Well, things haven’t been too great for us since our last post from Calais in late September. In the intervening weeks / months we’ve spent a whole lot of time in hospitals and, to cut a long story short, we’ve lost both of our mums. Mark’s mum passed away in mid-November. The day before her funeral, my mum got rushed to hospital and passed away on Boxing Day…. Really not a good end to 2017….
Although we haven’t had chance to get up to much at all since getting home, there is ONE little thing we’ve gone and done… in the early days of our return, not really knowing at that point how things were about to pan out, we decided to bite the bullet and replace our beloved Kampington 😱😱😱 We’d had a fabulous five years in him but although the interior was only 6 years old, he’s a 2003 van so we’ve always known that we’d have to replace him at some point.
Kampington was listed on Ebay and quickly built up over 200 watchers and lots of enquiries. Yikes! After a very tense few days hoping he wouldn’t go to someone we didn’t like or who wouldn’t look after him, he was bought by the lovely Sally and Simon and has gone off to live near Glamis in Scotland.
A couple of weeks later we collected our new van. This van has always been referred to in general terms by Mark as “Son of Kampington” (as in “when we get Son of Kampington, he’ll need to have room for a watering can”…. Mark’s watering can fetish has developed slowly over the years, by the way, as he’s seen blokes trotting round camp sites with them. I think he wants one more as a nosey-parkering accessory to wander round with than as a serious water-fetching tool…..).
Anyway, in America we rented a van we called KAC (Kampington’s American Cousin) so our new van had to be SOK (Son of Kampington). He’s a 2017 model Benimar Tessoro 481: 6m long with a large front lounge, drop-down bed above the lounge area, kitchen in one rear corner and bathroom in the other.
We’ve just about organised the mountain of belongings that came out of Kampington into SOK, and we’re all ready to start travelling again!
Our (part-developed) plans for this year are as follows:
- a couple of short trips in January / February, popping home between trips
- then a trip “down South”, possibly a loop through Northern France and Southern England (Dover-Calais one way and Roscoff-Plymouth the other, maybe?). We need to squeeze in a trip across to the Isle of Wight and a visit to Mark’s Uncle Keith and Auntie Wen on the South Coast (I’m salivating whilst writing this just thinking about the good feeds we’ve had round their kitchen table!)
- Our ferry is booked to go across to the Isle of Man in May, then on to Ireland in June (yes, it’s the TT….)
- We haven’t got a return ferry booked yet from Ireland but it’ll be after the Ulster GP in August (Mark has never been but really really wants to)
- Then up to Scotland. This is to be the year that I finally make it to Orkney!
- We haven’t even thought about the winter yet. We’d planned to be in Greece this winter, but of course that didn’t work out. Do we head to Greece next winter? or to the tried and trusted option of Spain and Portugal?
All will no doubt become clear at some point!