Firstly apologies for our long absence from our blog, as the title of this blog suggests we have been more than a little preoccupied recently. On 14th October we completed on a property that we had 1st spotted on line whilst in France back in August time, a big Victorian house which had been split into one bedroom flats. We recognised the letting potential due to its location close to the town centre, and at first we thought the upstairs flat would make a good lock up and leave for us when back periodically from our travels. So with the keys in hand we set about the renovations, which have involved converting one of the properties into a 2 bed to increase the rental value and ripping the other one apart and putting it back together again. We set ourselves a target of 6 weeks to complete them both and were both astounded and delighted when we managed to get them done in just one calendar month. Helped tremendously by the fact that we were living on site whilst the work was being completed allowing us to put in lots of hours ourselves and be available at anytime for any tradesmen. We have since decided to let both properties out to increase our income, after all when we take off on our next adventure we haven’t yet decided how long we are going to be away for.
With tenants secured for both properties, it was time to get thinking about our travel plans, but firstly to get re-acquainted with Boris and ensure everything was working after his extended 9 week visit to the motorhome dealers for warranty work. So last week we squeezed in a couple of nights away, combining the trip with another visit to Cambridgeshire to see friends from our travels Julia and Ian whilst also squeezing in a visit to Peugeot to get our 1st service. After a morning spent in the garage and a return visit booked for 2 days time to rectify the radio and squeaky brakes we made our way across country to Doddington. With Boris parked on their drive Julia treated us to a lavish 3 course meal of scallaps wrapped in bacon on a bed of crushed minted peas, followed by sirloin steak, veg, butternut squash bake and chips with a 3rd course of homemade orange and lemon cheesecake, what a 5* treat!
Gorgeous cuisine with a gorgeous couple & of course Milly
After a cold night we awoke the following morning to our 1st frost of the winter so whacked on the heating, giving it time to warm up whilst having our usual coffee in bed. As we stepped outside the motorhome though we were met with a really strong smell of gas. After checking the connections etc we could still smell it plus the control panel inside was now reading gas failure. It looked like our trip away was going to be short lived, so we said our goodbyes to Julia and started our journey north to Derbyshire to return to the dealers once more. After a 3 hour drive and some waiting around at the dealers they identified a faulty regulator on the boiler and were able to fix it. As it was now getting late they offered us a place on their off site camping area which we gratefully accepted. With heating working again we got cosy and instantly felt at home again. With a return visit booked at Peugeot we for the following day we really were hoping that this was the final episode, after a 5 hour wait though the new radio they had fitted was still no better than the old one so they ascertained that it was the aerial at fault and not the radio. As this is hidden in the bulkhead of the cab this would mean another trip back to the motorhome dealer to find a fix (now booked for Friday 2nd).
Despite the chase around garages we at least feel hopeful that all niggles but one are now sorted and we can look forward to some serious trip planning. We didn’t need any more encouragement than that and the next morning booked our ferry for 4th December to Santander in Northern Spain. The loose plan currently being to travel around Spain and Portugal for winter then make our way to Greece and East.
Whilst others are getting busy with Christmas plans, I feel my list making may just be at its peak for the coming week! With a move out of the flats, loading Boris, putting the stuff we don’t need back in storage, a trip back to the moho dealer, sorting out who’s houses we can stay at before we go, catching up with family and friends – you get the gist!!!
I have a real tickly feeling in my tummy when I stop to think about our next adventure, with no restrictions (other than an MOT in July 2017) on when we return we can just relax and enjoy the journey. With a little more experience under our belt it feels even more exciting than when we set off on our maiden voyage in January.
More tales of new experiences to follow soon.
Until next time Andi & Paul