Friday 19th July 2019
Our journey was OK – we stuck to the major roads, which although quite a bit longer is definitely quicker. The weather was not as good with frequent showers on route but hey hoe that’s England for you in mid-July.
We arrived at the Camping in the Forest Roundhill site near Brockenhurst about 1.30 and were directed to Church Field, where the Hermanfest Rally was being held.
There were only a few other Motorhomes there and as we positioned ourselves next to a Hymer we presumed it was going to be a small intimate gathering like the inaugural meeting last year (7 units). How wrong we were – by the time everyone had arrived the field was packed with twentyone Motorhomes and one caravan.
Now I should explain that this was not our usual type of Rally but one organised by a YouTube video producer. Adam (Ads), along with his partner Zoe, star in and post video’s relating to their travels on their channel ‘Hermans RV Holidays’. We have been watching them more or less since we got Voyager – and jumped at the chance last year to meet them and a few other subscribers.
Ads video of the rally is here .
This time five of the originals attended with a lot more. So we got to see some old friends and meet a lot of new ones.
Nigel set up the Gazebo with assistance from a couple of others – but only after I had reminded him which bit to pull on first – he keeps trying to erect it inside out which just doesn’t work. We now have 2 sidewall covers and a ground sheet which also got fitted. It did leave one side open but that was toward Voyager so we thought it would be OK. During the process another YouTuber Bob Earnshaw (another of the originals) filmed the process – it is included in his video of the weekend – Bobs Hermanfest Video.
As the afternoon progressed the rain that had been showery started to set in properly – so after our meal we moved into the gazebo with Alison and Michael (from last year) and our direct neighbour Sue. We all had a smashing evening with a few drinks and lots of laughter and good stories.
The rain didn’t ease up all night but we both slept very well.
Saturday 20th July 2019
We thought we were in for a cloudy day – which after yesterday would have been welcomed – but no – the sun came out with mostly blue sky. We did get a very quick shower – though it only lasted for three minutes.
So nice and warm we got the 2G’s out and did a bit of a tour of the corral (we seemed to be arranged in a big circle with just a couple in the middle). We had a brief chat with several of the group – particularly Darren and Wendy who it turned out live only about ten miles from us. They also subscribe to and have appeared in another of our YouTube favourites ‘Kiwis on the go’.
Ads and Zoe had embarked on a walk around the campsite (which is very large – more than 500 pitches) with a few others some giving their dogs a good exercise as well. We had missed their departure but caught up with them near reception and chatted with them as we took a circular route back to the corral.
After our light lunch I was just checking the inside of my eyelids when Nigel startled me asking if I would like an ice-cream. Well when a mobile ice-cream van arrives on your campsite it would be impolite not too – so a nice big whippy tub for me.
Not long after that it was a congregation of chairs and tables – out with the cakes – and drinks,
a bit of a thank you for coming chat from Ads followed by a Quiz that we did badly at and much laughter and storytelling all around. People drifted away and back at times but it went on until about 11pm which was lovely.
Slept well again.
Sunday 21st July 2019
Another lovely day – the sun making regular appearances.
Today was the official last day of the rally and like last year we had booked an extra night – and would have spent it with Bill & Jill – but my sister Lyn had arranged a 50th Birthday Tea party for her husband Steve, with a lot of family attending. We couldn’t miss that.
As the forecast is looking good for a few days we have booked (by phone) a CL site nearby for tonight and when we have a good phone data signal we will book a few nights in Salisbury as well.
So after breakfast I did the inside chores while Nigel did the outside ones. Then we did the dismantling of the Gazebo along with all the goodbyes – it did take a while.
We arrived at the Memorial Hall in Wincanton at about 3.15, having stopped for our lunch in a lay by on route.
It was good to see the family again – we get together so rarely these days – and have a good chin wag. I took the opportunity to pass on my not so good news quietly to them all so they now all know of my health problem. For those of you that don’t know the big ‘C’ is back – now in my neck – I am trying to stay busy so I don’t think about it too much. My Oncologist says it is very treatable – so fingers crossed.
We left about 6pm and drove on to the Three Oaks Farm CL site at Zeals – it only took twenty minutes or so. We pitched up on the edge of the paddock and did all the levelling before we were greeted by the owner’s wife. It’s the first time we’ve been offered a cup of coffee on arrival – which we accepted (a little dumbfounded).
When the coffee arrived the owner himself turned up too
dressed in his Pearly King outfit –first time for that as well! We paid our £13.50, had a good chat until they left us to it.
A light meal, booked 3 nights in Salisbury CCC site, a bit of TV then bed.
Monday 22nd July 2019
Usual morning procedures completed we left Zeals about 11.30am made good progress to Salisbury – arriving just after 1pm.
It’s a lovely site but our grass pitch had a bit of a slope – love our rams – we are level but flying within minutes. Nigel did need the steps to put on the silver screen though.
We put up the gazebo and the rollout awning and then went for our exploratory trundle checking out the ice-creams available at reception (nothing exceptional).
Included in our site info leaflet was details of an accessible route into the town centre so we checked out the first part of it, just to the footpath itself. Also checked the opening hours of the Stratford Social Club next to the site – it has a big sign saying Campers Welcome.
Back to Voyager for our meal then on with our glad rags and back to the Club for a couple of very cheap drinks.
Slow trundle back, it was still very warm so we sat in the gazebo for a while,
then a bit of TV and bed.
Tuesday 23rd July 2019
Nigel had planned our day – Salisbury was the local town for his teenage years – so after morning duties we set off. Now today had been hyped by the media as possibly the hottest in England ever – so as well as our sunhats and a good covering of factor 20 we made sure the emergency ponchos were with us.
We followed the route we had been given (it was fully accessible)
and quickly got into town.
A very pretty well kept central area with a mix of old and new, all the usual high street shops and a few independents. There are some well-placed designated pedestrian areas – it’s well worth a visit.
I could see the High Street Gate ahead of us and thought we would be going through it to the Cathedral
but no Nigel steered us to the right – up Crane Street, over the bridge and on through Queen Elizabeth Gardens by the river.
What a lovely park area – well-kept with flower beds and seating all around. I’d have missed it all together without the local knowledge of my hubby.
We continued on, using the Town Path across Harnham Water Meadows where we saw an artist painting his view
maybe he was trying to emulate Constable’s ‘Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows’ of 1831 although the modern view is somewhat different. We continued to the village of Harnham itself – which at this point has a few old buildings and a good green recreational area by the River Nadder.
We used the pavement next to the main A road until we could turn off again onto the Old Harnham Road passing thatched cottages and the Rose & Crown pub
over the river again (via what was originally a Toll Bridge)
and along the quaintly named De Vaux Place.
Under an old City gate and on a little further until we entered the Cathedral close from the South.
We had our packed lunch in the shade of a large tree with a view of the west side of the Cathedral – idyllic.
I wondered whether we would be able to get into the Cathedral with the 2G’s but it turned out to be no problem. Lovely wide aisles and ramps everywhere they were needed. I do so love the architecture and structure of old churches
– the skills of the masons and woodworkers always amazes me. We spent a good hour plus exploring it all.
The afternoon was passing quickly (as it does when you are enjoying yourself) so as I was still trying to find a nice short sleeved cardigan I nipped into M&S on the way back.
There’s always something isn’t there – just browsing and my phone rings – it’s the hospital – they want to bring my Friday appointment forward to tomorrow!
So back to Voyager – we did have a nice whippy ice-cream on the way (I deserved it!) and we got everything packed away again.
It’s disappointing to have to cut our break short but my health is more important than a holiday isn’t it?
We have one more weekend Rally booked which hopefully we won’t need to cancel – but after that I think there will be a bit of a gap in our trips away. We will keep you informed.