First Roadtrip with Julia

You may remember that I made some changes inside Voyager before my first solo road trip last year. To be totally honest, although I had good intentions to get out and about using my electric bike it never actually happened. Consequently it was an easy decision to revert back.

Julia had never been away in a motorhome but was very up for giving it a try. She enjoyed our day trip to Weston Super Mare in late April so had tested the Thetford facilities. Something that seems to make novices very apprehensive.

She had expressed an interest in visiting the New Forest so after phoning around several I eventually found a suitable CL site on the edge of the forest near New Milton.

A bit of a drive (about 75 miles) but we stopped halfway for lunch arriving at site mid-afternoon. We spent a lovely couple of days at Valesmoor Farm.

There is an equestrian centre next to the CL field so not only did we see some wild New Forest ponies while walking on the open moorland over the road but also saw some friendly ‘tame’ horses in the training area as well.

Long term readers will remember Mary and I had enjoyed quite a few Camping Club Rallies during 2019 and I wanted to show Julia what they were like. Now rallies are not happening at the moment (Covid rules) but some of the groups are organising Temporary Camp Sites (TCS) over long weekends at locations previously used for rallies. So after leaving our New Forest site we drove to the Beehive field in Bradford on Avon (BoA) for a couple of days. Although not a rally the setup of this TCS was the same just lacking the usual organised social events like BBQ’s or afternoon teas.

We both enjoyed being parked up in the field and having occasional socially distanced chats with our neighbours.  We even explored the nearby canal towpath for a few hundred meters before my knees and Julia’s hips forced our return to Voyager.

The weather forecast for the entire time we were away was for heavy showers. We did have them but for the most part they were overnight. In fact on the last full day in BoA the sky was blue, the sun shone brightly and I rolled out the awning so we could sit in the shade enjoying our afternoon cup of tea alfresco.

I was surprised when the ice cream man arrived, but not surprised he did a roaring trade that hot day. A lovely whippy cone with sauce and flake went down very well.

On our last morning we were set up ready to leave by 11.00 with just a bit of apprehension in my mind. We had again had a considerable amount of rain overnight and I was so concerned about the likely state of the field I dug out the traction mats I have carried for some time.

I needn’t have worried, when I let Voyager down off the levelling rams and reversed into the traffic lane using the drier undervan ground for traction everything was fine. The well-worn line between vans was obviously compacted enough to cope with our 4½ tonnes.

So all that remained was to collect Julia’s cat Pandora from the cattery she had stayed in while we were away. We are hoping to get her trained to enjoy vanlife with us but she is rather old so it won’t be easy. Hopefully next time you will get to meet her.

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