Date: 4th June 2018.
Travelled: 129 kilometres from Church Farm, Bosham to Oxford.
Visited: Mostly just driving the A34
Stayed: The Old Red Lion, Marston (Britstop). Free. N51.77233, W01.23752
Another year passes as we start our motorhome adventures for 2018. In reality it’s only 7 months since we put the Hymer in storage and returned to Sydney, after touring Scandinavia. Its been a long hot summer in Sydney and the warm weather has continued through autumn, with the winter chill only stricking in the last weeks of May. We are leaving a month earlier this year than we normally do, hoping to get some fair weather in Scotland without co-inciding with the midge feeding season.
We have had some routine work done on the Hymer during the off-season, this would normally be a service and an MOT (road worthiness) inspection. However the timing belt on the Hymer’s Fiat 2.8 TDI was last changed in 2012, the recommended service replacement is 6 years. When we originally purchased the Hymer we had a 3 year plan to explore europe, but that seems to have developed into a 10 year plan. So £325 on preventative maintenance seemed prudent. Only the start of the maintenance planned for this year I am afraid.
Singapore Airlines delivered us safely and on-time to Heathrow. Whilst the first leg to Singapore was disturbed by a screaming child the second leg was very quiet and comfortable, so we both managed a good sleep (with some chemical assistance). Not so good was the wait of 90 minutes to clear customs. This didn’t make Tony our driver’s day either. Another 90 minutes later Tony drops us at Church Farm for an emotional reunion with the Hymer. Pam is busy unpacking whilst I wash 7 months of dust away. The fridge is running, we leaves our empty bags with Church Farm and hit the road.
First stop, the nearby Tesco’s supermarket to fill the cupboards and fridge for the trip north…
Date: 5th June 2018.
Travelled: 153 kilometres from Oxford to Warrington
Visited: Ironbridge Gorge
Stayed: Holly Bush Inn, High Walton (Oxford), free pub stay. N53.36299, W02.62748
We had one round of drinks in the Old Red Lion before calling it quits. Its been a long couple of days and a good sleep is required, unfortunately the sun was up at 4.30 am and that was the end of that. By 5.30 we are up re-arranging this and that all part of settling in to 4 months of motorhoming. It’s a cold drizzly morning and not looking too flash as we have our coffee and fruit. The gates to the pub open as if by magic and we continue our journey north.
The drizzle soon passes and the day brightens as we bypass Coventry and Birmingham, leaving the M6 we take the A roads west for Ironbridge Gorge. Whilst all roads appear to lead to Ironbridge, none of them actually appear to get there. Eventually we find the road leading down to the gorge itself and find a free carpark. Don’t get excited it wasn’t really a free carpark but the machine was apparently broken and a small cardboard sign stated ‘free parking today’.
So we start the long drive back out of the gorge turning onto the M6 for Warrington. We are having some work done on the Hymer’s rear suspension tomorrow and the company (AS Air Suspension) has recommended the Holly Bush Inn as an overnight stop. As we get closer to Warrington the weather has cleared, the sun is out. The GPS does it’s job and we roll into the car-park just in time to put the awning out and have a little afternoon nap before dinner.