Yes finally after 4 months we have collected our Boris and immediately hit the road. Well when I say immediately I mean the same day, because before we could truly get going we had an engine service to get sorted (which was all done in just over 2 hours at a local garage who charged us £220 rather than the £330 ish that Peugeot wanted) and of course we needed to reload our gear back on board. Fortunately the brains of our operation (Paul) had suggested on the previous Friday (which was a beautiful dry sunny day) when I’d wanted to take a drive out to Stratford Upon Avon and loll by the river with a picnic that instead we headed over to our storage containers and sorted out the stuff we needed to put back on board and what we could leave behind! With a slight groan I agreed, although it didn’t feel anywhere near as romantic as the suggestion I’d made, I knew it was sensible. We took over most of the warehouse forecourt rooting through bags of clothes and storage crates, but after several hours had found everything we needed and piled it all together for the looming collection day. As the day we fetched Boris was torrential rain,I’m sure I saw a smug grin on Pauls face (don’t you just hate it when they’re right!). I had to admit though that the task would have been impossible in the wet!
Our first outing wasn’t too far away as we were heading for the Navigation Inn (GPS 52.140784 –0.913032) at Stoke Brueme Near Towcester where we were meeting up with our friends Julia and Ian. The pub allows motorhomes to park overnight for free, but of course it goes without saying that you should have a drink or a meal there. Located right next to the towpath on the grand union canal and in the heart of the village, the pub is a perfect spot. We’d met Julia and Ian about 2 months into our 1st trip to Europe and our meeting just happened to coincide with Paul’s 50th birthday, so as they now know too much we are friends forever! When we’ve met on previous occasions on our brief returns to the UK its always been at their house so it was great to have a rendevous in our motorhomes and immediately made us want to take off travelling again. After a 2 minute chin wag in the car park an executive decision was made to get out of the rain and head into the pub. After a busy day for all of us an ice cold drink and someone else cooking our meal sounded like a good option. The grub was cheap and plentiful, although Jules and I did manage to find a little room left for a huge melt in the middle chocolate pudding – well it was on offer at just £2 so we couldn’t refuse! After an evening of putting the world to rights we headed back, being back in Boris felt just like being back home – the same feeling you get when you crawl into your own bed after being away in a hotel. We must have felt comfortable as we slept until 9am the next morning ( maybe the beer helped). Despite more rain the next day we put on our waterproofs for a walk along the canal, ok it did also end in a pub with a meal (oh and delicious violet gin), but honest it wasn’t planned that way!
After our weekend of fun though it was down to some serious business. Firstly a bathroom renovation at one or our rentals, then a trip up north to Southport for some house hunting. After almost 2 1/2 years of travelling we are both ready to put down some roots again and have a base to call home when we are not on our travels. We have a longing to be by the sea, so with friends and family in the north west region we have decided that Southport would be a good fit.We have driven Boris up here and are staying at Willowbank Campsite (GPS 53.58882 -3.043554), a lovely quiet site within walking distance of Ainsdale beach. We have used the sunny bank holiday weekend to familiarise ourselves with the area and catch up with friends. Once the estate agents are back at work tomorrow though our hunt will begin in earnest.
Wherever you have been this bank holiday, I hope its been a sunny one.
Hopefully we can update with news of a house soon(ish).