final path back to the start . We felt quite pleased with ourselves, we actually made the whole walk with only minor re routing...we must be getting better!!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Overland Expedition Show

This week we decided to take a trip to Stratford -On Avon Race Course to see the Overland Expedition Show. I had seen it advertised on The Motorhome Funsters forum and thought as we were temporarily van less a trip would be fun. The show information looked really interesting and we thought we may pick up a few hints and tips for future visits to South Africa.

The day of our visit was beautiful, we set of early in Smartie with a picnic hamper duly packed. The drive to Stratford was lovely and we stopped at Evesham by the river for coffee.

Evesham is a delightful spot and I have to say has the cleanest loos I have ever visited. Large coach park by the river which would be a very handy motorhome stopping place. Sadly, Pay & Display and no overnight parking!

By the river at Evesham.

Evesham Tourist Information

We set off again refreshed and arrived at Stratford Race Course. The organisation of the show was "home knitted". As a new show it will take time for it to become as slick as some shows, but therein lies it's charm! The volunteers showed us to the parking area after we had paid to be let in! Slightly expensive at £24.50 for two we thought, camping for the night would have been cheaper. The car park was not too full we imagined that most visitors would be staying there. The show was semi-organised into areas with a programme of talks that were in the main pavilion and such titles as "Scooters in the Sahara" and " Choosing an Overland Campervan", "Don't Panic!" sounded interesting! We didn't go into any of the seminars but might another year.

Loads to see and really interesting vans to scramble in and out of. Also lots of bikers and their bits. The exotic meat burger stall had a queue and the beer tent lots of cider, we ate our picnic and snooped around looking at some of the vans in the car park. Lots of South African and Australian accents around and loads of BBQ's and log cookers for sale. The usual stalls were not there we would have expected to see more accessories but I expect they were at the Lincoln Show.

We ventured to the Motorhome Funsters camping section, introduced ourselves to The Sundowners and enjoyed a coffee and chat with a few Funsters. A good showing at the meet and such lovely weather, they had gone to so much trouble to put up a shelter and organise BBQ's, bet there was fun later. At the other end of the field there was camping with an electric hook up and water and loos available.

I think this is a show that will grow so  one to watch with interest for another year. They intend to run the show for the next 10 years at this venue so watch this space.

Overland Adventure Show