New Beginnings

15823668_10210420270037053_7884046444589769936_nHow to start a blog? Well, best get the introductions out of the way.  For those of you who do not know us there’s hubby, our dog and myself.  My name is Donna, my husband’s name is Pete and our mad dog is Toffi… (names/descriptions may change dependant upon mood).

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Our travel story started approx 3 yrs ago when “hubster” had a great idea about buying a campervan so we could up and go when we liked.  Ok, I thought, me having had a VW campervan in the past, I was aware of the advantages and was quite open to the idea of going off on little travels… We had limited funds as the idea was new to us, we hadn’t really planned on buying anything of the sorts until now.  So, off Pete set, making it his all encumbering job to find the perfect campervan to suit our needs and budget… “Oh boy was I in for a suprise!”

Now this is where the fun begins.  He’d found what I can only call a “right ole banger” of a campervan. I actually named it “The Beast”.  I’ve gotta admit every time I think of this van I still shudder… Pete being Pete talked me round to viewing the van…

The day came to view the camper, I gotta tell you I was less than impressed.  Pete however thought it was the dogs whatsits and even though I nagged him to go home and think about it he purchased it right there and then. Sighing I resigned myself to the idea of living for weekends in the smelly ole van.

I am informed it was a Talbot Express. We had never even heard of them before, but it turns out they are pretty popular.  We spruced it up as best we could, made it all comfy (or as comfy as a Talbot express could get) and off we set.

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It turned out we kept “the Beast” for about a year, tidied it up inside and out and had in all fairness, some amazing short trips in it, locally and around Devon and Cornwall.

The Talbot did us well, but soon became annoying, having to make up the multicushioned seats into a bed every day. Struggling while driving to go up hill at more than 10 mph also became tedious and to top it all the thing leaked like a sieve everytime it rained.  Going down the steep hill at Lynmouth with failing brakes was pretty entertaining too! In spite of all this we had now caught the travelling bug and soon we were thinking about selling the Talbot (that is after we had had the brakes repaired) and were then thinking of getting something a little more comfortable.

Our next Van was a converted LWB Iveco Daily (with a fixed bed).  How amazing after long walks and a few cheeky ones to be able to just fall into bed without having to mess around for 30 mins making it up.

The importance of van layout became apparent after a little experience, its amazing how much of a difference this makes to life and this now obviously also gained Pete bonus points on keeping the wife happy too.

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Many a happy trip was taken in this converted van.  We nicknamed her “Scampervan”. We travelled locally of course in Devon and Cornwall, on shorter trips and went further when time permitted, touring Dorset & Somerset, Wales, Yorkshire and the Lake district,
again having some fab trips and holidays away.

We then started getting ideas of travelling further away for longer periods and dreamed of travelling to other countries.  It’s been years since I had been abroad on holiday and the more we thought and discussed things the more ideas we came up with.

Pete was considering if he could perhaps think about retiring earlier.  All this thinking started giving us ideas and before we knew it we had practically settled on doing something along the lines of buying a suitable Motorhome and travelling Europe.

We started on working out our finances.  We had 2 properties between us, so we sold one and purchased our next home on wheels, a Rollerteam 265 Granduca.  We’ve now had our RT Granduca for about 6 months.  We’ve had Solar panels fitted and a Gaslow system installed so that we can use LPG instead of having to swap gas bottles.  When the gas runs out now we can now just top up at any LPG petrol station, amazing!

Pete is to take early retirement in August and I applied for a sabatical from work of which, surprisingly, they agreed to, starting beginning of Sept 2017 for 12 months.  The house will be rented out and we will begin our travels on 31st August 2017…

Donna

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