This is a blog of posts and Rants..its my rants..and wont be the opinion of everybody that may read it. May contain things you dont like or dont want to read. If so dont read it..its my space !! Its Totally my opinions and thoughts
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WRITTEN 2018 / 2019 / 2020 (updates scroll down)
Well whether you were for it, or against its coming. !! This section is just an opinion.
Given that nobody seems to know what is going on, we are preparing our own plan. There is talk of a visa system allowing only 3 months out of any 6. for Brits entering Europe by 2021. Which in effect. Means the whole of the Schengen Area. If it does come in. It would make long term travelling in a motor home or camper van in the EU very hard.if not impossible, for us Brits. and I mean long term, shorter journeys are still going to be OK, but a host of paperwork and some cash involved. Nowt comes for free.
So on our return to the UK, 2019 . One of the first things I will be doing is, Looking to update Trusty To trusty 2.
We think it will almost break our hearts to let Trusty go. We are looking to put a fixed cross bed , but as I already stated, we dont want to sleep without being able to stretch full out, and as Trusty 1 is not quite wide enough, we may have to replace her.
Also what to replace her with ?? We are looking at the moment. Transits, Sprinters etc. Not keen on Fiats, Renault. Or Citroen. although they might be a better bet for Continental Travelling. spares wise. If we can’t get full free access to the EU. then A transit mk6 will do. some good long wheel base High top Jumbos around for 2 to 4 grand. and have the dimensions we need. And as we will be exploring the UK more if it happens. Ideal.
Our plan,when we get back . Is make the decision on Trusty 1 or Trusty 2. If its Trusty 2 We will buy a suitable van and convert her. then off to Travelling again. See what happens with Brexit and plan from there.
None of this is set in stone of course. As we change with the weather, Or at least I do, Teresa is bit more stable than me. But mostly it will happen.
And if We cant long term travel in Europe. We may buy another narrow boat and do it up. some nice ones around for much less than a 15 year old A class camper. Keep Trusty and explore the UK A little more. via Narrow boat and camper.
And Visit India And Thailand in the winter months. India is 62% cheaper to live in than Britain and around 77% Cheaper than the EU.
The only trouble is Getting Trusty a seat on the plane
nothing set in Stone though. Just like Trusty’s Travels. It changes as we go.
Update 1.. Still no positive results from the bunch of Cretins. The Duly elected MP‘s. elected to do for us..So we are booking ferry for around 25th march to get back, before all the Sh** happens. and re group. to sort our onward plans. So more places to add to the map.and Journey so keep an eye on the site. we intend to kick off just after Christmas. Heading a different route through Spain and France onour return.
Update 2Yes it definite, we are off 1st/2nd week in Jan 2019.. working our way through Spain and France again. on our way back. Looks like a hard Brexit is on the cards, so we did intend to get to ferries before the S*** hits the fan and there are delays. We have decided to bugger Brexit and all the scare mongering from all sides.. and stick around in France when we get there until mid may..
After all we have a camper van. so we can sup tea all day while we wait. and failing wanting to do that. We can catch a ferry up and down the coast from Cherbourg to Ostend. well do it
So watch out for our new adventure. And new places to add.
Well its now 23rd may 2019.
we stayed in France till after brexit. but our phones and pc went bang..the pc because it was old, and the phones due to a faulty charger, we did not suss. The website and our last adventure is incomplete, but I will update it soon.
(Now Complete) and of course ongoing
Owing to the Cretin not doing what they promised, we were in limbo, with only trusty as our main home. still Great when abroad, as the French Portuguese, and Spanish, understand the mo home game..But Britain !!! its still in the dark ages with that one.
So where to live ??? We could have rented a house, or flat, but to many years on the road negates this for us..Last thing I need is a bad neighbour, or idiots above me, next to me, or just Idiots. so flat life is out, even as my age would permit me to get it rent and rate free.
Not my style, never been a bludger, and not about to start now. Bad neighbour next to trusty. Solution move !! No more bad neighbour. So what to do ???
Solution…Buy another Van or Narrow Boat We have decided after long debates in our office..(The Pub) To go for a narrow boat, not the 32/52 grand type, but a Renovation project, and as bad neighbours are very rare on the canals,and Rivers. Home with an engine..???? Yup, You guessed it, Move.!!!
THE MASTER PLAN….9 months on the boat, 3 months in where ever sunny-land. Using boot sales and Odd jobs to fund it.
Well its now 11/9/2019, We have spent the last few months, Refurbishing the Boat, and its now finished, and we love it..It has a name, but we prefer to call it Trusty Big Brother, or Trusty 2.
BELOW, The Narrow boat, Trustys Big Brother.
We originally were going to upgrade Trusty to Trusty 2 ( a newer Van)..but owing to the political climate, not much point in committing thousands of pounds to something we may not be able to use as much as we have with trusty 1.,
The UK is not so good to travel round in winter, and no Aires as such.Also so loath to sell Trusty. Old saying ?? If it Aint Broke, Dont!! Fix it. We were not looking forward to rip off caravan places, or crabby old geezers knocking on the door, saying you cant park here !! its private property, or the forbidden, we just made it up crap.. either So we opted for the Boat.
Well its all right Royally screwed again.. No result on Brexit. and now a general Election..About time too !!!
Boats done and moored..and our new home So were making plans for a Christmas exit, back to sunny land..Was going to do Italy last year, and didn’t, for various reasons..and looks like we won’t do it this year either. No India or Thailand trips planned either. So, back to Portugal Via France /Spain,of course. The main reason for this is the weather, We would have travel too far into Italy to get the sun..but the costas are better.
We won’t be spending much time in France in December, as its not great weather wise, at that time of year, but quite a bit on the way back in march and April 2020, 3 months trip in total..or just a bit more, if the weather’s good, or unless brexit gets done, and they stop free movement. Or not. !!!!
Well not get the international driving licenses ( two each) yet, as you need a different one for Spain, than France…good job We didn’t panic last year like some..or we’d of wasted another bit of our cash, then get down to 3 months in sunny land, and 9 months UK.
Trusty needs a few bits doing. going to change cam-belt. and a new prop-shaft bearing..both within their time, but better be safe than sorry.I will bung on a new water pump as well. not worn out, but again safe than sorry. , a lick of paint around the faded wavy bits, which have faded with the sun, a pollish, change oil and filter and thats it.
The Uncertainty of Brexit, forced our hand with long term travelling..Extra licenses, No E11 cover. Not a biggy, and not a show stopper But to be absolutely honest..more urgently we needed a base. We gave up our house and flat Respectively, 6 years ago..so no bricks and mortar surround us now.
Well as we All know. General election coming. So we still dont know whats happening. No doubt about its needed..So plans changed a little because of that..We should be heading for ferry around 19th DEC etc..The plan??? being on the Costas for Christmas.. Lovely .. Not sure exactly where, but it doesn’t matter to us..we are not Christmas people.. sitting in a different place, in the sun, or the rain is spot on..this is why we travel so much..
Worked out a route, But as usual it will change..one thing for sure..well end up on the costas, Quickly through France.. you will be able to follow from the main menu
Wilding, the pros and cons..
I have read many a blog on the net, same as many of you….. About the highs and lows, the do’s and dont’s, of wilding, free loaders etc, We are part of that community. and proud of it.
Let me clarify the above paragraph.
Its OK to save money..OK to wild camp. OK to use cheap campsites and Aires. OK if your vans worth 50 pence and not 50 grand. As long as you’re happy with it. dont let anyone stop you, or put you off.
It’s not OK, to run people down, look down your noses at them if their van isn’t as shiny or expensive as yours. its not OK to accuse them of free loading when a lot of people are on a very tight budget…and keeping costs to a minimum is the only way they can do it. Weve met dozens of nice people in shiny expensive vans wilding and dozens more nice people in self builds, trucks etc.. and some not so nice ones. In both
But the one thing we all have in common. Wilding or Campsites ??
Were Travellers!! Be it one week or one year..Shiny or not, its the same.
Wilding will give you the freedom you will never get, parked on expensive campsites, packed in like sardines, nose to tail, and inches apart. weve done all of it !!! Wilding….. Cheap, and expensive campsites, Aires, both free, and pay, Wilding wins..for us, which includes Hundreds of free french, Spanish and Portuguese Aires. Absolute Diamonds. But remember! Look after them, leave them clean..or sooner or later they won’t be free. or as a few already !! Won’t be there..
Wilding, cheap campsites, free Aires are on the whole, all very good in Europe…but a different ball game in the UK.
Were in the dark ages compared to Europe.. but at last there is some light at the end of the tunnel..pubs are now starting to realise, there is a market here. we have used quite a few, and had a good experience with them so far, but long terming on them is usually a no no…I know a few where its possible but its not for us, hence the narrow boat.
Well thats it..Boat done and sorted, sitting on a very nice Marina mooring..We have had enough now..weather turning cold, Grey, Windy..so Departure time from UK brought forward a little.We are booked on Ferry Election Day..12/12/2019. Itinerary is..quick dash through France..to Spanish border at Irun..then slower over the top to Olite in Spain and then down to the Costa’s
Finally!! a majority in Parliament. Boris going for brexit as Promised to the electorate..Like most people, we just want it done..How its Done? and how it plays out we will find out later.. So the new year starts, We have done our run through France Spain and Now in Portugal.all of which you can read in the blog.
Update 31/12/2019 last day
We are spending a week in a rented cottage. in Loule Portugal. We intend to see a few friends and then move on back to Spain where its without a doubt, much warmer than Portugal at this time of year..We have had a couple of mishaps with trusty..A shunt into the back of some one in France..and a scrape off a wall in Loule, Portugal ..both repairable, but I’ve patched up most of it, ready for a full fix in the UK. In 6 years, we have never damaged Trusty,,this last year, done it twice Big time..Ah Well !! at least I can fix it..
1st of jan 2020 Loule Portugal
I’ve put the front wheels on the back and vice versa..sorts tyre wear evenly !. Greased the wheel bearings, checked all brakes and pads..oils and water. Trustys good to resume.
New Years Dinner on the hoof..Noapple sauce
Well there we were today, sitting outside in the sun new years day..Reading, which I normally dont do a lot of …
What’s That!!! Teresa says..its a dog..something in the tone of her voice jumped me out of the book..It’s a pig She says!! Standing at the open gate, was a big black pig…looking at us..Thats no pig as we know it hun,,says me jumping up..its a wild Boar!!!!
I kid you not..standing less than 6 feet away from us..right in front of our motorbike, was a real live Wild Boar..
At first a large as it was, and the bike being black as well..Made it blend in..But as it moved and snorted Boy!! we new what it was.. So off I was, to chase it off..Silly because they are really Dangerous.
luckily it decided that I was the bigger threat and ran off. but only about 20 feet, and stopped by the front wheel of Trusty parked in the lane. Not having it..Even when I through a big rock at it..just stood there eyeing me up..So stupid here shouts and swears at it.whilst running towards it.with another rock I picked up…It took off..I like to think it was fierce me that it ran from..but Im convinced it was the bad Language ..
Heard them in the wild..ate them..but never ever before saw one alive..leave alone 6 feet from us and large as life.. So no bacon for breakfast..it ran off, have to make do with scrambled eggs..
Aires and stops Disappearing
Torrox Costa Wild camp Now gone..another great place ruined by thoughtless idiots..dumping in a storm drain..more and more places will disappear if these idiots dont think..You know who you are !!!
Latest Brexit Update
On our travels over the last 6 years, we have met hundreds of people, and their opinions, hopes and fears, of Brexit have been divided, and quite rightly so..
Paramount though ? Their fears seemed to be more concentrated on Health cards, dog passports, and travelling through the EU..The government and some social media sites, panicked people into buying, health insurance, International driving permits, etc way to early, making people less secure and out of pocket.. below is the official release today.
For all you panickers and worriers out there..Official today 31/01/2020
Flights, boats and trains will operate as usual.
When it comes to passport control, during the transition period, UK nationals will still be allowed to queue in the areas reserved for EU arrivals only. 2. Driving licences and pet passports
As long as they are valid, these will continue to be accepted. 3. European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
EHIC will still be valid during the transition
These are the cards that provide UK nationals with state-provided medical treatment in case of illness or accident.
They can be used in any EU country (as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and will continue to be valid during the transition period. 4. Living and working in the EU
Freedom of movement will continue to apply during the transition, so UK nationals will still be able to live and work in the EU as they currently do.
The same applies for EU nationals wanting to live and work in the UK. 5. Pensions
UK nationals living in the EU will continue to receive their state pension and will also receive the annual increase. 6. Budget contributions
The UK will continue to pay into the EU budget during the transition. This means existing schemes, paid for by EU grants, will continue to be funded. 7. Trade
UK-EU trade will continue without any extra charges or checks being introduced
So Dont Panic, Mr & Mrs Mannering,and happy Travelling
Well its Final, we are no longer the holders of a blue Flag..were out!! So I thought I would include this, as a reminder. of one of the reasons. Why we should be..!!
Brexit and peoples Strange views..
Recently I brushed shoulders and boxing gloves,,with an old Dutch, bigoted lady..who’s name I won’t publish. (Let me clarify this. We know many Dutch people who are great..and this could have been anyone, or any nationality, just happened to be her .
We were in a local expats bar in Portugal. but after a few drinks, and suffice to say ? That’s where most discussions should never take place, politics, religion etc
However Inevitably Brexit came up..(she brought it up ) by the way. Now I must say, at this point. I am for it, many of my friends are not..but we are still all good friends..
So ! I am discussing it with another friend, when this screeching half Dutch half English accent..yells out.
Britain ? Your country is f***** without us and the EU..you will go under….and never be any good again.. Well Red Rag to a bull,!! and off I go.. Firstly. She is entitled to her opinion, but not at 80 decibels in my left ear. Also what does she know, That most of the British people, don’t. OK N**** says I explain it..
Your country has never known hardship..she states at the top of her voice, but you will when you leave…We the French and Germans have Propped you up, and put up with you, from day one…
What!!! So there it is. What do I do or how do I respond? Let’s start with the hardship thing..And before I start..I am not going to cover it all, or anything like it..
In the 1930;s we had a great depression..and thousands of British people died of malnutrition, Joined soup queues, perished through flu, cold and malnutrition. cold, (no money for fuel).. food shortages, there were no jobs..and most of the population was unemployed..businesses failed, every where, closed or just went into oblivion. where was the EU then..your right!! not thought of, not formed, every nation for itself. Did we go under ?? No !!
Jump ahead to 1939/1945, Hitler invades Poland, and were at War.. Thousands and thousands of British people saw Blitz bombing, V1 V2 rockets..500 pound bombs and thousands of Fire bombs (incendiaries) raining down..on a civilian population..masses of destruction, on a massive scale. Many Many, loosing their lives to these factors.. Normal people poor and rich, hundreds of thousands died Including brave souls who went to defend the world, and never came back
Did we go under ??. No !! we adapted. Gritted our teeth and applied good old British Pluck, stuck together, and got through it. And help free and rebuild Europe as well.
Now this is not about the wrongs and rites of war..who’s fault etc.. its about hardship, and Britain going under. We as Nation survived, and prospered, just as we always do..
Jump Forward to Brexit..31/12/2019
The same Woman, and many other we talked to. Were saying. Your Passport will be no good, as your driving license, and your right to travel. Etc..Well guess what N***** Not happening, and I doubt it will..were good till 31/12/2020, and after that..who knows. and if we spend less time in Europe, we will spend more time in the UK, and keep the money circulating in Britain..
But we won’t be going under. Watch this space !!! It’s more like the EU will eventually
And as a footnote
The French and Spanish and the Germans, sent great Armadas, Armies, and Air-forces to make us go under !! Where are they Now… Still walking around on the bottom of the sea..Trying to find their way Home !!! Go under,?? My Arse..
Monday the 10th/02/2020
We are still im our friends little house in Alvor..I have just recovered after 6 days of the worst flu I have ever had.. Thinking back on it and the symptoms,Probably Covid..(See Blog in Part two..link at bottom of this blog).good job we were here, and not on the road. Been very glad of a bed..and space for Teresa to avoid me.. Anyway, I’ve managed to get back to normality and we are looking forward to a visit from one of my Daughters on valentines weekend. After that it will be nearing the end of the month..and well be getting back on the road, for the slow return to the Boat and UK. Calling in at Scallops in Spain on the way back.
Well !!! Trustys latest adventure has taken a right turn of events…Covid-19..has seen to that. We were due to leave this Monday 16/march/2020, Which we still are..spend a few days in the hills at our friends place..to sort a website for them, as a thank you for letting us have this little house for nearly 3 months. Then on to Spain to see the Tall ships In Huelva..and on…
Well with the french and Spanish virtually closing the border, and making travel almost impossible..thats out the window…so off to the hills, as I said. then we are not sure. The plan was to meander through Spain and France. and get back end of April..but looks like its going to be much longer now….Dont get me wrong..we would rather be locked down in the sun, here. Than England peeing down with rain..But Trustys MOT runs out at the end of May..so looks like we will be travelling back with no mot..or tax as well if they suss it..we pay the road tax by direct debit..depends whether their Computers flag the MOT is out..Ah well !! no alternative..got to get her back..cant pack her in a suitcase…so Drive we will. When we can..!!!
UPDATE today 16/03/2020 Portugal closed the border with Spain this morning..so No go for us..Thats the bad part..But the silver lining ?? our friends have extended the house let to us..Whoopee.. quarantined in the Sun..although its set to rain next week.