The driver said let’s go to Fleetwood ..we will sail and then go on to ? ..The Cook is suspicious! Yes she knows she’s going to Kettlewell in the Dales next weekend .. she thinks 5 days in Fleetwood would be restful but no .. The Driver has other ideas .. A new mast for his IOM is awaiting his collection in of all places Workington .. who has ever been to Workington ??

He says we will amble up the Cumbrian coast wild camping .. NO .. The Cumbrian coast doesn’t seem to want campervans .. Millom and Haverigg a childhood holiday spot say “Thou shalt not park “


On we go after a walk on the beach in Haverigg.. cold and blustery but nice .. Off to the next free camping stop .. road side .. we declined as to noisy and uneven .. Ahh say The Cook ..A Pub .


A closed pub with a big carpark which when open welcomes MH er’s… yes that will suit .. cheeky yes but no one threw us off ..


Morning came and off again to “Workington”..lunched on the Spit which is a belting place for a sleepover if the wind was less or nil


.. Now of to collect his mast ..parked up .. chap whose house we parked in close t ..not covering his access wasn’t to chuffed and when The Driver popped out to get the mast said house owner moved his car blocking us in .. The Cook panicked and verbally abused the guy under her breath ..She has acquired some choice word of late .. but all well when Driver returned and placated said householder who moved to allow us to go on our way to ???



Fabulous over night in a park..


Free and the sun is shining for a walk .. but … The Driver has an accident.. falls over some trip hazard and busts his knee open .. see Photo

THE DRIVER WAS ABOUT TO LOOK OVER HERE WHEN HE FELL OVER A LOG (The log was part of an area for disabled access ..ummmmh )


He will live after Nursy mended him with a spray can of New Skin …Magic medication .. a must for all MH’s ..

The Cook had to be mended with it a few years back when her IPad fell on her leg when the Driver over braked and the iPad flew to take a massive chunk out of The Cook shin .. since then the spray skin hasn’t been use till now .. Broken Driver was administered too .. large plaster bought and all is well


What shall we do now .. well as we are near let’s go to the GALLOWAY FOREST to see Red squirrels(not seen ) ..Red Kites(seen) and Starry skies(seen) as it is one of the areas in the UK without light pollution Its Dark ..really Dark ..


Clattershaw forestry visitor centre have a carpark on a lake for £6 for an over night stay ..Loo Cassette empty facilities ..Bins ..Water ..Coffee and cake in the cafe… and cuckoos .. which we haven’t heard since Italy 2 years ago

The cook got up at 2-30 am .. with coat on and nighty tucked in her knickers to view the big dark sky and stars ⭐️ Just magical ..

A long sleep then a walk to Robert the Bruce’s stone .. rumour has it he stopped mid battle to rest …


It rained ..


So cake and coffee were called for in the cafe but the Cook has had a sense of humour bypass regarding the state of the roads .. pot holes .. the size of Gaping Gill .. Sat nav flew off a couple of times .. bangs and rattles just terrible roads here on the Galloway peninsular..

Where next .. atm we are on the Solway firth or is it forth .. Another freeing wild camping place on the Quay owned by the Nith Hotel.. donations are accepted.


Tomorrow where ? .. The Driver has just suggested Aysgarth Falls in Yorkshire and we can over night in the visitors carpark for a £10’er … but a curry is in the cards for supper tonight .. home made .. and a couple of gins may be consumed.. more later ..not Gin ..just words and photos….Tomorrow where ? ..

Sunshine ..and ready for the off ..Passing wild flower meadows on the Scottish Borders ..and a route never before taken as we head off the M6 and onto unknown territory .. although perhaps the cook recognised bits of it from her wandering in her Smart car when the driver worked in the north east..

Let’s hope we don’t meet anything coming in the opposite direction .. It’s called Tommy Road ..narrow ..only wide enough for Harry ..my heart is in my mouth as The Cook breath in on narrower bits ..23 miles of North Yorkshire moorland ..No passing places..but not another vehicle to be seen until the turning on to a wider ( but not much ) road at Pendragon Castle ..:

Phew made it to Aysgarth in one piece..The carpark over looks the church ..not too out of plumb but The Drive lugs a stone flack to add to the chocks to get even .. £12-50 from 6 pm to 10 am and £2-50/an hour there after .. expensive ?


After another great sleep a walk to the Falls ..A beauty spot last visited in The Cooks childhood memory in a Standard 8 named Peter ..but probably wrong .. her brother will know and no doubt correct her ..

A dry morning with a showing of brightness in the sky ..slippy underfoot on the rocks but The Driver wanders off down to the edge with the agility of a gazelle..as The Cook looks on not venturing to the edge ..very pretty ..now off to the lower falls..and as it’s very early morning only one dog Walker seen and one Red squirrel.. blue bell woods are a delight at this time of year even though the sun isn’t shining ..

Now off to our first organised meet ..The Cook is not at all sure..She like people on her own terms ..But she says she will try !!!!!!!!!

KETTLEWELL in a field ..Harry Hymer is asked to park in a certain way ..in a designated area ..Ok The Cook growls under her breath ( Doesn’t bode well so far ) and that was it ..no more contact with anyone .. A walk to the pub .. Sweet little village .. never stopped in Kettlewell before ..just driven through many time on the way up to weekend with The Driver when he worked in North Yorkshire..

OH YES !!!!!!!

Saturday came and The Driver decide he’d had enough of communal camping in the rain with fears of being bogged up to the chassis in mud ..A decision made and up sticks and went home ..

N.B. No time to edit photos ..I didn’t blog daily as I have done on HETTY’S Adventures .. Should have done ..not back in my stride as yet .. will try harder on next blog ..

Book read .. excellent ..


So what do we think of an outing after all this time …

A bad case of brain fog for blogging .. Surprised the Cook can still speak let alone blog after 14 months of lockdown .. but here she goes ..

What are the rules for an away in a Motorhome

Don’t go near ppl .. But.. they are our friends .. keep social distance ..

Birthday and Wedding anniversary usually spent in Europe..

This year The Bull at Broughton near Skipton Yorkshire about 10 miles from home for lunch (Coordinates for sleepy spot 53.956922 -2.082307) .. Our thought was to stay for supper as well and have a sleep over in their carpark which is allowed if eating and asking before parking up .. A take away to eat in Harry perhaps .. Lunch was lovely but so cold eating outside in the marquee which was erected at the rear of the Inn to be Corvid secure ..

We decided to go on to Ribblehead and The Station for supper instead of staying the night at the Bull .. perhaps dark sky for a starry night ..not a chance

Ribblehead sleepy spot (54.207357 -2.362368).

The weather is appalling ..cold rain ..sleet and it’s May 4th .. on arrival no supper ..The Station doesn’t open till the 17th May .. so a pre prepped pasta supper in Harry Hymer and a lovely sleep only to awaken to blue skies and snow top hills and the Viaduct in all her glory..

A lovely Birthday present .

Thanks Mother Nature.. back home to re victual Harry Hymer

Off to Fleetwood for 4 days ..sailing .. (Fleetwood prom sleepy spot 53.924029 -3.034084) The Cook froze to death on her first sail after two years absence .. The driver won every thing ..

The Cook took a photo on a walk at dusk on the prom..one of the best of sky’s ever seen

Harry Hymer was so comfy .. still don’t think he is ours .. too posh for us

So first outing went very well let’s hope for many more ..

And yes more to come but the Cook has run out of mobile phone data .. so you will have to wait for the next episode of Travels with Harry

The Tale of the two Hymers

We are now the owners of just the one Hymer as we decided to sell Hetty .. Sad I know but we had an offer and don’t have to bring her back up north …Peter Curry’s contacts paid the price we asked but then it was a run down to the Cotswolds in The Big H before Pendle went into extra lockdown as we in this area are the highest in the country .. Not our village or the satellite villages around but the two main towns of Nelson and Brierfield which we avoid .. dare I say .. like the plague !!!!

A dash down the M6 finding a sleepy spot very near to Peter Curry’s work shop in Mickleton where Hetty was waiting to be cleared out and cleaned … How can we have accumulated so much stuff .. we bagged up bedding towels tins and all the stuff you need for long term adventures filling The Big H to the gunnels .. Cleaned her within an inch of her life ..I don’t think she has ever had a toothbrush to all her nooks and crevices..

We said a fond farewell and thanked her for her magnificent performances over the last 24/5 years Driving away from her with a tear .. She is going to Essex ..and we hope she enjoys better weather down south ..

Parked up again in Ilmington sports ground.. GPS coords (52.09444, -1.69666) for the night for an early start to get back in time to be locked down . Now to get The Big H solar panelled .. new batteries.. organise the cupboards .. This I’m finding difficult as Hetty’s were so sorted I could cook with my eyes closed but I’m sure it will all be sorted before we go off to pasture new ..



Bet you thought we had hibernated.. No ..Here we are with last weekends Mini adventure to Ilkley Moor Photos on link above ..

Sleepy spot on Friday (53.9164578, -1.8006507).

A climb to the Cow and Calf rocks .. A bit of sailing at Weecher Res .. Good grub at The Vault in Ilkley

Sleepy spot on Saturday. (53.9285792, -1.8300471) .


15th June

Sailing ….

FairhavenParked Hetty on the road near the lake with easy access to the shore The Cook busied her self with cleaning and The Driver now The skipper took his boat to the club to rig ..The Cook was going to sail but didn’t have the get up and go this morning as the weather looked indifferent with a bit of drizzle in the air .. She is happy enough getting Hetty Spick and Span again …The Skipper sailed well and was placed second over all and the weather perked up by 2pm giving the Cook the impetous to leave the warmth of Hetty to take a photo

The leaders in the club house !!

Today’s sailing over and a quick trip down the Blackpool Prom heading for Fleetwood for tomorrow’s sailing

Blackpool seems to have smartened up or did it look so because the sun was shining and it was full of tourists

Vintage trams.. Big Dipper ..Tower and Big wheel

Tonight we’re heading for The Mount a pub in Fleetwood for supper with other like minds

More tomorrow..



Hetty has had an adventure with the Driver .Yes .. Just the two of them with boats … To Milton Keynes ..The Cook couldn’t see the point of a Milton Keynes adventure so stayed home but here is the report from said Driver

  1. Friday ..A long dull drive
  2. Went to the pub
  3. Saturday…sailed..went to the pub
  4. Sunday ..sailed .. drove back home
  5. The End
  6. No photographic evidence


Radio Controlled Laser sailing at Lytham St Annes on the Fylde coast on Saturday and Fleetwood on Sunday

Sleepy spot Lytham St Annes swimming pool carpark £5 for over night … £8-50 for 24hours …3 days stay only GPS coords (53.7461728, -3.0318169)

Fridays weather at home was again awful as it has been since we arrived back from Hettys European adventures sending The Cook into a depression of epic proportions..Within a week of our return she was planning another adventure to Denmark in early September after reading a report from other adventurers “Heels for Dust ” who are in Scandinavia at the moment and have been to the artists area called SKAGAN on the northern tip of Denmark where the light is so special drawing artists such as Peder Krøyer to paint here

Back to this weekends outing with more planning for Denmark to come in later blogs

The closer to the west coast the brighter it got and the sun came out whilst we strolled around Lytham remembering childhood visits The town has an old fashioned air about it in a very pleasant way ..Gardens along the Prom and a shortened Pier after a fire back in the 70’s .. Slot machines at the entrance to the Pier .. Penny push again bringing back memories The Driver splashes out with a 2 p but didn’t win anything ..

The town is mostly charity shops We love a charity shop and search for treasures The Driver came out with a pair of deck shoes for £6

A pint (The Cook has a sparkling water as she’s on another diet) in the town pub to watch the cricket was our next stop before a walk to the beach huts on the promenade and supper in the local Toby Carvery ..We can recommend it ..

On our return to Hetty sailing friends arrived in their Motorhome and the people in the next van came back with their tiny 2year old girl called India so then there was lots of chatting and bed time was put back a while but slept like a log

Morning came too early as we moved off to Fairhaven lake ..a mile down the road for the sailing event and breakfast

More later ..



All photos on this trip have come from IPhone camera as my big one is just to heavy

Days 44 / 45

May 21st / 22nd

Weather fabulous

•A note on insurance

The reason we could only have 45 days adventure is a clause in both our house and health insurance.. only 45 days BUT if ..as we have done in the past.. fly back for a couple of days we can have another 45 days .. We did this a couple of years back leaving Hetty in Gozo and flying home from Malta .. That was for the health insurance we didn’t know the building insurance had the same problem. Seemingly even if you have someone popping in every day it would be null and void ..Thank goodness the house didn’t burn down ..


Over night in Cherbourg

GPS 49.643067. -1.617709

Packed aire 2 mins drive from the ferry.. Hetty grabbed the last place

Not a good nights sleep why we don’t know ..up at 4am for our 8-45 crossing

Day dawned calm with the sea like a mill pond .. The ferry was an extra one due to Brexit or non Brexit ..which ever…and it was empty .. more staff than passengers.. No queue for breakfast..

The sailing was on a flat sea arriving in Poole at 12-30 with the sun beating down .. Studland bSandbanks and the harbour looking the best I’ve ever seen em..

Me n him looking smug ..

I’ve had a couple of nasty yachting incidents down there with too much wind and failed gear .. again 100% survival rate ..

A long drive home with a decision to call and see our chums in Hagley West Midlands arrangement made by phone only to be told as we arrived Toby had to go to hospital to be sorted out and wouldn’t be home .. Look in search4sites finding a Black Country pub in Claverley.. The Plough free parking whether you eat in the pub or not We did as it was their Fish n Chip night and highly recommended ..and amazing sky’s

Sun bow !!!

GPS 52.537562 -2.304889

Arrived home midday .. all was well 😎

Clematis doing well at home

My last post will be the cost and stats of this adventure ..Not the cheapest we’ve done (too much wineing and dineing ) but a good one !!


Day 2

7th April

Weather Fog

Last nights sleepy spot

N51.2614 E1.10016 Park n Ride Canterbury

Price £7

Just like an Autumn day .. but the mistiness is fog visibility 50 yards

Not a euphemism but a reality “Fog in the Channel Vicar ”

Hetty decided she didn’t want to stay in Dover for 24 hours for her Pre booked ferry on Monday at 8am

The reason we got here early was a BREXIT problem ..we booked last month and assumed we would be Out ..deal or no deal ..with lorries queueing for miles and causing chaos. ..False News ..Not a lorry to be seen on the M2 going into Dover ..in fact all was very very quiet giving the Driver a hint as to availability on an early ferry .. After having a chat with the boarding guy we would have to pay an extra £65 to go on today sailing ..going in 30 minutes …The Driver had a fit .. we’ll go tomorrow said He .. Look here said The Cook ..If we eat out tonight that’s £50 plus Breakfast on the ferry £30 …now to pay the £65 is a saving of £25….The cooks glass is always half full

Driving through Belgium is The Cook’s black hole ..She hates the country ..She says it’s wet n boring .. The Driver thinks he can get to Luxembourg for cheap fuel .. It’s too far ..even thought the sun is out at last .

Found a stop on the Canal du Centre near a barge lift which fascinates TheDriver ..Unfortunately He can’t be allowed out as it’s a thunder storm ..Massive lightening ..Pouring down .. Big Bangs ..The Cook hides in the bathroom

Supper of home made Spaghetti Bol ..Lovingly cooked at home and transported to Europe

Tomorrow a push south to Karlsruhe On the Rhein ….


Saturday 6th April

Day 1

Weather sunny 🌞

10-30am off

10-51am second off

101800 on the clock

Sun spec are GO …

We do it every time … get to the J15 on the M65 and remember stuff that’s been left at home .. A quick return to J13 ..stop on double yellows ..Traffic warden has a word and sends us off on our way with a cheery ” Happy Travels ”

The sun is splitting the flags up Nowf …lovely day to start an adventure

Get down sowf to the Garden of England ..Kent is wet windy and foggy ..

Hetty managed to avoid that there London by going over the Queens bridge at a toll of £2-50.. We don’t like tolls but better a bridge toll than a fine for entering the London environmental zone ..Sat nav insisted we did it her way but we said NO SAT NAV …no fines for Hetty

Miles travelled around 350 .. and now happily parked up in the Canterbury park n ride for a small fee of £ 7

Pre made curry scoffed and now we will be putting The Driver to bed as he’s very tired after getting up at 3am ..probably worrying about a new adventure


Sail to Calais

Bomb down to Lake Garda via the Brenner Pass

Sail in European Regatta

Go to Venice for four days ..Camp site booked and tickets for Doge’s palace

Wander down into Tuscany for lunch at La Vialla on 24th May ..more about this place later

More wandering

Get to Civitavechia for the ferry to Barcelona on the 1st May

Campsite booked in Barcelona with bus into city with May 4th being next as its our Silver wedding anniversary and The Cooks Birthday ..She wants a quiet day on the beach in the sun

Then …. off to Andorra on the 5th May

French Atlantic coast next

And home by the 22nd May


ORIO 43.28655, -2.12725

Another find… free to park ..out of Season Winter only ..A do not park in summer

Surfs up in this just gorgeous tiny bay a good walk to the end of the jetty and back round the marina ..

We’re just biding time till we head for the booze shopping and the ferry for home so to stay in this spot is an added bonus

Not a lot to say about it really just nice 👍

Another good nights sleep and off to Carrefour Hypermarket to collect our Christmas booze.. Again not so impressed all a bit expensive so where to ..? LIDL so much better and now Hetty is loaded .. lots of Rioja …Spanish sparkle as not a bottle of Prosecco to be found but as long as it sparkles and it’s dry it’s fine for my Christmas Day breakfast for the kids

Bilbao port allows camper vans to sleep over on the night before boarding the ferry.. very civilised.. lots of folk sitting out in the sun some have tables chairs and drinks out .. we just laugh 😂 Not for us public drinking .. it’s not a beach 🏖

What a windy night Hetty being rocked with rain lashing down .. Ferry is late 1-30min so far but we don’t worry ..Not keen to get back to bad English weather ..We love this big Ferry as it’s got a French restaurant but as we get on board at 10am find our cabin isn’t ready so off to a full and I mean a full English Breakfast .. Cereal .. Bacon 🥓 🍳 eggs mushrooms🍄 sausage and Toms Toast and hash browns Then croissants🥐 jam and non stop coffee


Still sunny as we sat out watching Spain disappearing into the haze of a lovely morning ..

An announcement on the tannoy regarding safety ITS GONNA BE ROUGH

So be careful I am a good sailor but J had to get me sea sick 🤢 armbands and pills IT WAS ROUGH I’m walking like a drunk 😵 without alcohol 🍺

Best place is laying down 🤮

Pills work and the French restaurant is our aim .. stagger on the corridors

The food is very special but did I enjoy .. sort of but still a yukky tummy

Bed and a very bumpy night ..

Another big breakfast and off the ferry only to be hauled into the search area of the Border security.. Probably because we look so normal .. questions asked Where have we been .. name the places .. Do you have PORN on board . What !!!😵..The Driver says why import when it’s free on line 😷🙄😂

We were well and truly searched I was waiting for the full body and orifice search next but we were allowed back into our country without any more indignity..

A lovely drive up through the Cotswolds …Autumn colours and showers …Now we are pulled off the road as The Drivers had enough of the M6

A car park in the village of Penkridge south Staffordshire

Wine out supper yet to be defined

Tomorrow home and the next post will be Statistics but we think we’ve done around 5000 miles


Hetty’s sleepy spot in Dover GPS 51.1233630 1.3168138

10 hours … Yes you read correctly 10 hrs from home to Dover at an average speed of 40mph .. Bloody Brexit .. Well I have to have something to blame

We have fun on our journeys changing accents to the area we’re in .. Northamptonshire got very posh as we ambled down country lanes after diverting off the M1 .. M25 became East end mobster just to amuse our selves

Parked up on The Marine Parade 51.1233630 1.3168138 after a tour of Dover ( The driver missed the turn) with a bought curry and glass of wine ..

The Driver says this is a Banksy on the wall of a derelict building as you enter the port …very clever ..looks so real

Blowing dogs off leads on the prom this morning as we wait in line for the ferry to Dunkirk

See you on the other side after quaffing all the French pasties in the VIP lounge .. we know how to treat ourselves

Wondering where MAC N TOSH are on their very very brave journey to find Noah’s Arc !!


What a day..slept like a top at the Pub parking spot ..only one more camper in and they were Scots ..Didn’t exchange greetings … We find if you had been Sur la continent ..and park so close a word or two would have been exchanged ….who cares !!!

At the ferry terminal the sea looked a tad lumpy …39knots of wind forecast..He says only gusts of force 9 …eeeeek

Mainly lorries crossing today ..one other campervan..all a bit quiet ..what with the news of riots in Calais I’m so pleased we opted for Dunkirk

Crossing went well only a couple of bumps coming out of the harbour ..Captain warned of lumps and he said he would activate the stabilisers …

Near perfect crossing

This bl***y alternator belt is so embarrassingly noisy …scream screech …

Now I am getting it sorted as we can’t go all the way with this noise …the driving is ok ..nothing wrong there… just the belt slipping …

Contacted my lovely French friend with whom we will spend an evening on Friday just outside Lyon to try to organise a garage to have a look at it …YES she has …what a star …we have to be in the area at 9am Friday morning …let’s hope he can fix it ..

It’s been a long wet drive to Reims today …around 200 miles ….so wet …but we are here on the outskirts of Reims as we didn’t want to go in to the city after dark as we thought perhaps our designated car park near the Cathedral may be shut now …alternative car park in a small village 4miles west in the champagne district GPS COORDS 49.273488,3.901127 These COORDS are for other travelling people to find a stop over ….This one is in a small village and its a carpark ..no one else here ..and its flat ..  Sorry no photos wifi won’t upload


The map shows the loose interpretation of the intended route by road and sea  


The adventure started well until the first traffic jam ..

 Then the fatal crash on the opposite carriageway .. (Bodies)…

Then the alternator belt started its whine.. This has been fixed .. Oh No it hasn’t .. New alternator New belt Grrrrr HE says its bedding in and needs adjusting.. I say it should be good to go as its a reputable garage that fitted it .. Make my hair stand on end when it screeches

Then the radio wouldn’t work .. No leccy to it .. I blamed the burglar alarm fitter..

THEN the water heater didn’t work


We put a message asking for advice from a Facebook group called Classic Hymers … Hetty is a Classic Hymer

Lots of help came back very quickly.. It’s the fuse someone said ..

Rang Ashley at Pendle Caravan and Motorhome repairs and he talked John though the intricacies of potential problems as he had to open up the boiler area .. Removing drawers and finding the offending circuit board

Yes the fuse had blown .. Now to go off to Canterbury to find a Maplins .. Of cause the store was two bus rides away at the other side of town

Fuse bought ALSO came out with a Dash Cam .. So now we can film the Arse who may run into us ..

Back to Hetty via Canterbury Cathedral .. Magically Spendid

Lots of useful info had come in from CH group re: fixing the boiler

A bite of lunch before J started … One hour later it’s fixed .. What a star of a husband I have ..Next the radio.. Wires out … Now fixed so apart from the screeching belt we are fit to travel and having a beer at The Plough and Harrow 51.211853,1.299569. A Motorhome stop over pub 8 miles from Dover ..

Ferry tomorrow 10am Force 8 forecast ..fortunately only a two hour to Dunkirk and we will be in France



A massive solar panel has been fitted to keep us full of leccy as we hate camp sites and wild camp most of the time …its all a bit out of my comfort zone but J knows all about stuff like this and he will keep us topped up ..He says we will have so much power we will be able to have film night so I have put all the DVD’s Ive been saving for a wet afternoon in ..packed

An extra cassette for the Loo has been purchased so we can go 6 days+ without panicking re:finding an emptying place ..Although in France there are even loo emptying place on Toll road services ..

New TV arial…We never watch TV ..

A new burglar alarm ..The other failed us in Sicliy 2014 but I think one is needed ..With this one we can be in the van at night and set it just for outside so if anyone tries it on when we are asleep it will go off ..eeeeek!

Two new leisure batteries  and a spare engine battery even a new battery for the jump start gadget..

MOT done ..service done ..and she is fit to travel

So off we go on another adventure ..watch this space…


Was 5 pints an over indulgence??

Part 2

The answer is both yes and no .. YES we’re all up bright and bushy tailed and NO five pints wasn’t an over indulgence

Boots.. Coats..Gloves donned ..

Brrr it’s a chilly one to be walking half way up Whernside at 8-45am .. Pre breakfast to await the train ..

Over the brow of the first hill only to find we’re not on our own .. The worlds train enthusiasts massed on the tripod covered horizon ..video drones in the sky ..Dogs on leads .. Children off leads .. As the time grew closer and the wind chill got under the warm layers there was such a buzz of expectation ..

Railway Children excitement .. and we wait..Late train .. Now after 10am .. Getting colder .. Then we hear the Toot Toot and a wisp of smoke on the horizon .. Here they come .. Cameras clicking..What a sight as the sun peeps through as the 2 Black 5’s with a full head of steam come over the viaduct ..

 People in first class waving to the people on the hill people on the hill waving back .. and off the train went ..Choo Chooing up the hill and off into the distance

Drone video https://www.facebook.com/NorthYorkshireWeatherUpdates/videos/907464719373059/

Thnx to Erica for this superb photo

Back to Hetty after finding J who had marched ahead earlier leaving the dawdlers behind on his quest for photo at the bridge about half mile further on ..

 All in all an excellent outing


Was 5 pints an over indulgence??

Part one ..

Hetty Hetty doesn’t want to start today….she needs jump leads… a little help from Smartie car and off she goes ..life is restored I think she was saying “It’s to cold to go a wandering ” but when we told her it was a night out at the pub and steam trains a smile returned ..

Ribblehead is the destination and an over nighter at The Station Inn to await morning and Steam trains …

We had heard over the Internet chatter that The Flying Scotsman would ,at 9-30 am Saturday morning be pulling a tourist train over the viaduct on his maiden long haul after refurbishment.. Not to be .. His brakes were playing up and the carriages are now to be pulled by 2 Black 5’s and a Diesel behind .. Not deterred by this news as we would get two for the price of one off we trot up’t Dales ..

The viaduct for the uninitiated is the feature of the new TV drama “Jericho”and has been in the lives of most northerners for ever .. I remember seeing it in amazement when I was about 6 years old .. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribblehead_Viaduct

In latter years I took a trip over by diesel locomotive to visit the Appleby Horse https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appleby_Horse_Fair

Scenic dales are always worth a visit being so close to us and in the traffic free winter sun were everything and more ..Arriving at the pub ..parked up ..a little adjustment to the chocks .. level now .. Added the brand new silver screens to keep the heat in and the cold out .. By now it’s 5 o’clock some where and a beer or two with our names on em are waiting

On entering the pub J says “There’s someone waving at us” ..

Only Erica and Robert .. F/B friends from Pendle area and information gatheres regarding The Frying Scots visit ..They were a couple of pints up on us .. We soon caught up and a good night with a fine supper was had by all

BUT the question asked “Would we all be fit and well the next morning to be up at the crack of dawn ” The answer in part two ..


Poor Hetty has had a near trauma.

J left the keys for our old girl along with the key for the storage area she lives in his car which was either left unlocked or a neat burglar made a clean job of breaking in and off with said keys

Today he went to the storage to see if all was well .. Yes she is still there .. Wipes sweat from brow but our other keys were left INSIDE Hetty..whoops So now he’s unscrewing the roof opening hatch type window to climb in ..

So the moral to this story is don’t be complacent ..TAKE YOUR KEYS INDOORS


The mechanic said Hetty was good to go ..4pm ..let’s see if there’s a place for us on the next ferry …yup …at 8-45 am next morning ..so we threw in what clothes we thought we would need ..chuck in a medicine bag ..raided the larder for food to take ..and by 6-30 pm we were off to Portsmouth 300+ miles The roads were empty and made good time having stopped at burger king for a snack ..

A34 had the daftest road works and diversions ..then same with M3 ..had another 20 mile diversion to get onto the M27..arrived in a fair old lather at 2am ..bedded down in the queue of other motor homes of various poshness ..We said these people must have spent the kid inheritance to afford such vans ..we are fine with our lovely Hetty now a Classic Hymer at 21 years old ..we have owned her for 18 fun years ..

Loaded onto the ferry at 6-30am

We bought Scooby snacks to eat in our cabin if to lumpy for the restaurant ..

And so it was at 6pm just off Brest no one could stand up..even the drunk lorry driver crawled to the bar for his next pint ..

Blow this for a game of soldiers we said …Bed for us and our snacks ..clinging to any thing Immoveable we managed to get to our cabin as a tannoy announcement warned of a very rough night and everybody who had a berth to go below ..

We hear of bumps in the night but this crossing was probably the worst I’ve been on ..thought I was gonna get thrown out of bed at one point ..

Woke to a calm sea and a full English breakfast yum yum ..docked at 1-30 pm Wednesday to head for San Sebastián to an Area de camping in the city kindly added by Ourtour.co.uk to there blog a day prior ..not ever thinking they would still be there ..but yes their Hymer is in the carpark ..

These two are only in their late thirties or very early forties and have pack in work ..magic ..we followed their adventure over the last few years and their blog help us enormously when doing our Italian trip last year as they put on GPS coordinates for places to park up for the night ..not just car parks but beaches ..a great help ..

JULIE JASON AND CHARLIE OF OUR TOUR turned up at around 6pm and came to visit ..We hadn’t met before but it was like meeting up with old friends ..a few glasses later we had put the world to rights


Grrrrrr ! We didn’t anticipate a bomb ..never had any problems flying to Sharm or staying in Sharm ..it’s a perfect TRAVELS WITHOUT HETTY venue for winter sun ..a lot of book reading and some diving for CH ( current husband )
We were booked into Ghazala Beach Hotel for three weeks starting 8th November ..normally we go earlier but this November 3rd our Daughter in Law turned 40 ..we were obliged to be on call for partying and a bit of child minding ..job done ..now to pack ..then came the news a plane going back to Russia had come down in the Sinai desert ..showing our concern we listened to all the media reports ..A BOMB ..and UK GOV say NO you can’t fly out to Sharm ..A big rethink ..shall we rebook Haghada another Egyption resort but by the time we had decided most hotel rooms had been fully reserved only left were the multi complex child friendly resorts and we don’t do them ..
Lets get our money back was the cry before RedSeaHolidays the company we were travelling through go bust ..likely as they only do Egypt
Shall we go to the Canaries …Nooo ..What about The Ghambia ..Nooo ..Even Cuba was mooted ..Why don’t we get Hetty a service and up grade St Sat Nav ..What a good idea ..Garage can do the service on Monday and if she is fit to travel we book a ferry to Bilbao and do part of the trip we had pre planned for our next “Runaway” in 2016..more to follow…


The Station Inn Ribblehead Yorkshire Here are the co-ords

54.207197 -2.363496

54°12′25.91″N 02°21′48.58″W

Woke in the night and had a look out .. People talk of “As black as night ” well up here on the moors it blacker . Not a star or light to be seen .. and certainly not Madam Aurora she had certainly taken her bat and ball home

A walk HE said when we woke again at 9am  .. There’s a tunnel just up there so after a lovely a breakfast of bacon, eggs, black pudding and fried tomatoes .. Coffee but no toast ( no leccy for toaster) we set off .. Lots of people out this lovely warm Sunday morning..

Let’s have a look at the construction of the viaduct .. It’s massive built in 1875 These Victorians knew how to build .. Walked on towards his tunnel Which couldn’t be seen in the distance when one of our fellow walkers mentioned a steam train In these part ( up north) every body has a chat so the time for this event was confirmed 12-20 .. J said he would go on to the tunnel whilst my vantage point was on a stile at the far end of the Viaduct ..Smoke in the distance ..Peep Peep said the train as it came on time out of the tiny station .. Shuff shuffle shuffling it’s way slowly towards me

I felt like one of the Railway Children waving at the people who,we were told were on a Special outing with lunch served in the two restaurant cars at a cost of £150+ per head .. and off it chuffed to points beyond our view .. On my way down back to Hetty I decided to pop into the pub to ask about their charges to park for the night as I’d seen a campervan in their carpark .. It’s free said the landlady .. No need to eat she said it’s still free .. This is perfect for us wild campers to find a free place to park in such an amazing part of England and of cause people will eat there .. I got a menu and even better news coming up to Christmas a three corse evening meal is only £20 .. We WILL be back

We were in staggering distance from the pub yesterday but next time we will take advantage free pub carpark


 We went to see the Aurora last night .. It didn’t show  My thnx to Steve Bradley for his photo taken the night before and of the one he took of my car parked second up the road waiting..Whilst sitting in the cold up at the Barley -Twiston-Downham cross roads decision was made by a concord that we should go off in Hetty Hymer into the Dales to perhaps catch the Aurora in an unlight polluted area

and this is why we have just rolled out of the Railway Inn at Ribblehead … Still no sighting .. The drive up was Autumnly delicious ..lots of golds not quite changed as yet to the reds ..the lime stone of Ingleborough shining white in this early October sunshine and joy of joys there she was The Ribblehead viaduct and a train crossing .. and low and behold a carpark(GPS coords to be published later) with out “Thou shalt NOT park ” signage … Bliss .. An aside ( the pub is with staggering distance )

After the consumption of a pint or two of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord decides again by mutual consent not to eat in the pub even though temptation raised its cash eating head and wander back to our Hetty for the sumptuous supper bought in Booths ,Our over priced new posh supa market ..meat pie .. My own mushy peas and a vanilla slice .. Sounds like comfort food to me .. The evening proved to be warming .. No heating needed .. Waiting now for my supper always cooked by J ..

OMG we never well hardly ever eat out .. Reason why .. Better food cooked by us.. Finished off with a very large glass of red and mature Gauda cheese .. Totally stuffed for about the price of one main course in a restaurant … Burp xxxx

 ..Been outside to see if any celestial light show is happening but no not even a star… That’s it for now .. Ginger biscuits and grapefruit n pineapple green tea and off to bed with a good book .. 9-45pm … Late enough .. Remember we were up till 1-30am yesterday !!


Had a mooch through Alsace ..thought it very Bavarian for France but V nice..into Belgium thought that country DULL and very boring with no VODAFONE signal WOT !!!! So off to Oostende for a ferry …nope …no ferries..must have closed ..another 90km to Calais and France and Vodafone connection pheeew ..though my phone was playing up …parked up and got a ticket ..J says get going we are on the next one out of here in an hour … And next thing you know we are looking at the White Cliffs of Dover ..
Hetty has had a squeak since we left Sicily ..nothing serious just annoying ..mostly when she cornered to the left ..I was aware of this but didn’t think much about it …the knocking in the engine was a concern but that disappeared ..so off we trot M20 ..M26 and M25 …at Cobham services J pulled in and slowly parked up …NO BRAKES he say …EEEEEK I say …RAC he says …John will fill you in on that situation .                                                                                                                                                   . Driving on motorways in a camper van you do not use your brakes very often (unlike on mountain roads where you use them lots) So when I saw a rapid slowing of traffic in front and a lane dodger cut me up I put on the brakes only to find it was like pressing a sponge and little stopping effect so I pumped the pedal and normal braking returned. A little later at a similar situation (bloody southerners nearly as bad as Italians drivers in Rome ) the same again. So as we where only 500m from the services I pulled of the motorway to investigate. I found lots of oil on the inside of a back wheel( not good) I then checked the brake fluid reservoir ..over 1/2 empty. At 17:00 I phoned RAC and told them we needed recovery as this type of failure cannot be repaired at the road side. It looks like a seal failure on the brakes has occurred.
The RAC said they would phone back shortly with recovery options. A little later a recovery firm phoned me and said he could not get us home as he had no long haul drivers available. BUT he could offer us a loan car and return Hetty to us in a few days. I was not happy with this as we had lots of expensive stuff and bulky items we would not like to leave. He said he would phone the RAC and get back to me. After 20 mins I phoned RAC again to find what was happening they said they would ring back. 20mins later I chased them again and was told a recovery vehicle was on its way but they could not give an eta as by this time the M25 was chocker. After 45 mins the RAC phoned to ask if we had been recovered yet and surprised when I said no they will ring back they said 😦
Shortly after a recovery truck arrived we where promptly loaded ..jumped into his cab and he told me he could only take us to Beckensfield services on the M40. Where we would be transferred onto an RAC truck. Well it was pretty small and Hetty looked a bit big when loaded …We jumped up front with the driver and he told us he could only take us to Knutsford services 😦 😦
At Knutsford we where unloaded and abandoned to wait 30 min for another recovery truck(apparently he was going to Birmingham with a breakdown and the RAC had decided to swap loads to save diesel). He said he would take us home 🙂 and apparently the RAC always do this relay type of recovery for long journeys to save costs. By 04:30 the next day we were home only about 24hrs since we last slept KNACKERED but relieved to be home….apparently non RAC recovery would be between £300 and £350 for the 250mile journey

Alsace region of France

White cliffs of Dover

Hetty’s first journey from Cobham to Beckensfield

Hetty’s second journey from Beckenfield to Knutsford

And home


Floor picnic and soporific swell

5th April 2014
Slept soundly in ferry terminal car park to be wakened at 5am and crawl out of bed for the loading at 7am …with the thought of a lovely breakfast on board that was easily done ??? Interesting loading ..Drive on and turn in a circle to reverse park …watched in amazement as behind us a 50ft power boat on a lorry was loaded …and a 29 ft yacht …What !
Cabin very acceptable as we are on an economy sailing ..and down for breakfast ..yum yum ..full English …magnificent …
Seasick pill consumed and a snooze was called for ..The swell was soporific …
Supper time ..Scooby snacks had been bought …pork pies ,caul slaw ,dips ,breadsticks and tomatoes were layed out as a floor picnic in the cabin by J …

Barrowford to Portmouth

Travels with Hetty
68880 on the mileage odometer on leaving
Set off at 1pm as planned
Every thing but the kitchen sink on board and yes we have that as well as Hetty is fitted with two …kitchen and bathroom
Just had first drama … The phones and satnav have stopped charging .. Now with our reliance on tec stuff we would be lost with out these gadgets …so we have pulled off at Knutsford services to find a fuse as blown .. J has gone for supplies ..
Second stop in Warwickshire
We haven’t had a Burger King whopper for about ten years and it was very good being so hungry my stomach thought my throut had been cut
Bowling along again to find fuel or should I say find a Morrisons because J has a 2p off voucher … Say no more …yes I will say more probably…but not on a public blog…
After journey to Portsmouth ..filled up at Tesco after satnav hiccup ..69186 mileage getting on ferry

Ferry booked

Me,Him and Hetty Hymer are mentally ready for the road but things beyond our control are in the way ..like filling in driving license renewal form incorrectly and our son becoming a father ..we are now 3 months late ..ahhhhhhgh !!!!!!
And …..the price of the ferry to Spain is rising daily..
So ..I will tell you of the journey planned..

After ignoring Europe except for a quick trip to Paris… one to Amsterdam, a few to Gozo in the Maltese Islands and a plenty of cross channel yachting forays to Brittany back in the days of southern living…choosing to take long haul flight amd roughing it around the world with a backpack and a lot of courage …I suddenly realised age was creeping up very fast..and I hadnt been to Venice . This realisation set the thought process going… Fly out for my birthday in May or retire and take the long way round in our aging Hymer motor home…..Hetty Hymer
Driving licence arrived by post so now do we take the no frills ferry or cruise style …After looking at the timetables at least ten time we have plucked up courage to plumb for the No Frills .. .