Sunday, 7 October 2012

Northern Tour Part 2

We have been to Blackpool to see the illuminations, which have improved over the years. Not sure about the rest of Blackpool, though the fish, chips and gravy were tasty.
Then I have had a bit of a sewing weekend with my friend Kath of Kath's Kreations
Kath has been persuaded to come to London with me for the Fat Quarterly Retreat. Yipeeee
We made a Bento Lunch bag using Ayumi's fantastic tutorial on the Pink Penguin blog.

Then tonight we had a go putting zips in as Kath has a new machine. So we made these Noodlehead Wide Mouth Pouches. Easy!

Great Northern Tour

We have been away a week now. First was a workshop day with Worn and Washed in Olney near Milton Keynes.
We then travelled up through the National Forest and went a few walks.

It always amazes me how National Trust Houses are colourful even on a grey day. These were taken a Calke Abby - an un stately home..... As it has been left full of junk and loads of stuffed birds.

We also went to the National Memorial Arboretum.

We had a lovely night staying in the middle of Utoxeter race course and a trip to Martin Mere bird reserve.

And then to Morcambe. On the whole the weather has been good.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

CVWOC Stithians Jamboree

We spent a very wet bank holiday weekend in Stithians, Cornwall. This Jamboree had an Olympic theme and was at a show ground in the village where Tim spent his teenage years. This brought back many happy memories for him as unfortunately his dad, William Mackwood Hopper, passed away 2 weeks ago. The funeral was Thursday in Mylor and was a fitting celebration of his 96 years. A very upright and creative man, who was an extremely talented blacksmith. He would rather fix something properly rather than buy a new one. His love of all things metal has been passed on to his Grandson Andy Hopper who is now a blacksmith too.
Tim loves to look at all the vans that we can only dream about owning. all the mud also made wellies a must even in the music tent.

We were very fortunate that Gary had built this bar for our group and we also had 2 small marquees to sit in and avoid the worst of the weather.

This is the first full size campervan tent that I have seen.

And we enjoyed the music of The Belfast Busker.

To have a shower and dry out we drove over to Gwithian.... Where the rain continued untill 5 pm. So we spent a couple of hours chopping and cutting these and more......

Into this.....

Using this book that The Barlows bought us for Christmas. Thanks Karen.

We finally saw the sun, just prior to it setting below the horizon!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Shopping in France

I meant to post this earlier - the wine jug was from a lovely old pottery in Sisteron. Lots of red and rose wine was bought from various vineyards and caves. Olives by the bucket full and I was lucky to find this fabric and perle cotton on a brocante market.

Somebody had put a lot of work into making these and so hopefully I can put them to good use.

We bought lavender honey from a France Passion site. These FP sites are fantastic as they let you stay for free on anything from an orchard, vineyard or farm shop. There is no obligation to buy anything either. The UK has a lot to learn from France as far as campsites and car parks are concerned. Many campsites were only 12 Euros in the high season! This is the little sign you follow to find the France Passion site, as many are in the middle of nowhere! Lovely

And last of all I bought a very large tub of Nutella to make Nat's very-gooey-browniesthey look yummy.

........ So I think that is about everything about our France 2012 Adventure.
Hope you all enjoyed the trip too xx

Concarneau to Roscoff

We spent the night at Concarneau and had a lovely fish meal in a restaurant in the walled town. Then we drove on to Benodet where it was a little cool and windy on the main beach.

so we strolled up the river to this sheltered beach.

Then on to Ploneour-Lanvern where we stayed with friends who had a Gite for the holidays. Lucky the owner was happy for us to camp out in Libby by the BBQ. Andrew, the chef, made some delicious mussels and Ellie the barmaid shook us up a delicious Goddaughter cocktail.

Then we left them to sober up and enjoy the rest of their holiday. We drove along the rugged coast to Landunvez and Portsall. This is the anchor from the Liberian oil tanker the Amoco Cadiz, which ran aground here in 1978. There was unfortunately a massive oil slick with devastating consequences for the wildlife.

It rained too! But we'd had 45 days of sunshine.

The next night we had planned to stay at Lilia, which along with Plouguerneau is our twin town, - twinned with St Germans.
where we had stayed previously, over looking the sea - is now a car park, with a barrier and so we had to drive further along the coast. We eventually stayed on a lovely Aire at Plouescat.

Our last night is always in Roscoff - after filling 2 trollies of delicious food and drink in the supermarket. Part of the tradition is also to walk down the road and see the wallabies in the park.

After a meal Chez Janie - we were off for the ferry and home. Though after 89 days, we still had not had enough and could easily have turned the van around and set off again.

Location:Orchard Close,St Germans,United Kingdom

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Home but not!

We are safely back in Cornwall, but after 4 days at home we needed a night away in the van! Tim's dad is not too well and so we are in Falmouth for a couple of days.
I still need to blog the last part of our France Adventure once I return home.
...... Not sure why everyone is complaining about the weather..... It's been glorious since we arrived back home!

Location:Perranarworthal,United Kingdom

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Gluges to La Palmyre

Sometimes we find places to stay by accident that are not in our Aires book. Gluges was one of these - we stopped by the Dordogne for lunch and with all the vans parked up we guessed it was a free Aire. It was a beautiful place, very tranquil by the river, away from the road and free!
After a few afternoon beers with another English couple we had a late night watching the satellites and stars.
The next day we went up to Martel which we were supposed to be staying at and there was a sheep shearing contest on. I thought Tim needed a hair cut, but he wasn't too keen. 3 sheep in 4 mins 26.....

There was also a market selling lots of sheep related goods. So we bought some wool for wet/needle felting and some Merguez lamb sausages!
Then we drove to the very quaint old village of Domme. Here there were fantastic views down onto the Dordogne.

We have never been to this upper part of the Dordogne before, but we will definitely return as it is like a forgotten land.
The next night we stayed on a vineyard near Bergerac, where Phillipe gave us a bottle of wine and Tim had a wine tasting session and came back with 5 litres!

Now we have completed a loop as we are back in La Palmyre by the sea.... As Tim was suffering from salt water deprivation. Thankfully the sun is still out and we haven't seen rain since the 12th June!

Location:Avenue d'Aunis,Les Mathes,France

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Saint Martin d'Ardeche to Beaulieu

For the past week it has been like a mini activity holiday. We had a campsite in St Martin as the Aire was 5 euros and right by a road. After a day swimming in the warm river and trying to stay out of the sun we booked onto Indigo Moulin campsite, at 27 euros it was more than we usually spend, but the location was ideal for a day kayaking down the river the next day. A coach took us to the drop off point and along the way we saw a wild pig and piglets in the road and a large deer.
The trip down the river took us 8 hours and was fantastic, though we did spend some time floating upside down and bouncing off a few rocks.
The strangest thing was paddling past a naturist campsite - I now know the difference between naturist and naturalist! Though it was like they were an exhibit at a prehistoric expo.

On the way to the Ardeche we passed lots of signs about the Tour De France. We considered staying a day longer to watch it, but July 14th was a bank holiday and it is the only time we had pre- booked into a campsite for 3 days.So we drove up the gorge to St Jean le Centenier and a campsite, Les Arches, which was like a mini Holland, as everyone apart from us was Dutch.
Thankfully we managed to meet up with friends who were over for a couple of weeks touring in their motor home. So it was lovely to sit out at night drinking wine and having a chat looking at the stars and spotting satellites.
The next day we went on a scenic walk with a map loaned from the campsite, though it turned out to be twice as long as we thought and there was no bar to be seen!
Fortunately the campsite had a new pool which had just opened and also a river to swim in.
Next we went off west in search of lentils. We have no plan as to where we are going and so a chance comment by someone at Le Moulin said to try Le Puy as it is very pretty and the lentils come from there.... So off we went.
We stayed at a lovely Aire on the banks of the river Loire at Coubon. There was a cycle route along an old railway track and so we had an afternoon cycle downstream to the next town.
Le Puy en Velay was lovely and we climbed to the St Michaels chapel on top of this volcanic outcrop.

Later in the day we drove to a ski station and had a ride on a chairlift up the mountain. We had a walk around at the top as a whole new expanse of France opened up to us, then we walked down.

The next Aire was in an idillic location on Lac de Feyt near the Dordogne.

We drove down the Dordogne to a France Passion site near Beaulieu and Tim did some fishing - but caught nothing. We finally have managed a 3 hour lunch break like the French seam to have every day!

Location:Avenue d'Aunis,Les Mathes,France