The Devon and Cornwall Tour – W1P2

Saturday 17th March 2018

We are still at the Atlantic Holiday Park but what a contrast to yesterday – now we have rain but it’s not too cold yet.

We needed to get a bit of shopping so after breakfast and the usual chores it’s off to Lidl (just with Voyager and the wheelchair) for mostly fruit and veg.

We then went and checked out the harbour and beach – the tide was out again though so not very exciting but it looks a nice little place.

We have some new neighbours today – a young family with toddler and dog using a yellow van conversion towing a bright yellow trailer with the look of Del Boys three wheeler. We watched from the warmth of Voyager as he erected a quite large tent on the next pitch – Scot of the Antarctic came to mind – hope it is warmer inside than it looks.

We had Slimming world meatballs& sauce with pasta – didn’t have too much as not that hungry – but it was tasty (although have added Worcester and Tabasco sauces to the shopping list for next time). Nigel fell asleep while I was cooking but he did do the washing up after so I forgave him.

I started my Fairy cross stitch while Nigel videoed himself fitting the cab cover on Voyager. He then edited it – put an intro and speeded up the action, adding music. For a first attempt it was pretty good – he posted it on our new YouTube Channel and I shared it on Facebook – it got a couple of likes from friends.


Sunday 18th March 2018

Well we had a bad night – Voyager got cold – the gas heating kept erroring. Nigel is a bit worried about it – he got cold in the night but he only had his thin duvet on – I’m using my thick winter one so was OK. He was up early looking at the bottles and regulator mechanism. I tidied up inside and during breakfast we discussed what to do for the best. As snow is forecast for later in the day we decided to top up the gas bottles and dig out the fan heater we use for frost protection when at home and checkout how good heating only with electric is. I remembered from John’s driving days that gas freezes and as the heater is fed by the gas pipe that feeds under the van we thought that might be the issue. It did get very cold overnight – froze the outside water tap – so we kept trying the gas as it warmed in the day – it began to get better – so we reckoned a bit of pipe lagging may help.

After breakfast we went to the local Shell garage – filled the diesel as well the  Autogas – then onto Asda for a few things. Needed to make sure our evening meal could be a one pot wonder in case we only had the single electric ring available. I’m very glad Voyager is duel fuel for both heating and cooking.

We returned to the site had lunch and as it hadn’t started snowing (yet) we went for an explore on the scooters. It was bitter – very cutting wind that made our eyes and noses run – but we braved it as far as Gwithian beach (which is one end of St Ives bay) took some pics. It seems to me that surfers are even madder than us – or is it right that the sea is warmer than the air at this time of the year.

As we returned the snow flurries started and by the time we got back to the site there was a light covering. Nigel couldn’t settle – still worrying about the gas. Tonight’s meal was last nights sauce with Asda cooked chicken added (as well as Tabasco & Worcester sauce). I might have added a bit too much spice but it was very nice. TV for the evening (Sunday is currently the best viewing of the week).


Monday 19th March 2018

We awoke to a white scene still with the biting cold wind. The BBC news informed us that the A30 was closed between Bodmin and Exeter with a lot of stranded drivers having taken shelter in a college in Okehampton. The recommendation by Police was not to travel until later in the day. We decided to stay at Hayle for an extra night before moving to Looe tomorrow. Reception were happy to take our money for the extra night.


It became clear the gas problem had got worse overnight – luckily the electric heating had worked a treat – lovely and warm throughout. We had to boil the kettle for coffee on the electric ring as now there was not enough gas getting through to run any of the hobs.

Hob gas
Not enough Gas to boil a kettle

Nigel had found a Motorhome service garage just outside Hayle so we phoned them early and arranged to visit after breakfast. They said they were very busy but would try and squeeze us in when they could.

We left the site at 10.00 and found the roads to be almost clear of snow so no issue getting to Thomas Auto Tec in Connors Downs. They were very friendly and found us a place in their car park. We did have to wait for an hour and half before an engineer was available but he quickly confirmed our diagnosis of a faulty regulator. Very luckily he also found he had a new one in his stores so it was all fitted within twenty minutes. Ten minutes for the admin and we were on our way (£90 poorer but very happy).

Did a bit more Asda shopping (mostly fruit and veg) then on the way back to the campsite we spotted a ‘Bargain shop’. We turned into their car park and then noticed the height restriction. It stated 9’ 8” but it had a bar hanging on 6” chains. We are 10’ but Nigel reckoned we could make it with a bit of rubbing of the bar. It sounded dodgy as we passed beneath – probably looked worse from outside – but we got in and went into the shop. We didn’t find the wall clock we were looking for but as is usual we found a couple of things we didn’t realise we needed.  I asked the young girl on the till if there was anything good to see in Hayle (in case we had missed the must see something) but she said she didn’t know as she was from Camborne. I quoted that famous line of Jethro’s “The train don’t stop in Camborne on Wednesday” her reply was “Doesn’t it?” Nigel and I did laugh – Cornwall’s most famous comedian and the younger generation don’t know his work.

The snow had almost gone entirely by now but even so tomorrow will be better for travel and warmer according to the forecast. So afternoon chilling (appropriately) I did some cross-stitching, Nigel did a wash load in the site laundry, researched better video camera’s (with stabilisation)  and some blog work while the machines worked.

Meal was pork with loads of veg – all SW friendly. I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep – to make up for the last couple of bad ones.

Tuesday 20th March 2018

We had a much better night – slept better and it was warmer both outside and in. This morning the sky was blue again and the bitter wind had disappeared – spring like – and temperatures to match.

Voy blu sky Hayle

Nigel fried up some sausages for breakfast and possibly a sandwich at lunchtime – I did the scrambled eggs – he can do them but does tend to over salt – so I prefer to do them most of the time.

We were packed up and moving on by 10.00 – sad in a way as we liked this nice site.

We had no travel issues – stopped for lunch in a lay by near Dobwalls (or Dog Balls as Nigel calls it) with nice views across the fields. Just a little snow left around some of the hedgerows.

We followed the directions to our next site but didn’t go straight there – carried on the extra couple of miles to Looe itself. We parked in a large car park (coincidently spotting one of our neighbours from the last site there as well) got the scooters out and spent a good hour going around the small centre. Nigel bought a cake (I didn’t – being very good) and we looked at the various shops. Found a nice fridge magnet and a couple of postcards at the ‘Old Lifeboat’ shop. We noticed a lot of plaques about extoling the virtues of Joseph Thomas who was responsible for a lot of the improvements in the nineteenth century. He designed and built the Banjo Pier as well as the Arches and Turrets that hold up the new road he built to get out of the village.

The ice-cream Nigel was hoping for was aborted as it started to get a bit chilly –  but we did note a couple of restaurants that might be good for a meal out tomorrow or Thursday – by Taxi from the site.

We got to the site with no problems (luckily not meeting anything on the single track access road). Nigel had booked a grass pitch but we upgraded to hardstanding as we were told all the recent rain had left the grass pitches very soft. As we arrived a day late they didn’t charge us any extra.

Meal of roast chicken and re-heated veg from last night. While it was cooking we sat and watched the beautiful sunset we can see from our window – tried to get a photo but doesn’t show it as good as it was.

Looe Sunset

The Devon and Cornwall Tour – W1P1

Wednesday 14th March 2018

Today we start a new year of our travels. For the last few days (maybe weeks) we have been getting Voyager ready – making minor adjustments – flushing and filling the water system checking everything works OK. We went out and filled the gas bottles on Monday as well (we are definitely going to be using some on this trip). Packing up clothes and food has gone well – the fridge and freezer are stuffed as well as the ‘pantry’ – supplies for about a week at a guess.

We were on the way at 11.00 – it would have been 10.30 except for the little problem with the brake lights on Betty not passing the ‘pre-flight check’ – turned out to be dirty contacts on the plug so no big deal.

The weather when we left was cloudy but dry – the sun even broke through the clouds for a few minutes while we motored along the M4 near Bath. We stopped for lunch at Taunton Dean Services on the M5 – we park in the lorry park which makes us feel small when compared with the juggernauts surrounding us. The rain and wind had arrived by the time we had eaten and it only got worse as we continued to our first stop near Exeter.

The CCC Teign Valley Barley Meadow site is quite small and we found several of the hardstanding pitches were already under water. We opted for pitch 7 which was up a small incline (so hopeful that we won’t sink). Nigel got us set up with his usual efficiency – filling the water tank and getting Betty & Voyager placed on the hard standing without going on the grass edges – then connecting the electric cables. By the time he came in I had a hot cup of coffee made – very welcome.



Thursday 15th March 2018

After the miserable weather yesterday we awoke to bright sunshine but still a bit chilli. The new screen cover worked well – no condensation to clear up this morning – maybe we won’t be needing the Karcher window vac anymore?

After breakfast (usual scrambled eggs) we got packed up and by 10.00 we were ready to go. We did have a small issue with Betty – we had to use the mover quite a bit positioning her last night and the batteries hadn’t fully recharged by the time we wanted to move her again this morning. She was a bit jerky and kept cutting out when fine positioning her for hitching. Nigel left the batteries being charged by the solar panels while we continued our journey westward.

There was not too much traffic on the roads and only minor hold ups for roadworks so we made good progress arriving at Hayle about noon. We skirted the northern edge of Dartmoor as we travelled and I managed to get some nice photo’s through the cab windows as we passed some lovely scenery.


We decided to have lunch and have a dolly around before we went to our site. We found a layby with a view of the sea across some sand dunes – got the scooters out, wrapped up well in coat, scarf and gloves and ventured out in the bracing wind.

Hayle Pano

We didn’t get too far – had to dodge lots of rabbit holes in the mainly grass area we had picked as our route closer to the sea – but then the rain came again – we headed back to Voyager and enjoyed the views through the window as we had our lunch and a hot cup of coffee.

We are staying at the ‘Atlantic Coast Park’ site which has a mix of holiday static caravans and chalets and a small area with a dozen fully serviced pitches (only 4 of which are hard standing). We are on one of the grass ones with sand dunes directly behind us. The site has all we want though – clean amenities and free WiFi.

Voy Atlantic 2

The weather picked up later in the afternoon so Nigel did some videoing around the van and of him fitting the cab cover – maybe in his first Vlog when he has done the editing.

I got on with the evening meal of gammon and chips – no change there then.

Friday 16th March 2018

Wow, what a beautiful morning – the sun is out and the sky is blue – almost Mediterranean (if you ignore the chill in the air). We can cope with the cold OK – much better than the wet.

All the usual things – after breakfast the outside chores for Nigel (rubbish, recycling, toilet cassette emptying and getting the scooters ready) – indoor stuff for me (washing up, decanting Pepsi for the day, cleaning and tidying).

We have decided to explore local this morning so get togged up and venture out on the scooters – might find some photo opportunities and a hot cup of coffee.

A couple of miles down the road we found the town centre – well a few shops any way – did get a few pics and do a bit more videoing. The tide was out but we did find some things to photograph. Some wading birds and an old bridge. Popped into one shop and bought new tumblers as we had one crack yesterday.


We returned had our lunch and then ventured off on a coastal drive via Lands End to The Minack Theatre. Some of the roads were very narrow in places – had a close call with a Big Wheel Tractor with Muck Spreader behind – but managed to pass with less than an inch to spare. I saw a calf being born in a field beside the road as we passed. Loads of good views of the coast and old Tin Mines – mostly falling down.



We couldn’t do much when we got to the Theatre but we got to a Balcony area where we had some good views of the stage area and terrific cliffs surrounding. It is well worth a visit if you can do steps – not sure it’s worth the £10 it cost us for the half hour we stayed – but it’s ticked off my bucket list.



We put the site postcode into the SatNav and set off back. Thinking we would be quickly onto the A30 but she took us on another B road which again had very narrow parts. Everything was OK until we met a double decker bus on a narrow corner going up hill. We had to get into the hedge and got mud embedded in the near side tyres. This would have been OK if we hadn’t encountered an uphill hairpin bend a little further on. We lost traction as we went around and held up traffic behind and in front for several minutes as Nigel rolled back and edged forward on a wide arc around the bend. I seem to remember a lot of panic and a few screams but I’m not sure where it came from.

We did join the A30 a little later so the rest of the journey was uneventful – so we got back safe and sound – but in need of a bit of a hosing down.