Sunday, 22 June 2014

Across the south of England to Devon

I have to say that having lived in the midlands for many years I think we have been spoiled there for the quality of our roads, or more precisely the number of motorways and dual carriageways that we had.  Even the roads to Ringwood, although being A roads were little more than narrow single carriageways and I was very glad when we did actually get a bit of motorway.

We left Seaford with the LPG tank reading as “on reserve tank” and the sat nag telling us our nearest LPG station on our route was  82 miles away.  See, it’s not much easier to get in the UK than it is in Spain.  I drove as economically as I could and we finally heard the “ping ping” of going over to petrol only 3 miles from our destination, so we didn’t do too badly.  Funnily enough the LPG station was the garage just down the road from the campsite.

The campsite in Ringwood was an ACSI site and just £12.50 per night with the ACSI discount.  What a bargain, it even had an indoor swimming pool with no extra charge.  Not only that but it has the best on-site dog walk I’ve ever seen.  A small shop and excellent showers and toilets completes the scene.  I can thoroughly recommend this site. The only downside was a very narrow lane to the entrance and nothing really around except a fair walk to the nearest garage or pup. Ringwood itself isn’t very exciting (we went there a couple of years ago) but this is a great place for a few nights stop over and relaxation.  

Ringwood to Exmouth

We had no idea what Iain’s dad had in mind for dinner that night but we did need to get some essential supplies – you know beer and stuff, but we knew there was a Tesco near to Exeter so we would get them there, so on route we needed to find some bread for lunch.  Whilst looking for a bread shop, Iain suggested that we might like to slum it by having a burger or bacon bap from a lay-by food van. Well sometimes you just have to eat a little bit of rubbish so we decided that we’d do what came first.  We had just bought some bread and then found a lay-by to pull into and lo and behold there was a burger van. Now there’s a decision, albeit not a very difficult one.  So we had the sausage bap which by then we craved for.  That was a mistake as the sausages were the worst I’d ever had, it was like eating two slices of bread sandwiched around a slice of warm bread – yuc!!  They made Richmond sausages seem like “finest”.  So that night at Iain’s dads we had sausages again, with mash, just to remember what real sausages actually tasted like.

Having stopped at Tesco at Exeter, I noticed that there was a Halfords just across the road and persuaded Iain to make a visit to buy a new Sat Nag.  There was nothing wrong with the old one except that the maps needed updating, and this had let us down a few times in Spain (especially with the San Sebastian fiasco, which I wanted to avoid in future).  I had checked on the internet and it was about £80 to update the maps on our Tom Tom, or we could upgrade to a Garmin with life-time map updates for only £99 so it seemed a bit of a no-brainer to upgrade the maps on the one we had.  Now I always like to get a new gadget and as we were visiting Iain’s dad and would have good broadband I persuaded Iain that this would be a good time to get it.  So we were spending again!!!!  And it would mean that I’d be spending quite a bit of our visit getting it set up ready to use.  Well early indications are that I’m very happy with the new Garmin, but then I am comparing a 3 year old Tom Tom with a new Garmin. 

A lovely couple of days were spent with Dad, however as he lives on a busy road and doesn’t have driveway large enough to accommodate the behemoth we don’t like to wild-camp outside his house. So we left our beloved motorhome for two nights and actually stayed in the house.  There are only 3 parking spaces outside Dad’s house where we could keep an eye on our home and it’s a bit touch and go as to whether we would be able to park there.  When we arrived all the space was taken but luckily after a couple of hours the car in the middle decided to move off.  So we rushed off to move the van into a parking space where at least we could see it from the house.  Who says women can’t parallel park?? I have to admit though that I did need Iain to see me in – a bit - particularly as we have a bike rack on the back which sticks out about a metre as well.  The two cars either side didn’t move at all during our stay so we were really lucky to be able to get parked at all.

Who says women can't parallel park?

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