12th September 2016 Auto-trail HQ, Grimsby

Leaving Suffolk we drove to Grimsby and stayed overnight on a lovely little CL called Hunger Hill. This site is perfect for anyone like us that is having work done on their motorhome.  Auto-Trail headquarters i only a short drive away.

We got there first thing in the morning and met up with Clare Osborne. Clare took us through the paperwork to confirm the work to be carried out.

Angela and I have discussed the possibility of changing our van for a new one a few times and after looking at the new models from Auto-Trail we decided that it would only be change for change sake. We have had this van from new, we know it inside out and we like what we have. We have no damp readings on the habitation checks and have had it serviced regularly. That is why we have decided to have a new shower tray, new sink and taps in the bathroom and kitchen area, a new habitation door seal and a few other bits and pieces.

We were given a loan van for the three days that the work was being carried out and had about half an hour to move some things over. You are never quite sure how much or how little you will need to take with you. Anyway we grabbed what we thought would be enough before setting off.

We didn’t want to be too late setting off as we had a long drive ahead of us. We were going to see Derek and Rowena in Cumbria. We first met them in La Manga, Spain a few years ago and have been friends ever since. We had booked three nights on a small site near to them called Low Hall Farm. After just over five hours driving we eventually found the site only to find that there were no pitches availableSad smile after speaking to the owner she realised that somebody that should have left that day decided to have another night! After a long drive I can tell you that I was not very happy.

Angela had a chat with the owner who was very understanding and it was decided that for tonight we would stay in the car park with electric hook up. Once we had parked up Derek came to collect us and took us back to theirs for a welcome meal.

The next two days were great, Derek and Rowena were brilliant tour guides and we went out in their VW campervan. We went to Ulverston followed by a picnic on the waterfront at Walney. Wherever we went they were telling us all of the history and local information. It is a fascinating place. The second evening we had a meal in the Blacksmith’s Arms in Broughton Mills. Great food and great company.

On our last day we went into Broughton in Furness before a lovely drive over to Coniston. After parking up we headed down to the lake and had an ice cream as it was such a lovely day. We had their dog Layla with us and she was very well behaved on our walk along the lake and then into Coniston itself.

Derek drove us the scenic route around the lake and we ended up having a pub lunch in The Wilsons Arms in Torver. The old telephone box outside has been converted into a fish tank! Amazing.

We were dropped off at our van for a couple of hours before we were collected again for another lovely home cooked meal by Rowena. We were leaving in the morning as our van was ready for collection.

Thursday 15th September

Although it was a long way back to Grimsby to collect the van the traffic was free flowing. We got there at 13:45 and met up with Carol again. We went through the paperwork again to confirm what had been done and while I was paying the van was brought round for us to change our things over before heading off.

As I stepped into our van I looked at the sink in front of me thinking, that doesn’t look new? I then saw a brand new sink still in its packaging on one of the seats. We spoke to Clare and it seems there had been some confusion as to whether they were supplying this or fitting it. Angela checked the paperwork and pointed out that we had been charged the labour for fitting. Clare was great and it was agreed that they would take the van straight back and fit it right away. That was great apart from us having to sit around until it was completed and we finally got our van back at 16:30.

Apart from the little hiccup the quality of the work carried out by the engineers on our van was brilliant. 

After filling up with diesel we went back to Hunger Hill for a good rest before moving on to Birmingham tomorrow.

About Dean

Angela and I decided that there was more to life than working hard to keep up the payments on the mortgage, to pay the gas, electric, phone bills etc. etc. SO............ In 2008 we sold our house, I initially took a year off (Unpaid) and Angela handed in her notice! We bought a motorhome and set off for a year of travelling! This was the best thing we had done in our lives (Apart from getting married) and we have no regrets. During the year I managed to secure a redundancy package which felt very strange. Almost sad as I had worked for the same company for 19 years (BT). It was always our plan to have a whole year off before thinking about the 'W' word. We began applying to the Camping and Caravanning Club (CCC) for the position of Holiday site assistants in August 2009. After the interview, work experience and induction we were finally given a contract at the CCC site in Inverewe (Scotland). Our plan is to work through the summer in the UK then head to Europe to overwinter before coming back to work the following summer season. Hopefully these few words and our blog will inspire others to get off the hamsters wheel and see that there is more to live than having a house and material things. A cliche I know but this is not a rehearsal, life is too short!!! Since our first contract in Scotland we have worked a winter contract in Oxford (never again!) not Oxford but a winter contract. Hereford for two years, living in a yurt for one! And Cornwall. In between our working we have also travelled a bit. Hopefully this website will give you an insight into our alternative lifestyle. Get out there and live the dream!
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