On Top of the World

The wind and rain had died away in the morning and what a view to greet us.

It doesn’t get any better than this. Well, I suppose it does, but not at that particular moment.

Our Overnight Spot

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As always when we are on tour our morning starts get later and later. On to the A68 and heading to Bishops Auckland, in particular the local Morrison’s . We needed fuel, Propane gas and the use of their facilities. After getting lost in the one way streets of Bishops Auckland I eventually found a Calor Gas depot  behind Morrisons to get a replacement bottle of gas.

After our fourth night in a row of staying off grid we were starting to stink. It was becoming obvious that the Extreme Knitter was getting tired of washing with wet wipes and a flannel and my suggestion of a hospital type bed bath didn’t go down well.

Ohh er Matron !

“We’ll not have any of that malarkey ” she said.

With a swarm of flies following us down the road we headed in a sea ward direction.

We found a campsite just south of Whitby near to Robin Hood bay and booked ourselves in for three nights. The showers were clean and hot. It’s amazing how hot water can make you feel invigorated

I looked at a map in the evening and realised how close we had been to ” High Force Waterfall” the previous night. I could kick myself for not visiting. I really must start looking in more detail when doing my research.

 

 

 

 

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We hit the Wall

Morrisons at Hawick was our first port of call in the morning to use their facilities yet again. I like to think of Morrisons as our version of Walmart in the USA, although they don’t let us stop over in their car parks as Walmart do.

I had a plan. not a good one, but a plan all the same.

We needed to be beside the seaside and on our way we stumbled across Hadrians Wall.

Hadrians Wall

A section of Hadrians wall at Cawfield

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Apparently Hadrians wall took six years to build. I imagined that after 2 years Mrs Hadrian was losing her patience with him taking so long on his DIY project

“Hadrian”.  “you had better get that back wall finished before my mother visits”.

I set the Sat nav for a seaside destination and followed the back roads that she suggested. (yes, I do call my Sat nav a “she”) which isn’t normally a good thing, but this time she surprised us with a fabulous trip. It was obvious we weren’t going to reach the seaside before nightfall, so we scouted around for somewhere to pull over for the evening. After inspecting many places that neither of us could agree on, we eventually found a large parking area at one of the highest point of the North Pennines called Killhope Cross on the A689

Killhope Cross

We parked up just as the sun was setting. The beauty of places like this is the dark sky. As night fell it was pitch black and the cloud less sky was awash with stars.

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The only thing the extreme knitter was concerned about was that the strong wind might blow us over.

About 10 pm the gas ran out, so in the pitch black with the rain and wind lashing down on me, I ventured outside the camper van to swop over to the spare gas bottle.

Why doesn’t the Gas ever run out during the daytime.

 

 

Adventure Overland Show Sept 2018

Saturday morning and I’m making my annual trip to the Adventure Overland Show at Stratford on Avon racecourse.

Adventure Overland Show

The weather forecast wasn’t good, predicting rain at 4 pm. Well they lied, it rained at 12 pm. In typical British spirit, a drop of rain wasn’t going to put me off, especially as I paid an entrance fee.

I find it difficult to judge whether the show is bigger or busier than the previous show as the layout varies each year.

It’s always a good show with a laidback feel and some interesting characters. I must admit after a long conversation with an overland travel writer he showed me places off the beaten track in Spain that were stunning and accessible in our campervan.

There is always something in the car park that catches the eye and this VW T4 Doka certainly did.

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I managed to meet up with fellow blogger Mike Brailey the director and editor of the Overland Journal European issue.

Overland Rover

Overland Journal

Overland Portal

The Overland Journal is a massively popular publication in the States and finally the UK has its own edition published 5 times a year and edited by Mike.

It’s easy to think of it as just another magazine, but it is a journal in the truest sense, imagine an oversized paperback book and you would be nearer the mark.

It’s not all about size though; the content gives a fascinating insight into travelling the world by various means of transport with superb photographs.

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The Overland Journal Landrover

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I’m a glutten for teardrop trailers and this example made by Boondock Trailers was perfect. Comfortable and rugged.

Boondock

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The Mercedes Sprinter 4 x 4 van has really taken off here and in the States as the must have campervan.

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This Ford Transit by Lifes Adventure Overland had the best Raptor paint finish I ever seen and their bespoke fabrications were top quality.

Lifes Adventure Overland

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Gull wing side door, a powerful BMW engine and large split rim wheels make this Renault Traffic van a jaw dropper

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Unimogs galore this year

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The Camper Van Culture Managon

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And finally the arse end of the post A bumper dumper and a rifle case, just what every camper needs.

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Overland Wild Party

Come to our Wild Party, the Face book post said, so we did. We weren’t sure what to expect, but we are open to something different.

The Wild Party/Festival was being held at a farm in Ailsworth, Peterborough which is the headquarters of Nene Overland, the suppliers of all things cool and adventurous.

Nene Overland

Nene Overland had organised the event to Coincide with the Land Rover show at the Peterborough show ground.

picasso no claims 2018

The long drive on Friday afternoon to Nene Overland led to the campsite in a field beside their offices and workshop.

We were the first to arrive and had the choice of pitches in the vast camping field. A Big top marquee hosted the entertainment along with the obligatory beer tent and Kids zone tent which I was barred from as I was rubbish at colouring in.

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In the evening we dined on our usual Meat balls in home made tomatoes sauce then tottered over to the beer tent to sample the beverages on offer, well it would have been rude not to.

trident nene

Saturday was the main festival day with food, drink served all day and entertainment in the evening. We had a very chilled out day just lazing about reading and eating. Elsie had a massive field to run around , so she was in her element. We had a wander around the Nene Overland displays and their 1st Class workshop facilities predominantly catering for the Land rover owner. The Land rover sales pitch was full of stunning vehicles and the showroom displayed their range of overlanding equipment. The list of vehicles that I would have happily driven home in was vast, but I particularly wished for the Ex Army ambulance as they make an excellent off road camper. Sadly it had the sold sign on it. One day perhaps.

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Sunday morning and most of the campers headed off to visit the Land Rover show. We had leisurely drive home.

This was the first time the festival had been staged and it’s pretty obvious that the future ones will be a popular venue once the word is out there. We are certainly looking forward to next year’s event.

I will probably meet up with them again next weekend as Nene Overland will be attending the Adventure Overland show at Stratford on Avon racecourse on the 22nd & 23rd September 2018.

Adventure Overland Show

 

And today I made a Ukulele

I’ve fancied a German made Risa stick travel ukulele for some time to just throw into the campervan when roaming around, but the £250 cost has always put me off, so I decided I could make one. A quick google and I found I wasn’t alone in my quest. Several websites had free plans and dimensions available using bits of scrap wood, odds and ends etc.

A stick travel uke is solid and doesn’t have an acoustic body, so it’s quiet. However they usually come with an electric pickup allowing it to be played through an amplifier turning you into a rock god. With visions of becoming the Eric Clapton of the Ukulele world I quickly printed off an accurate template and found a nice piece of Oak in my man shed ( I keep off cuts and oddments just in case I need them later and here I am needing it).

The solid Uke body was cut out using a selection of hand saws, electric jig saws and a Router.

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This project was on a tight budget, so I started searching for bits and pieces that were required on the internet..

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Four friction tuners came in for 99p from china, fret wire for £1.50. I could see my budget being eaten up at a rapid rate. Then the most expensive part was needed to complete the project and it never pays to scrimp on the quality of Uke strings. I parted with £9 for a set of good strings and in total spent £11.49.

In the future I shall fit a electric pickup ( costing a massive £6 ), but for now I’ll just enjoy the novelty of playing a uke I made myself.

My lucky Morrisons trolley token embedded in the main body with clear resin

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I’ve decided to call her Dora the Explorer.

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Dubs in the Middle 2018

This was our second visit to Dubs in the middle. Our feral family consisting of me, the extreme knitter, our feral daughter, equally feral granddaughter, Ruby the Yorky and Elsie the Cockapoo were loaded into the campervan and we sped off to Evesham.  This years show seemed busier than last year, helped by a break in the wet weather that provided us with plenty of sunshine. We highly recommend this show. The camping area was massive and there was a good turnout of day visitors. With the entrance fee only £5 each and children free it made a cheap day out. There were plenty of trade stands and live music

Puffin holding her own in the car park

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VW Crafter conversion

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Crafter Interior featured Copper piping and reclaimed wood

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VW T4 cab interior

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VW Golf engine bay

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Rat look

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VW T3 Gypsy motorhome

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Adventure Overland Show 2018

Sunday morning and I was off to visit the Adventure Overland Show at Stratford on Avon Racecourse. The Extreme knitter decided to opt out of this one.

The show had suffered from heavy rain on the previous days leaving the walkways claggy with mud. But being a hardy bunch, people just carried on regardless. The show was due to end at 4pm, although some stall holders were packing up early. That is understandable if they have a long way to travel home, but when traders and campers start leaving at 12.30pm and the show only opened its gates at 10am we weren’t getting value for money.

This was the first time the show was staged in April and there weren’t as many stands as the main show held in September which is usually well attended.

There were some interesting vehicles there so as usual I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Adventure Overland Show April 2018 (7)

Adventure Overland Show April 2018 (6)

Adventure Overland Show April 2018 (5)

Adventure Overland Show April 2018 (3)

Adventure Overland Show April 2018 (2)

Adventure Overland Show April 2018 (1)