Trip 2 – Chester – Wales circuit

(Yesterday) we set off from Newbury to Chester to meet Ollie and Jenna at Ring’O’Bells at Christleton for lunch. Lovely to meet up with them and catch up with news including Jenna’s new job. Settled into campsite in Christleton, then off to Liz and Mick’s for fish pie and blackberry crumble, yum. Their garden is very lush and would have loved to accept the offer of cuttings but not sure campervan is ideal incubator for them.

average 41mpg (9m/litre) so far including heater on once or twice, but mainly motorway/dual carriage

Day 3 – Buxton to Newbury

We started the day with bacon butties, and coffee, then tidied up and were ready to go in double quick time. Much less faff that a tent, Ying always is meticulous with cleaning and drying the tent before storing away for months or a year before the next trip. No such bother this time!

We decided that to make the day worthwhile we would visit Bakewell, home of the famous tart/pudding, then “pop over” to Dovedale on the of chance it would be quiet…

Bakewell was chocker, we hadn’t factored in the Monday market, the Bank Holiday and the end of the summer season. Social distancing was not their highest priority. However we did strike lucky and found a table for two at the Bakewell Tart Shop in town and sat down to a really delicious Steak and Kidney Pie, and Steak and Stilton Pie for Ying. Followed by Bakewell tart and pudding respectively and we were very satisfied.

Of note, this is the same Bakewell tart shop were we previously (15 yrs ago) bought and brought home a sumptuous Bakewell Tart to Newbury. The next morning we both had a sliver of tart, saving the rest til later and left for a short while (I don’t recall what to do but only 1-20 minutes). On our return there was an odd piece of tin foil on the floor and a rather satisfied but guilty looking Tiffany – and No Bakewell to be seen… Some things you don’t forget!

Subsequent to this nostalgic reunion with the Bakewell tart, we drove off to Dovedale… but what a disappointment. We should have known, it was August Bank Holiday and the place was absolutely packed with tourists (albeit the numbers of tourists were swelled by us two, but we don’t count!). We made it up to Lovers Leap but then turned back. There was very little communing with nature. In future I’d recommend a freezing cold day ideally with some sleet and freezing rain thrown in to have any chance of enjoyment. Oh well…

Buxton – day 2

Despite outside temp of 3c we were very toasty inside under our duvet though realised we should have levelled the van as even 2% can make a difference! Extra pillows and levelled for tonight

Walked over to Solomon’s Temple, great views over Buxton, then walked down through Buxton Country Park to higher Buxton for lunch, The Cheshire Cheese was perfectly fine but nothing special, then onto afternoon teas by the Slopes and around the Pavillion which must have been very grand in its day but now a cafe and selling stuff from small stalls.

A walk back up the hill completed 13km round trip and a slightly chilly BBQ, lamb chops, completed the day

Awning completes the setup

First trip

Trialling the new van

Packing – surprisingly roomy providing you don’t bring big pots and pans etc. Took everything we had listed with room to spare. Longer trips have room for expansion, carefully.

…drove up to Buxton Caravan and Motorhome Club site. Situated on Grin Low, South and vertically above Buxton. Walked down through lovely woodlands and then through Victorian feeling Pavilion Gardens, and then to Buxton, drizzling all day which was a bit sad but a lovely walk back.

Fish and chips took priority over cooking first meal in the rain, though that will come. Now snug as a bug trying out all the facilities, including good onboard speakers from iPhone

Sabbatical 2019

Sabbatical 2019 (click this link for the gallery)

May 2019. Singapore, Cambodia, (Siem Reap/Ankor Wat), Vietnam (Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Sa Pa, Hanoi), Malaysia (KL, Melaka) Singapore, Malaysia (KL)

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Su Lihn and guides, Sa Pa mountain area, Vietnam

Falafel and Tzatziki


2 tins chick pea
One fried onion
40Grm Flour
3 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Coriander
2tsp salt
Coriander and Parsley

Cut into 18 parts and roll
Spray with oil spray
230 for 20 mins then 180 for 20mins


Low fat yoghurt
Granulated sweetener

Chocolate Chip Cookies

100g brown sugar
125g unsalted butter
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
225g self-raising flour
200g chocolate chips
Pinch of salt

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Mix in the egg and vanilla essence.
Fold in the flour, salt and chocolate chips.
Place balls of mix on to a lined baking tray and bake at 180°C for 14 minutes until golden brown.