Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Cali has been to Start Bay

On Wednesday the weather forecast was showing a hot sunny weekend, so we booked a couple of nights at the CMC Start Bay site.  We set off after I finished work at 3.30pm on Friday but unfortunately we were held up in long traffic queues on the A38 so didn't arrive on site until almost 6.00pm.  The site was full except for three sloping pitches - the first time we've pitched on such a slope and we were unsure of the best way to do it.  The wardens were fantastic and told us we could go onto the pitch forwards, backwards or sideways, whichever was best for us.

Even the levelling blocks weren't high enough to take out the slope, so we decided to drive into the pitch as it would be better to slope front to back rather than side to side.  We had sunshine all weekend, the photo shows us getting ready for breakfast on Sunday.

It's the first time we've visited this site and we really liked it.  As a CMC site the facilities are as you would expect and the site was very well maintained.  It's only a short walk to the coast path so on Saturday we walked to Start Bay lighthouse, it was only a ten mile walk but it seemed more as it was such a hot day.  Definitely another site we will return to.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Cali has been in Cornwall for a week

We've spent the half term week in Cornwall and have had a fabulous time - it's also the first time we've been away for a week with Cali.

We went to Trevedra Farm (a CMC Affiliated Site) for the first three nights.  The site allocates pitches and we had pitch 9 in the Club Field.  It wasn't the best pitch on site (but neither was it the worst) as it was next to a footpath and several people cut across our pitch.  The site comprises five fields with very long grass.  We used the ground sheet for the first time and it really helped to keep some of the grass and mud out of Cali.  We had used the awning on the first day, but wound it in when it became windy and wet.

The amenities block was new this year and was very smart.  The staff all worked hard to keep the facilities clean and tidy, although it was a shame that some of the campers didn't clean showers and sinks after they had used them. There was also a small shop which sold basic food and camping items, as well as a cafe which was open for breakfasts and evening meals.

The site was only a ten minute walk from the coast path and there was plenty of walking in the area. On Sunday we wanted to walk to Land's End, but as there was an amber weather warning for torrential rain, thunder, lightening and hail - we decided to turn around when we got to Sennen Cove so we could get back before the weather became too bad.  Fortunately we missed the worst of the weather but we had hours of very heavy rain.

On Monday we set off walking in light drizzle and walked to St Just.  By late morning it had stopped raining and the sun came out so we had a lovely walk back along the coast path.

Although we enjoyed our time at Sennen Cove, we're not sure we'll return to that site so we had a look at the CCC Sennen Cove site, which is a mile or so further up the road.  There were spacious pitches and a spotlessly clean amenities block so we decided that when we return to the area we'll stay at that site.

When we left Treveda Farm we stopped off at Sainsburys in Penzance to replenish stocks and drove to Long Rock beach car park for our lunch.  Parking is only £1.00 for the day and it's a great place to stop for lunch with views towards St Michael's Mount.

We then went to the CMC Godrevy Park site for four days.  We've stayed here when we had our caravan and it's a lovely site, again only a short walk from the coast path.  We were able to choose our pitch and as we know it's a windy site we chose pitch 80 where there was a small hedge to stop the wind.  We also put up the sail and windbreak to make it a little more sheltered.  The wardens were also fine with us pitching 'nose first' so our awning faced the same way as other caravans.

There's a lot of good walking from this site too.  On Wednesday we caught the bus to St Ives and walked back along the coast path and on Thursday we walked to Portreath and caught the bus back to the site. We had more heavy rain on Thursday night with a drizzly start to Friday, so had a lazy morning with Cali and then walked to Godrevy Cafe for a cream tea.

We left on Saturday morning and drove to the Godrevy NT car park for lunch and a short walk.

It's been a great week and we can't wait to go away again!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Cali has stayed in Cornwall

Steve went to Bodmin on a two day training course and rather than drive home he booked a pitch at the Mena Caravan and Camping Park, about five miles from Bodmin.  The site sounded very good, AA 4 star, but sadly didn't live up to expectations.

Although the site was in a lovely location, the facilities weren't brilliant.  Two toilets and showers for the whole site (in the shed behind Cali) and they were grubby and mouldy. As Steve was the only person staying on site the lack of facilities wasn't an issue, although he did find it a bit spooky with no other people on site.  It's not a site to add to our list of places to stay.

As it was raining overnight and he was only staying one night, Steve didn't open the roof and used the Brandrup Airscreen so he could open the window for some fresh air.  It was a great success as it kept the wind and rain out whilst allowing plenty of fresh air overnight.

Cali has been to Woolacombe

We decided to visit North Devon over the weekend and stayed at the Willingcott Caravan and Motorhome Club Site for one night, a drive of just under two hours,   We used to use this site when we had our caravan so, like all CMC sites, we knew the facilities would be good. Maybe it was because the weather forecast was for a wet weekend, but there were only a handful of caravans and motorhomes on the site so we had plenty of choice.   It's a very windy site so we pitched at the bottom of the site (Pitch 16) to get some shelter and decided not to wind out the awning.

The site is very well maintained and the facilities were spotless, but there's not too much walking from the site.  It's probably a site we would use for a one night stay if we're in the area, but not one for a longer stay as we would need to keep driving off site.

We enjoyed our overnight stay and even when it was pouring with rain overnight, we felt very cosy inside Cali.  After our stay at Dulverton we had had bought some jute bags for books, magazines and bottles and had stored those behind the turned front seats, which made the front a lot tidier.  One other thing for our shopping list is a couple of small torches as it was very dark walking to and from the facilities.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Cali has been to Budleigh Salterton

The forecast for today was good, so we called at the local shop for the Sunday paper and some pastries before heading off to Budleigh Salterton.  Although it's only about four miles from home, we knew the view from the car park would be a great place for breakfast.

After breakfast we read the papers for a while, before putting the chairs away and going for a walk. It was great to return to Cali and pop the kettle on for more mugs of tea.

We later drove home through East Budleigh and across Woodbury Common - a fabulous 'Cali day out'.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Cali has been to Exmoor House, Dulverton

For our first weekend away in Cali we've gone to Exmoor House Caravan and Motorhome Club Site, which is only about an hour's drive from home. Steve met me when I finished work on Friday and we drove to Dulverton.  The site was fully booked for the weekend and the warden asked if we would consider having pitch 23, which is a smaller pitch backing onto the river. We were happy to take the pitch and joined a row of campervans. The only downside is that the pitches are in the shadow of trees, so won't get too much sun. It's probably not a pitch we would choose again - although it's not been a problem this weekend as there has been more rain than sun!

On Saturday we did the Dulverton circular walk, which went along the river, through Brushford and back over the hill into Dulverton. We visited The Bridge Inn in the evening, just a short walk from the site, for a meal and a couple of drinks.

The forecast for Sunday was rain, so we popped the Cali topper on and wound the awning in before going to bed.  So glad we did as Sunday was very wet. We had a short walk around Dulverton and headed back to Cali when it started to rain quite heavy. We had often wondered how we would get wet clothes dry in such a small space, but it wasn't a problem.  Wet boots were put on newspaper on the floor behind the nearside seat, trousers were hung over a cord fixed between two hooks in the roof area at the front and wet coats hung over the seat headrests and dripped onto newspaper.

The K9 tent has also stayed dry and is great for storage - it raised a few smiles on the site when people asked us what sort of dog we have!

We had a lazy start to the Bank Holiday Monday morning and then decided to head home and get everything dry.

We've had a great first weekend away and have made a list of a few things we want to get before our next trip - mainly a few bags to keep things tidy.

The site was lovely with friendly wardens and excellent facilities.  There's lots of walking in the area and also local buses that go through the town, although not too many each day. I'm sure this will become one of our weekend sites.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Cali has been to Parke, Haytor and Knightshayes

We've had a couple of day trips this weekend to get used to driving Cali and enjoy her as a day vehicle.  It also gave us a chance to see what we need before our first camping trip next weekend.

Yesterday we visited Parke, a National Trust parkland near Bovey Tracy, with lovely river walks. There was quite a lot of parking (free for NT members) and it was great to pop the kettle on for a cup of tea.  After lunch we decided to drive over Dartmoor and went to Haytor.

The weather was fabulous and we walked up to the rock and took this photograph to show Cali on the car park.  There are several car parks along the road with good access.

A photo of Cali just before we took the chairs out to sit and enjoy the views.

Today we've visited Knightshayes, a National Trust house, gardens and parkland near Tiverton. There was lots of parking (free for NT members) and had a lovely walk through the gardens and woods, which were so pretty with the spring flowers.