The Brits have landed

Before we left Lancing we put Mika on a public weighbridge, just to see where we were; not that we want to give her a complex :).  We were fairly well within the Gross weight limit, but were very surprised to see us being close to the rear axle limit.   Some redistribution of kit is required, though we’re going to look into uprating what the rear axles can take (change of tires and suspension) without altering the overall gross weight.  Some food for thought over the next couple of weeks or so…

With an fairly early boat from Portsmouth at 08:15, we didn’t want to be late, but with the very rigid rules of the camp site the gates weren’t opened until 7am.  This turned out not to be a problem as the traffic was OK.

As you may  or may not know we currently have a car and motorhome as we’ll be based at Gail’s parents place in France for 6 months, see the links below to get an idea:-

http://www.normandie-tourisme.fr/articles/bagnoles-de-l-orne-391-2.html

http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/france/FR9761.htm

Keith drove the motorhome and Gail the car on this leg of the journey, though Keith was joined by “Ted” in the cab.  For those of you that don’t know, Ted was given to Gail when she was 12 before her and her family travelled around the America’s in a motorhome.  This time Ted wanted to check out what Europe has to offer…

Unsurprisingly the motorhome was pulled over for an inspection on the UK side before boarding the boat.  It was a fairly routine check, though with a Teddy bear sitting in the passenger seat it could easily have gone another way.

A steady journey of about 2 hours saw us arrive in a drizzly Bagnoles de L’Orne.  The house is as lovely as we remembered it, though getting the motorhome onto the driveway was a bit of a tight squeeze.

Although we’ll be based here for 6 months we’ll be travelling for a few weeks here and there in France when the house is rented out and for part of the time when Gail’s parents come over to give them a bit of space in their own home 🙂

The blog might be on the quiet side over the next couple of months, whilst we study French, do a bit of decorating and play tennis.  Keith’s school teachers won’t believe that he is keenish to learn another language; maybe it’ll be a case of Jack of all trades but master of none… 🙂

We had a slight concern when Keith’s phone  didn’t roam and Gail’s received a text indicating that our calls etc would be charged.  However, a quick call to EE confirmed that this was just a standard message.  We’ll see check online and see when the first bill comes through; making and receiving calls in most of Europe should be included in our package…

Chichester Camping And Caravanning Club Site, Southbourne (25/3-27/3/14)

As we had booked our sailing from Portsmouth for the early hours of Thursday morning, we wanted to be closer the night before…

This was a well run and really smart site (£27.50/night as we were non club members).  We met and interesting couple that are in the process of walking around the whole cost of the UK, but have just converted from a caravan to a brand new VW camper; our van is no longer the new kid on the block.  We definitely need to do the Welsh coastal path when we return 🙂

We had an afternoon trip to Chichester on the train.  It’s got a pretty centre with the cathedral and an old city wall which is about 1.5 miles around.

We’re certainly getting into the swing of living in the motorhome, just ready for when we’re going to lay it up for a while…

Next stop France, oh la la 🙂

The Barn caravan Park, Lancing (22/3-25/3/14)

After speading a few days seeing both sets of parents, staying in the motorhome of course though being well fed :), we arrived at Lancing in West Sussex (£17.50/night plus electric on a £1 coin meter).

Although we had a hard standing pitch, as it had rained the night before there was definitely some sitting water.  With a bit of slipping and sliding of the front wheels we managed to reverse straight onto the 2 concrete strip.

Keith managed to go to watch a Brighton football game with Lee Costin.  The Amex stadium is fantastic, though unfortunately this time it was Ipswich that took the honors 2-0.

We caught up with Lee and Miranda  both on Saturday night and Sunday lunchtime; we were lucky on the sunday as we had just gone inside to Shoreham airport for some tea/coffee and cake when the skies opened for a hail storm which briefly left the ground white!!!

It was great that Sparkie and Roger W dropped  in separately to see us and the van, and we even managed to get to watch the Real Madrid v Barca game 🙂

Next stop Chichester…