Driving Home – Part 2

Our fortnight-and-a-bit in the UK has been hectic but full of fun, food & frolics!

It was great to see family & friends again and whilst our Christmas (in November) dinner was fabulous the absolute highlight of our trip was meeting the totally gorgeous Edie Dot Woodhead and the extremely handsome Cameron Henderson Bridgestock – the two newest members of our family.

Driftwood; Christmas; Brighouse; Tree; Christmas tree; Driftwood Christmas tree

Driftwood Christmas tree at Mom & Dad’s.

We’ve had baths, had the awning fixed, new tyres fitted and the van passed the MOT flying colours. 

We were VERY COLD most of the time but have enjoyed ourselves thoroughly nevertheless.

Bath, Hipperholme, UK, field, wildlife

Having a bath at last, at Hipperhome.

So with teeth fixed, thermal curtains up and bulging bellies we once again headed south – this time to Portsmouth for the 24 hour ferry crossing to Santander, Spain.  Being the luxury-loving-high-rollers that we are, we booked an overnight stay on the way to Portsmouth.  The room was clean, spacious and warm with excellent facilities and a really comfy bed – what more can you ask from a “Days Inn” at Watford Gap Services?  (Look out for John’s review coming soon on Trip Advisor!)

Taking the 24 hour ferry cut out around a week of travelling for us and we arrived at Santander just as the sun was going down.  When we eventually got out of Santander, a half-hour drive took us up to Cabarceno and the aire at the wildlife park.  The elephants were tucked up for the night but there were at least a dozen other motorhomes spending the night there too. 

Spain; Santander; Port; Sea; Ferry; Mountains

First glimpse of Santander, Spain.

Monday morning was again bright and frosty – we even had ice in our waste water tank.  Unusually for us we took the motorway and were soon pounding through the mountains (again) on to our next stop at Evoramonte near Estremoz.  I had caught a glimpse of the Parque de Campismo Camping Alentejo when we were travelling home in October and the availability of an electric hook-up swung the day yet again – it was either that or a large car-park in Evora.  Set on the edge of a traditional farm and just off a main road, the site was peaceful and tranquil and had a really great atmosphere – highly recommended.

Spain; Carbarceno; Mist; Lake

Mist rising over the lake at Carbarceno.

Tuesday morning once again brought blue skies as we drove through miles of vineyards, olive and cork-oak plantations with the occasional eucalyptus thrown in for good measure.  I think it must be the trees that make Portugal smell so good – I wish I could bottle the aroma – it’s fabulous!  Classy as ever, we enjoyed lunch and a brew-up in the Lidl car park at Beja before heading on to our final destination of Cabanas de Tavira and we arrived a whole day early!

We’re planning to stay here over winter and since we’ve arrived we have been setting up our camp – strapping down the awning (lest it sets sail again) and anything else that could take off in high winds!  Our utility tent with storage (i.e. a toilet tent with Tesco growhouse) is up, in use and decorated with fairy lights as is the tree next to our van.  The bikes have been cleaned and oiled and the satellite dish is anchored down but not connected yet.  Campsite rumour has it that Astra 2 is being turned off on December 14th – if anyone knows what this means, please let me know!

As we’re staying put for a while, we’ve been able to do some van maintenance and running repairs – fixing back on all those bits that have dropped off somewhere along the way!  Some of our neighbours have their Christmas decorations up already and they are mighty fine.  We have 2 trees, one string of tinsel and 3 wesleybobbs – I think we may have to go shopping! 

John is very much enjoying the tubs of “mucky fat” (dripping) and ginger sponge in our little taste of home that we’ve brought away with us but we’re saving the stollen bites and crackers until Christmas Day.

We’ll be updating the blog again before Christmas, hopefully with full decoration gloriousness!


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8 Responses to Driving Home – Part 2

  1. Dawn Rose says:

    Like the bath picture, but not so sure of the driftwood Christmas tree – I’m more of a traditionalist though. Glad you’ve now thawed out and peace and tranquility has resumed! 🙂

  2. V and A says:

    So glad all is Peace and Joy and anchored down and trimmed up and mended. Shower here in another long haul hold until July and summer caustic soda brings blissful relief – but more importantly – brings you two back for postponed meal!
    Really thought bubonic plague had me in its grip and I might meet my maker, but we’re made of stern stuff i’ Bratford and I tottered on and came through. Still have head cold though.
    Will look up Gib. dates and send them on. Think it’s about 5th -15th May so hope we meet up.
    Apologies to Dawn Rose – but LOVED the driftwood tree!!

    Love, V and A xxx

    • JohnJaneSybil says:

      Goodness me, we are so glad to hear you are on the mend & still tottering on to fight another day! Let’s hope the same can be said for the shower 😉
      Look after yourself & make sure Austin is pampering you big time!

  3. Joe says:

    Sounds like great fun you guys are having have a lovely Christmas x

    Joe and Alison No 27

    • JohnJaneSybil says:

      Lovely to hear from you – yes, we’re still having lots of fun!
      Hope all is well in the Principality (of Lower Newlands – as my Mom refers to it) & you are all keeping well.
      Have a great Christmas, J&J

  4. Jo Koszel says:

    Hi Jane & John, as always it is so lovely to hear about your travels. You paint such enticing pictures that my life seems very boring, but you do give me lots of ideas for the future! Now, I am rather partial to driftwood. Have yet to buy my Christmas tree so you may have given me an idea……… Have a wonderful Christmas, Jo x x

    • JohnJaneSybil says:

      Hi Jo, Lovely yo hear from you & I hope all is well. The driftwood tree is gorgeous isn’t it – it’s from a fabulous shop (darling) on the quay at Brixham in Devon. Have a great Christmas & don’t work too hard! Jx

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