Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Caravan And Camping Season 2013

And so with Easter arriving so do the campers!

It's been a quiet winter here on site, with no one in over the last couple of month, but that is mainly down to the fact that the field has been inches deep in water.

Glad to say it is drying out nicely now and the approach into the field has had new gravel put down as it was a complete bog.

We have been working hard all winter, in fact I've been flat out,  this being my first day off during the week since around January! The rest of the time it has been 6 days a week, having only Sunday's off. Hence the lack of writing on here.

Easter weekend saw a full site, even had some hardy campers in a tent. Now that is just a bit too cold for me as we have been still getting frosts first thing in the morning.

So what have we been up to? Well apart from working not a great deal.

Not strictly true as back in March we took a week off, packed up the Pajero and headed over to Wales.

The plan was to drive over to the South Western tip and then head up the coast and meet up with old friends in Caernarfon for a long weekend.

We set off with a rough location for our first night as we would be wild camping in the Paj!

Not setting off till the afternoon did mean we were pushed for day light, so by the time we got to Haverfordwest it was all ready dark. Heading off along a side road towards the coast we eventually found a spot right on the coast over looking the sea. 

As it was pitch black we could not see the actual coast line, but knew it was down below us somewhere.

We had taken along some Moroccan Lamb stew to heat up on our gas cooker and with some crusty bread we ate listening to the sound of the sea below us.

Settling down for a good nights sleep in the Paj we woke early just as the sun was rising.

What a treat awaited us. It was clear, in fact it was -3 but toasty in our sleeping bags.

We had stopped just before Newgale Beach. A long stretch of sandy beach it was spectacular.

We really had now idea when we stopped that this would be what we saw when we woke up.

The just to finish things off a couple of race horses turned up and pounded their way through the surf! Amazing.

I was still up top when they arrived and by the time we had got down on the beach they were just returning. The owner was watching them with interest and we had a quick chat. We watched them go into the sea up to their belly's. One horse had been in the sea before but for the other it was it's first time. It was evident that they were enjoying it immensely.

Back up to the top and bacon rolls cooked up with hot coffee. Now this is camping!

We set off in a Northerly direction. Hugging the coast all the way up to once more it started to get dark and decided it was time to try and find some where to stop for the night.

Again we relied on instinct and having looked at a couple of places we finally ended up at Barmouth, we travelled down a track to Barmouth then headed out on the spit of land to the place where the Barmouth Ferry leaves, parked up, cooked up and got our heads down for the night.

As it was completely dark when we arrived imagine our delight when we woke to see this!

I've got to say that this is not my picture as the camera died at this point but this was our view!

Once again we had struck lucky!

It was extremely windy, having a pee even facing down wind was a challenge, to the point where I had to change my trousers due to the wind suddenly changing direction! Much to "M"s amusement!

After more bacon rolls and coffee we set off once more.

We hugged the coastline and wound our way out towards Aberdaron and around the peninsula and started headed North once more, stopping along the way for lunch in a tiny pub over looking the sea. The name of which completely escapes me!

Time getting on meant we had to stop to look for another place to park up. After a few places were discounted we ended up just south of Caernarfon, right next to it's airport. I say airport, it's more of a heliport.

Here we cooked again, brewed up and watched the sun set.

I think over the three nights the latest we were tucked up and snoozing was 2100hrs!

Next morning it was even colder, the butane was freezing up on the cooker, so with constant changes of cannisters we eventually managed a brew and our final breakfast before we booked in later that day to the Black Boy Inn at Caernarfon.

This is a great place to stay, 5 mins from the castle and a real friendly place.

Kate and Mark were to join us for the Saturday, it so happened that the Rugby was on and so we watched the Wales game, where we supported the Italians much to the disgust of the locals. The pub was heaving, but some good friendly banter was had.

We were expecting the TV to be turned off once the game had finished as England were playing, but much to our delight it remained on where we were totally out numbered, out cheered but not out drank!

Myself and Mark entered the pub at 1100hrs and remained at the same table till 2230hrs! A good session! Amazingly we both made it down for breakfast the next morning!

Later that day we said our goodbyes and headed home.

The exhaust on the Pajero was by this time blowing like a Trumpet Major's bugle after being run over.

New exhaust bought on the internet a few days later and she is now running sweet as a nut.

Sweet as a nut is not how I would describe our trusty old Landrover Freelander. Not long after we bought it the head gasket went. As it was under warranty all was not lost so we had it done, but it still used water.

For the last few weeks it had started to run a bit lumpy with tick over being all over the place. So as it was well due a service we booked it in. Bearing in mind we had just put it through it's MOT just the previous month at £350.00

During the service it was found that the back drums were knackered and this with the service cost another £300.00 - Thanks!

"M" drove it back from the garage but said it still didn't feel right, so next morning on my way into work I found it to be worse than when it had gone in for the service.

I had this nagging thought in my head that it may of been the head gasket again, but dismissed this as surely during the service, (oil change) etc it should of been spotted? The fact it was still running like a bag of nails after the service would of given it away.

I checked the the dipstick and there it was, enough emulsified oil to replace a jar of Hellmans Mayo!

Back to the garage, where it was confirmed. Now at this point I was a little cross that the garage had failed to spot this obvious fault, then proceeded to have me for the £200.00 for fixing the brakes knowing the gasket was shagged!

So do we repair or scrap it? After much thought, it was decided to scrap the car, a new head gasket, would cost around £700.00 with no guarantees that it would even fire up, as remember this is the second time it has gone.

Sadly she went last friday. Ebay? No, to a local recycler (scrap dealer) who gave us £200.00

It was easy with no fuss, paid in cash and to be honest a good price considering it was knackered!

Being upset about it did not last long as on Saturday "M" picked up her new toy - A Mazda MX5  Eunos 1.8i. A Jap import. Yes, I like my imports due to the fact you get a load of extras that the UK cars just did not have.

We had been looking for one, and luckily came across this little stunner. She was built in 1994, imported in 2004 and with only 2 owners since then, (1 the importer, 2 the enthusiast) has full history with it being serviced every 6 months.

A new Mohair hood, 12 months MOT and 6 months tax for £1400.00 - Bargain.

We have had a couple of days out in her and she drives lovely, even had the roof off over last weekend - glorious!

So there you have it, that's us about up to date. I'm sure I've forgotten loads that has happened, so will try and write more when I can!

Till later.......................


  1. Nice to read your post after all this time Jools. Your trip up through Wales sounds good, there's some amazing scenery around the coastline. Shame you couldn't have had a quick look round Anglesey, it's only 7 miles from Caernarfon.

  2. Ditto - lovely to have you writing again. Great holiday, bt the sound of it, and what a snazzy car! Being red, it must go extra fast!

  3. Nice car and a great little adventure you had there. Good to have an update from you.

  4. Thanks for your update & pics. An enjoyable and interesting read. Lovely sporty little car too.
    Have you thought of using the orange gas, propane, through the colder months? It doesn't freeze.

    1. Yes we normally use propane for the caravan, but this was a little 1 ring camp stove, so no propane available, thinking of getting a multi fuel stove for our little trips.