Friday, 27 March 2015

Officially Gone..!!

This is the last blog post that I will be making from Purple Towers......

Anne and I have enjoyed living here but there have been a lot of changes in the area over the past seventeen years, not all of them for the better.
In that respect it is just like any other area I suppose, over time lots of changes that can affect the very character of an area.....

It's been good living so close to the coast....very enjoyable during the spring...summer and autumn months when the weather can be glorious, not so good during the winter months when it can be pretty dismal. 
However, even during the winter months there can be some very special days ideal for a walk along the coast.... We will miss it...
View from Purple Towers - Like most places dismal in the wet.
View at the end of the road - glorious when the sun is out!
The past couple of weeks have been a round of meeting up with friends for farewell dinners and lots of coffee and cake meets as well.......
Now Anne and I are just looking forward to the adventure ahead of us.....

Lots of people have asked us what our exact plans are.....  
I don't do 'exact' but I can tell you what our broad brush plan is though....

My daughter and her husband and my two grandsons are away on holiday in the USA at the moment. 
As Eva the Eriba is currently parked on their drive we are going to house sit whilst they are away and use the time to get everything sorted out and stashed away on board...
Easter will be spent there.......
We will have a practice run at getting the awning erected....better to do it on the drive than make total idiots of ourselves at the first campsite....
Every other bit of equipment will be checked and tried out before we finally head off..

On the tenth of April we will be setting off and heading for Devon.....
We have booked a couple of sites down there and it will give us a chance to catch up with Anne's extended family who all live in the County..

We intend being there until about the end of May when we will continue with our tour.....
UK first and then later on Mainland Europe... 
Exact timings and places are all open.....
we will make it up as we go along....
in other words 'Freedom'.

It's possible we could winter in Southern Spain but again we will just see how it all pans out......
How long will we tour for before finally settling down somewhere back in Devon? 
Again it's all open with no fixed timescale.... probably when we have had enough of touring... 

My next post will be from Eva the Eriba...parked on my daughters drive :-)
I will show you some of the bits of kit connected with the Eriba including the kit for transporting my bikes......

In the meantime as far as Purple Towers is concerned, we are now 'officially gone'!!

Friday, 20 March 2015

Saving the best till last....

Virtually everything has now been removed from Purple Towers and apart from a few small things to sort out, we are almost ready to leave after spending seventeen years of our life here.
Currently we are sitting on camp chairs in an empty room.....well empty apart from the chairs and a television set.... 

Luckily we still have the bed in the bedroom so we have something to sleep on which is good news, as we have just over one week left here whilst we tie up the loose ends.....

There are always mixed emotions when you move on to something or somewhere new....
Over the past seventeen years whilst living here a lot of things have happened in our lives.... Family landmarks...Friends made.....Health scares.....Redundancy....Retirement.....Good and bad decisions made.....Some cycling and walking successes as well as failures........
In short lots and lots of memories which we will be taking with us when we finally close the door on this part of our life's journey.....

This whole project has been over two years in the planning and as we approach our very last week at Purple Towers the excitement of the whole adventure is really starting to build...

Some of the last items to be moved out have been my well loved bikes......  
I have been taking them over to my daughter's house where Eva the Eriba is parked up ready for us to 'hit the road'.

When it came to our moving strategy it really was a case of saving the best till last..!!

Tiffany the Tifosi meeting up with Eva the Eriba....



Friday, 13 March 2015

I never knew it was there.....

Earlier this week I met up with Jason Boynton-Lee for coffee..cake....and a chat..
Jason rode down through France and into Spain with me and a few others back in 2009.... 

It was at the end of that ride after disembarking from the Santander to UK ferry in Plymouth that I had my accident. I came off my bike near Budleigh Salterton waking up in Exeter hospital.......
Jason was one of the first of the other riders on the scene and it is always nice to meet up and have a chat about old times and some of the rides we have done together....

It has to be said that currently I think that Jason is a lot fitter than I am.... Over the last few months he has got back into his cycling as if he is on a mission.......
As we are hoping to meet up for a ride or two once Anne and I get started on our long term adventure trip I think that I will have to put some serious work into my fitness levels just to keep up with him....

Anyway, on the walk back from the coffee shop Jason pointed out a plaque on the wall of St Peter's Church in Bournemouth...........

St Peter's Church- Bournemouth.

It is interesting...but after living in Bournemoth for the last seventeen years I never knew that it was there...
It just goes to show that we can live in an area for many years and yet if we look closely we can always see and learn something new.......

The Plaque that Jason pointed out to me..
Thanks Jason, for reminding me that you don't need to go on the road full time touring to see and learn new and interesting things.....

Friday, 6 March 2015

Boosting my Caravan WiFi Connection....

One of the problems that I have experienced while on long camping trips, is maintaining a good internet connection....
Of course with 3G/4G you can always access the internet with your smart phone if you have a suitable signal.....however that is also a very good way of eating up your data allowance in double quick time.
In the past on trips up to about six weeks such as the trip I did cycling back to the UK from Gibraltar, that is exactly what I did, buying extra data as I went along.

This is perfectly acceptable for those sort of shorter trips, but is not a good idea for much longer trips like the one that Anne and I our starting out on in a few weeks time. 
Also we will be wanting to use laptops...tablets and also a kindle...
At home we connect these devices to the internet via a WiFi router and they work pretty well that way.

When staying at a lot of campsites WiFi is often available free or for maybe a small fee....however the signal is often very patchy and slow around the campsite and very dependent on where on the site your pitch actually is.....
You can quite often see people sat on a wall outside the reception office trying to get a good reliable WiFi connection in order to post to their blog or social media and surf the net.....
I can remember spending a good couple of hours in the toilet area of a campsite in France trying to make a posting on my blog...the toilet area seemed to offer the least troublesome (but not perfect) connection....Not the best place to spend and evening though.....

Now what I wanted for our life on the road was something that would give us (most of the time) a good solid reliable WiFi connection that we can access in the comfort of Eva the Eriba.....
After communicating with others out there already travelling long term in Europe and doing a bit of research myself I was directed to the I-Boost Pro D8 Directional System .........
The I-Boost D8
I have seen and heard lots of good reports for this bit of kit, so I am hoping that it will solve the problem......

According to the information on the website of Motorhome WiFi who market the D8 :-

"The I-Boost D8 serves to both boost the externally available WiFi signal and then repeat that signal at full strength inside your van, creating your own secure network with your own unique security code......
Compatible with I-Pads..Tablets..Smartphones and even Kindles...
There are no drivers to install on the devices and no wires between you and the system..."

I have tried the unit out at home... normally my computer shows that there are 7 available WiFi signals that could be connected to....
With the D8 linked up it shows an available 46 WiFi signals....so it certainly seems to boost and multiply the strength of the WiFi signals....

Once we hit the road I will update you on my real world findings of this bit of kit.....
I have high hopes.....

Cabin Fever .......

 Sorry for this week's posting being three days late but like the rest of the UK last weekend saw the arrival of storm Ciara and our in...