Friday, March 27, 2015

Ticks all the boxes as a Caravanning App.

Having tried quite a few Camping apps (iOS ) I have narrowed down the apps on my phone and iPad to a few tried and trusted.
But the one app that stands head and shoulders above the rest and little known in the UK at the present is Wikicamps.
I have used Wikicamps in Australia, were it originates from and if you take a look at the Aussie version you will see how well it works as an information and interactive campsite app.

The UK version has all the same features but is lacking in user information mainly because it is little known over here in the UK. 
Here are some of the features :-

1. Each site has loads of information including their address, phone number, website and even their individual features like toilets, showers, pet rules, etc
2. Users can also add comments, photos and prices to each site so you can check out real world reviews and photos by real people.

3. Get directions and navigate to sites within seconds by tapping the navigate button straight from the map or site page.

4. Add sites to your list of favourites to plan trips or just as you go so you'll never forget a great spot.

5. WikiCamps also comes with a very handy camping checklist so you'll never leave anything behind.

6. You can also chat with other travellers via our interactive chat forum.

Try it, the more UK caravanners that use this, the better it will become.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Electric Bikes Are Fun

We decide to invest in a couple of electric bike’s last year, having seen and tested them out at the caravan show at the NEC.

Got to say, they are fun to ride and add to the enjoyment we get from caravanning in France and other places.

We bought them early last year and never really had the chance to use them properly up until this visit to France, but there was a reason for this which I may post about later.

Yes they are electric and if you really want to, you can just switch them onto full power and let the bike do the rest. But that's not how we use them, we still do the peddling and use them on assist for the return journey (plus steep inclines! why bust a gut when your out to enjoy yourself ) The joy of this, is that you can now ride for miles without worrying about the return journey because the bike will help you do this. Yes your right, it is cheating I suppose Winking smile but neither of us are getting any younger.


I thought I had taken pictures of both of us on the bikes, but obviously not !

So here is Lesley on hers

We opted to buy Batribikes as they are folding bikes also. Both fold down and fit in the back of the Skoda Octavia with room to spare. Battery life is about 25miles but if your using them purely for assisted riding then you can get more out of them.

Lesley uses the Breeze – I use the Quartz. Give um a try they really are fun.



One of the local villages we visited on the bikes, taken just after we had left the bar on the right hand side of picture. Drunk in charge of a bike ! let um try Smile

Parc de Montsabert–France June 2013


We decided to re visit the Loire Valley area again this June, as the last time we visited was about 5 years ago so needed a quick injection of the Loire area again.

Five years ago, when we were staying in this area, we did a few checks on sites for future stays, Le Camping Parc de Montsabert was one such site so we decided to give it a 12 day check out.


The site is in the grounds of the Château de Montsabert. Surrounded by tranquil countryside and vineyard's, in fact 3 were with in walking distance from the main gates of the site.

The site is part of the Yelloh Village group and takes ACSI members, so off season the price is about 16eur per night in a caravan/camper van. No ACSI card and the cost per night will be over 20eur’s (Get a Card)

Facilities on the site are excellent, Pool, bar and loads of stuff for families to do, during the months of July and August, in line with most French site all the facilities step up a few gears with children's entertainment and themed restaurant nights when they serve local dishes. The restaurant it should be said, is really only a snack bar which caters well for holiday makers with families. i.e. pizzas, chip (frites) burgers etc.

France_June_2013_127The pool is excellent, 25m covered in the cold weather open in the hot. Heated of course.

Lesley and I visited this a few times. Lesley did her usual 20 lengths and then I joined her or stayed at the poolside bar Smile

I even had a go on the trampolines but the balance is not so good these days and fell on my arse a few times.

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More Pictures of the site.



We really enjoyed our stay at this site and will return.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Turkey ( Side ) Pt 2

Arrived at the hotel ( Barut Hemera Resort & Spa ) at about midnight, as it was early season no chance of anything to eat as such, but the 24hr lounge bar was open and everything was free! – went to bed at about 02:30 (Turkey time)

Woke up to 20c, full sun and a week of All Inclusive. Weather in UK –4c, snow drifts.Now this was why we came away Smile I could go into detail about how great this hotel was and how well we were treated but just check it out on Tripadvisor and they can do this. And yes we will return again March/April time for another 7 days of pure chill out.



Thursday, April 11, 2013

Turkey ( Side )

The Caravanning season is fast approaching and quite a few trips booked already which include the usual couple of trips to France.

The really bad summer followed by an even worse winter gave way to the winter blues, so we decided to take our first All Inclusive package holiday with Thomas Cook, to Side, Turkey, but the god of crap weather was still going to make himself known and wasn’t going to let us get away with out a fight. Went to bed on a cold clear night and woke up at 5am to travel to the airport, looked out of the window to a total white out ! Nearly a foot of snow in 4 hoursP1060697. The snow was still coming down and the god of crap weather threw in a cold high wind just to keep us on our toes.

Arrived at the airport in good time for our 9am flight, why we thought it would be taking off I don't know, must have been the holiday mood we were in that was clouding our minds ! Went to departures, gate was called, all stood there thinking we were about to board, rep arrived and said plane was at Manchester airport because it couldn’t land at East Midlands “Last Night” ! because of the snow. So knowing this, WHY did they check us in, take our baggage plus everything else this involves ?

We were told we had to go to Manchester and get the plane from there but before we did this we had to go through arrivals and collect our bags and pass though customs “ We hadn’t been anywhere” !!

Boarded coaches, travelled to Manchester and did it all again! So had checked out of the UK twice but had still not been anywhere. So this is what they call package holidays, now I know why we caravan.

The god of crap weather was beginning to win Sad smile

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

La Garangeoire – The Vendee – 2010

What can I say ! We just cannot stop coming here.
Voted one of the top 10 European sites and lives up to it every time. Just coming to the end of the stay here and moving on to Normandy and the ferry home. Sad to leave really because this is the place to chill out with plenty of sun, temps usually in the 21c – 26c area for most of September.
The staff on the site are first class and speak both French and English. You can not stay here without treating yourself to a meal in the excellent Restaurant, we had 2.

They even do a meet the chef (free) morning once a week which Lesley went on and came back with nothing but praise the kitchen area was spotlessly clean and the chef explained about how he made the pate de foie gras for the Restaurant and the macaroons which every one on the tour had a go at piping.

Wish I had gone round also but missed it.   
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For a good walk, followed by a 1200hrs meal, Lac Jaunay (Lake) is about 10 mins drive from the site. The L’Auberge du Jaunay couldn’t be better. The bar – creperie – Restaurant sits high on the northern bank with stunning views across the lake whilst tucking into some good French food and of course some good wine.
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Wild life on the lake abounds. This was one of the many large green lizards we came across basking in the sun. This was the one day I never bothered to put the long lens on, sods law as they say but it came out quite well.
It is also a good place to relax with your own picnic at the many places on the surrounding banks.  Pictures are worth a thousand words as they say so here are a few more of the areas we travelled to this time round.
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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Wife is a stamper!!!

Things I’ve Learned as a Stamper's Spouse
By Jon Van Bruggen

My wife is a stamper.

By stamper, I mean a paper-crafting, blog-hopping, creativity-oozing stamper. She’s not a crafter and she’s definitely not a scrap booker. She’s a stamper. 
Perhaps you’re also an involuntary member of this unique and growing collection of people I like to simply call Spouses of Stamper’s… or SS’s. 
By having been an SS for the past few years I’ve learned a thing or two about the stamping sub-culture. And even though I’m armed with this knowledge, the various quirks and expectations of stamper’s are still hard to manage at times. Perhaps you’re an SS and you think you’re the only one experiencing these things. Know that you’re not alone! We’re in this together! And so, for all of the SSs out there, I submit to you the top 10 things I’ve learned as an SS:

  • Delete “scrap booker” from your vocabulary and then empty your recycle bin. Remember...she's a stamper!
  • The outside of a greeting card is one hundred times more meaningful to a recipient than the words written on the inside. Or at least the outside of the card takes one hundred times longer to complete.
  • Organza and Grosgrain have nothing to do with anything organic or wheat-based. They’re ribbons.
  • When your wife says “I just want to change one thing about this card,” you better cancel your dinner reservations because you’re not going anywhere for a very long time.
  • What looks like the aftermath of a tornado is really just a uniquely organized stamp room.
  • Never, ever, ever say “Don’t you already have paper like that?” Trust me. It’s not the same paper.
  • Redeeming the weekly 40% off coupon at Michaels trumps having milk in the refrigerator and clean socks to wear. Seriously, are your personal health and hygiene that important? I didn’t think so.
  • The primary purpose of making cards is not to send them to others. It's to create space for that new die-cut machine.
  • Much like the sun, you can’t turn off your wife’s creativity. As an SS, just give in already and prepare for many more dinner conversations about the latest blog-hop or stamp-a-thon.