Tag Archives: Campervan

The final leg

Things at camp naked worked out quite well in the end, we liked it so much we stayed for about a week. We had awesome neighbours, Leanne and Kevin, hopefully we’ll head up to Newcastle sometime and meet them for a drink.

Stella met who she described as her honorary grandma, a lady called Lynda. Lynda and her husband Stewart were both lovely and invited us round to theirs for a drink one afternoon which we gladly took them up on, it was a lovelyafternoon and we swapped email addresses to keep in touch.

Stella really enjoyed the beach and even ventured out onto a lilo with me and Lolly, she really got the hang of being in the sea.

She also quite like me digging holes for her to sit in and be buried.

Aside from the beach there isn’t really very much for Stella to do so we decided to move on and try and find somewhere that caters more for kids, we consulted the ACSI campsite book. We checked out one place but it didn’t look all that and the surrounding area was pretty run down so we drove on to this place.

It’s a Yelloh camping site which in season is very expensive, as it was out of season the pitches were considerably cheaper. We were offered a number of options and eventually settled by a spot by the beach which would eventually slightly regret.

I spent a little while getting set up while Lolly took Stella to the waterpark. Stella loved the waterpark and was exactly what we wanted for her.

There was a designated small baby pool which she could splash about in, there was a lazy river she floated around while in her inflatable ring, a jacuzzi we all hung out in, there was also another pool upstairs which Stella loved jumping off the edge of into one of our arms and swimming from one end to the other in her ring.

There is an on site cocktail bar and restaurant that we visited on our second afternoon there, I had a steak and Lolly had mussels, it was OK but expensive for what it’s was.

I also discovered they sell my absolute favourite Belgian beer on tap which was an excellent surprise, wasn’t cheap though, 6 euros a glass…

That night there was a beautiful sunset and I sent up my drone to get a picture.

When we first arrived we found a bar which was part of the complex called the Tiki bar, it was closed but a couple of days later we ventured back there and it was open, it dawned on me that i’d taken hardly any pictures of Stella and Lauren together so I grabbed a snap of them both sitting on one of the swings they had at the bar.

We didn’t really do to much at Aloha, it was nice to relax and watch Stella enjoying herself in the waterpark or trying to bounce with the bigger kids on the bouncy castle.

There are a lot of Germans at this site and they tend to head for the more static accommodation which looks lovely.

I also noticed the kids here were quite unfriendly. Stella would bowl up to any kid in the park or on the bouncy castle and say hello and they all just looked at her like she was an alien, I felt really sorry for her especially as everywhere else we go so many people make an effort to talk or smile at her. Most of the adults were the same to be honest, nearly every site we have been to people have been quite cheerful and made an effort to say good morning or hello, few and far between here, I’m not blaming just the Germans either, everyone was like it except us which I am sure got on peoples nerves!

Right by reception there us a little wooden house for kids, Stella went mad for it and I got a really nice picture of her in it.

Toward the end of our trip here I put up the awning lights which I’d forgotten to put out for the entire trip, they looked nice at night.

It was a lovely little spot we had but the wind blew terribly and there were mossies everywhere, they particularly liked me 😦

After 5 nights it was time to pack up and head out, when we checked in we had been told the spot we took was one price but it turned out to be about 9 euro’s a night more expensive, even though I explained we had been told it was the same price as the cheaper pitch reception were having none of it which kind of tainted the whole experience for me.

I dropped Lolly and Stella to Béziers airport and started the long drive back, I drove for about 8 hours to a place called Nonancourt where there is an Aire Lolly’s parents use, I got there and was offered some vodka from 2 kids in a car that were hanging around with nothing better to do, I declined and said I’d have a beer once I’d finished getting myself setup for the night. I’d been trying to find somewhere to grab some beers from all the way to Nonancourt and came across a garage that was open, to my surprise they sold beer and I felt I had witnessed a miracle, it was only when I was half way through the second can I realised it was non alcoholic not that it mattered I suppose, just having a beer after a long drive alcoholic or not definitely helps you unwind.

Lolly’s parents weren’t going to arrive at the air until about midnight so I caught up on an episode of Stranger Things and admired my view for the evening.

Camping for three in a motor home for 3 weeks sounds romantic but you have to take so much stuff..

The roof box was also full, now you see why we need a bigger van!

Before I settled down for the night I decided to put in my API information for the tunnel crossing, It was at this point I realised there was an error in my booking, somehow my booking from Calais to Folkestone had been booked the other way round, it was too late to call so I figured I’d deal with it the next morning.

About 7.30 there was a knock at my window and Lolly’s dad very kindly took my tea cup and filled it with tea, I had a lovely chat with Ian and Lindi along with a pain up chocolate and some cake for breakfast, I got a last picture of Bumblebee and Charlene as this will definitely be their last adventure together.

I said farewell to Lindi and Ian, cleared up a bit of the mess the vodka drinking kids left and got on the phone to Le Shuttle.

Whoever designed their ticketing system designed it in such a way in that if there is an error in the crossing direction you can’t just swap them round, you have to buy a whole new ticket and then give them the booking references for both tickets and they will refund you the original booking. That’s all well a good but as I didn’t notice until after hours the day before I travelled, the price had rocketed to over double the original cost. After a lot of negotiating / pleading they eventually credited my original crossing cost to to the new booking which cost me an extra 103GBP but on the plus side I am getting on an earlier crossing. I know I didn’t make the mistake so I’ll be contacting their customer complaints department.

As I write I’m sat at Calais waiting for my crossing,I thought I’d go and hang out in the Aire Lolly and I stayed at back in 2015, it’s been demolished and rebuilt since then!

It looks a lot nicer and tidier but it’s not an aire anymore, there was a burger stall and kebab shop that was really busy with kids, now it’s just a promenade with a load of lined parking, you can still get dodgy mussels and chips from the restaurant that time forget however, it’s still here and not moved with the times.

I’ll be glad to get home if not just to sleep in my own bed and drink a decent cup of tea, how very British!

We’ve covered about 1700 miles this time round and apart from a puncture Bumblebee has performed flawlessly cruising at 90mph with ease on the A roads, honestly, as a family we’ll be sad to see him go but it’s been a fitting farewell trip for our trusty home on wheels….

Tagged , , , , ,

Two adults, one camper van and baby!

In preperation for Bugjam we though it would be a good idea to have a bit of a trial run camping with Stella. Before she was born we’ve been preparing a list of things we think she and we will need to take care of her, doing a trial run means we can test everything and make sure we haven’t forgotten anything either..

We booked one nights camp at Cobbs Hill farm in Bexhill, it was £20.00 for all three of us, electricity and enough room to put up an awning, Lolly mum and dad came too in their palace on wheels and the campsite ensured we were parked right next to each other.


The staff at the site were friendly, polite and helpful,  the facilities and site well maintained and the field we were camping on nice and level, all in all I would recommend this site.

Anyway, on to the business of camping with a baby. Prior to our arrival I had instructed Lolly not to help with any of the setting up, I need to be able to do it on my own while she takes care of Stella. First things first was to get the awning up. My long time friend and excellent glass fitter Rob had already installed and awning J rail for me so all I had to do was get the awning up and connected to the van, that process took about 20 minutes to get the awning up, connected, pegged down and groundsheet laid out. The awning I bought second hand, it’s a Kyham motordome tourer and once up you can easily disconnect it from the van and drive off somewhere. I’d also emptied the contents of the roof box before I put the awning up so I could then chuck it all in the awning and not need to access the roof box.

The awning is great for the simple reason that you can keep the bazillion things you need for a small child and two adults in it without cluttering up the van.


Next job, Stella’s bed. 

Before she was born I bought a cab bunk, this consists of 4 metal poles, 2 end poles and some grey canvas, once you put it all together it is wider at one end than it is at the other, the thing end goes by the steering wheel, you rest each end of the bunk on the sills of the front door cards and hey presto, the van now sleeps three. Stella is only 5 weeks so too young to sleep on the bunk alone. While I was on paternity leave a few people at work signed a card and gave some money to buy us a gift, I asked for a thing called a sleepy head deluxe. We put a blanket on top of the bunk canvas to insulate any cold air coming upwards and then the sleepy head on top of that.


At the moment Stella is finding breastfeeding a bit tricky as she is tongue tied, Lolly is expressing so we feed her from a bottle which means you need to sterilise stuff, we used the Milton cold water steriliser and sterilising tablets, worked like a charm and you can get loads in it plus all you need is cold water and a sterilising tablet. You could use any container however the proper Milton one has marks on the side to tell you the volume of water in and the top locks shut so you can drive about with it and not spill sterilising water everywhere.

To heat up bottles we just used the old fashioned hot water and bowl method which worked perfectly fine, we didn’t bring any special changing stuff either, just the changing bag with enough supplies for a night away.

Once all that was done we got the Cobb BBQ on, drank some beer and had a lovely evening with the in laws and a couple of their friends who came to visit. Before long it was time to turn in, we put Stella in her sleepy head and crashed for the night.

Normally, Stella wakes up for food at least a couple of times a night for food, we thought she might be a bit freaked out by the environment but she slept, well, like a baby only waking up the once, here she is still asleep at about 9 the following morning…


The sleepy head and cab bunk combo worked really well, Stella got a great nights sleep which meant Lolly did too (i sleep through everything), Stella was easy to access when need to and Lolly could sit at the end of the bed without her feet sat in a travel cot on the floor. If still remains a tiny baby then the sleepy head will be good for a couple of years at least and the bunk a good few more.

The morning was a very lazy affair, Lindi made us a lovely breakfast, Lolly didn’t look so zombie like and Stella was a happy baby, winner!

Before we checked out we got a few pictures of us with Stella and our mobile camping rig, one with Daddy.


And one with Mummy


We also put Stella’s festival hat on her…


For the rest of the day we headed to the beach which was blowing a gale, ate some lunch, visited friends and then headed home.

In conclusion, everything we brought worked, we didn’t miss anything out and the most valuable asset was grandparents!

Below is what I usually take when I go away for a night in the van..


This is what we took for one night away with Stella…


Roll on bugjam, we’re ready !!!

Tagged , , , , , ,

Hello Baby!

We have a new member of the team!

Say hello to Stella..


Stella is our first child, she was born at home in a birthing pool using the hypnobirthing method, if you’ve never heard of it look it up, I cannot praise hypnobirthing and home birth enough, if you invest the time it pays dividends, Lolly did an amazing job and brought our baby into the world without the aid of any pain relief in a familiar, calm and safe environment.

With the arrival of Stella the blog will most likely take a slightly different twist, how to travel in a camper van with a baby I suspect but Stella will very much be a part of our continued adventures, which might need to just plan a little better!

Tagged , , ,

And we’re off!

So the time of year has come for one of our two yearly birthday trips, usually this trip in March to celebrate my birthday will involve a drive far north of the M25 in search of mountains to climb, trails to ride and paths to walk in generally the worst of the British weather.

This year however we’re heading south, Lolly is 32 weeks pregnant and wasn’t massively up for mountains or mountain bikes so we’ve jumped on a ferry to the Isle of Wight to stay at a campsite right by the beach and enjoy some easy going walks around the countryside, as I write there are patches of blue sky and the sun is doing it’s very best to shine.

Unlike all our previous trips there is an air of calm prior to our departure even though we are running 20 mins late, I think I’ve finally realised that getting annoyed isn’t going to change the fact that we are late, if anything it’s a hindrance and just makes things misearable all round.

Whilst I was fairly confident we would miss the ferry we made it by the skin of our teeth and are now on our way across the channel to the island, just before we boarded a ferry I got a quick snap of the bus. 


Once on the ferry a quick selfie to mark the start of our trip!


Being a naval port there are lots of ships about that can blow stuff up like this one. 

Once we land we’ll be off to check into Grange Farm and then head out for a walk, might have a cup of tea too. 

Tagged , , ,

Long time no see

So as you can see there hasn’t been much on the update front since 2016

As far as adventures go we haven’t been on any substantial ones and we haven’t done any work to Bumblebee either.

We do have some news to share though, at some point in May we’ll be introducing a new member to the family, at this stage affectionately know as Jeff though we don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl yet.

IMG_8545

We are both very excited and have already planned a couple of adventures for Jeff not long after he joins us, a weekend at BugJam and a trip to France with Lolly’s parents.

We are also heading to the Isle of Wight at the end of March, one last adventure in Bumblebee before everything changes, I’ll let you all know how a 7 months pregnant woman gets on with sleeping in the back of a van 😳

Tagged , , , ,

Happy Halloween!

All Hallows’ eve is upon us. Lolly and I are were going to have a party but neither of us organised it so we’re heading out to a couple of local parties instead.

The one I am looking forward to is the dead famous fancy dress party, I will be going as a zombie version of Freddie Mercury, can’t wait!

Even though we have no kids. Lolly always carves a pumpkin or two and this year she gave a nod to our VW camper van interest, whilst it’s not a T4 its still an awesome jack o lantern!

Tagged , , ,

First road trip of 2015!

With my 40th just round the corner we’ve decided to take the whole week off and go on a road trip.

The trip is in the early stages of planning but i’m so excited I thought I should post something!

Looking like we’ll be heading to the lake district first and the to galloway forest, then following a scenic drive to Oban, thats as far as i’ve got but as I mentioned before, so excited…

Been wanting to go to Scotland for ages and now it’s happening, woo hoo !!!

Tagged , , ,

Updates February 2015

Hello faithful followers !

Whilst not much has been happening on the blog lots of things have been going on in the background and i’ve now had a chance to update and add what we’ve been up to.

There’s been some fairly extensive work been done on the van, if you are interested check out the sticky clutch and bike rack posts.

On the travel front we haven’t really been too far but we have had a day out at Bedgebury Forest on our new bikes, full report of the days escapdes can be found here.

I’ve just booked three weeks holiday so we’ll be starting to plan our trip to Ibiza very soon, proper excited about that.

Also this Friday 20th February i’m playing b2b with K-Complex at I Love Hard Beats 3rd birthday bash in London with Kevin Energy heading back to the wheels of steel after some time away from the scene, you can find all the info about the even by heading to facebook via this link, it’s gonna be an awesome night out !

Thats all for now !

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: