Magic & Mushrooms!

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We have been on Tour for a month already… a whole month on the road, its a little disconcerting to know just how much time has literally flown by… We are currently situated in an idyllic and extremely tranquil forest camp site next to a Lake, the site is called Des Combes in Felletin at €13.80 a night, its owned by an English couple who found and purchased the site back in 2008 at the time it had been shut down and was in a state of disrepair so they have spent their time rebuilding and renovating the site, we decided to stay for 8 days here due to it being so peaceful and with the bonus of lovely hot showers, although I admit I am starting to get slightly restless, most of the time we have spent here the weather has been wonderful though with just a couple of rainy days, on sunny days we have rambled through the countryside the site owner mentioned that there was a bridge somewhere nearby to cross over to the other side of the lake but we have yet to find any bridge, the first outing we walked all the way down the road and hill we drove in on and took a stroll along a river at the bottom of the road where we found electric cable markers that looked like land mines… I kept yelling at Pete “dont stand on those we’ll be blown to smithereens!” I think he missed the humour completely…

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The next ramble we found ourselves down at the bottom of reservoir wall i did indicate to Pete that I didn’t think we were supposed to be walking here due to all the Privee and no entry signs plus barriers (I even took a photo of him under the sign that I’d pointed out to him on the way in, as we rambled back out!!!)  but as usual Pete was in his own little world and ignored all my warnings even the locked and spiked gates at the top of the reservoir were not enough to pre warn Pete, Well what a trek he took us on, we walked and climbed the reservoir from the base right to the top of the otherside, I even climbed the metal staircase at the otherside while Pete and Toffi climbed the wall trying to find this elusive bridge but to no avail, so we then climbed and hiked all the way back down and over, even the dog was scared stiff and froze in fear at times, we then rambled through the woods and down to the quarry site where the was a huge concrete tube used by the quarry I told Pete this was actually a waterslide and if we could just find our way to the top it’d be such fun to slide down…

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The other days we have spent here were spent either cleaning, doing washing or just chilling out, on one of these days we took some drinks and a little food with us down by the side of the lake and had ourselves a picnic, we have taken the time to inspect the mushrooms growing nearby and those we have spotted on our walks, Cep mushrooms are growing on our pitch then there are the Liberty mushrooms we found growing in a couple of clusters also a couple of Fly Agaric’s (so some of which are definitely of the hallucinogenic variety and growing in abundance this autumn in France) others we failed to identify and then we have also had a few little creatures around as visitors…

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There’s been a max of 3 pitches taken here all week, ourselves in our motorhome and a Dutch couple in a caravan who have been here all of our visit, then a British couple with 2 small children turned up in their motorhome and spent a couple of days here too,  we chatted and found they were also touring for a year they had come over through the tunnel just the day before us.  Other than that the occasional tourers who were just stopping for the night before they carried on with their journey’s.

We’ve been wanting to get on our bikes more so that we can explore further afield but Toffi has demonstrated her total dislike and fear of the Doggyhut and tries desperately to escape it when we put her in it, so for now it is a matter of trying to persuade her of the benefits as on longer walks we have found that she starts limping on the paw that she has a missing toe on and she’s far too heavy a dog to be lifted or carried far, we shall persevere with short rides around the campsites until she gains more confidence in our bike riding abilities.

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We have observed our touring style to be pretty lazy and laid back compared to that of others (demonstrated by Toffi in this next picture enjoying her morning lay in) we tend to have stayed on camp pitches much longer than others, who mostly seem to be just passing through but in our defence most of these travellers are only on holiday for a couple of weeks whereas we have a whole yr to travel so we are so far not in any rush, we also have rendezvous’ to make as we plan to put Toffi into a friends kennels for a week on the 14th Oct (cozy cats and dogs kennels) while we visit Petes Mum and Malcom, so Toffi will be taking her own short holiday while it gives us chance to travel up to visit,  we aim to get nearer to them in the next couple of weeks.

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Pete being such a sensitive soul seems to have been bitten multiple times so far on this trip whilst I seem to have escaped from all the biting insects being the hardy soul I am, Toffi has the protection of Advantix drops that she has regularly which seem to work most of the time… although she has insisted on laying over what look like spider mite nests a couple of times and has been bitten to shreds on those occasions but she heals within a couple of days, we did bring Avon skin so soft with us as that is supposed to stop the biting but Pete keeps forgetting to put the stuff on so I am wondering whether i should put some of Toffi’s Advantix drops on Petes neck instead…

Pete ordered the parts we needed for the repairs to the wing mirror but the suppliers have sent some of the parts to our house that is now rented out despite 4 emails asking that they send the parts to friends or relatives addresses in France,  hopefully our tenants and rental agency forgive us and take pity on us, so we’ve now had to ask Pete’s relatives to chase the parts up when they’ve been delivered to the UK and collect these then from the agency and if time allows hopefully Pete’s mum may be able to bring them to France with her once she’s finished her holiday in the UK, what a kerfuffle…

Enough rambling on for one day have fun enjoy

Donna x

 

 

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