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Saturday, 6 April 2019

Coast by Campervan. The Plan?


All "challenges" and big endeavours have rules, right?  Not this one . . . Rules?  There are no rules  😊.   To nick a favourite line from Barbossa in Pirates of the Caribbean: more what you'd call 'guidelines' than actual rules.

Found on Pinterest, this looks like a good starting point:

{would love to buy this, but the Etsy seller is no more, and the only one on Amazon isn't a layout I like}

So why and how?   Well, I love walking and often entertain fanciful ideas of doing some long-distance routes.  Until such time as I actually set foot on one I satisfy the interest reading about other people doing it, and that led me to Ruth Livingstone who is walking the entire coast of the UK. I am in awe of how Ruth manages to organise the logistics of it all when she is travelling alone.  From Ruth I picked up a link to Jen, who also walks ridiculously long distances (LEJoG - three times: Respect!) where I discovered she had another project, that of driving the coastline in her VW camper.  Well, that was it, whoosh down the rabbit hole 😊   I knew this was something that I wanted to have a go at and Management agreed,  the plan is big enough to get stuck into, but not so huge as to be daunting;   he also suggested that I try to get away every three weeks or so just for a few days at a time so once started I maintain momentum.

Despite loving being in Bill, I find it terribly hard to actually get up and go away; there are so many places I want to visit that I become paralysed by indecision and end up not going anywhere - this should give me a focus to getting off my bottom.  With a coastal route where to go is easy and as if I did not have enough to occupy me, I will be able to waste  spend hours online researching routes, places to visit, places to stay, and where to get LPG to fill Bill's habitation tank.

Despite the avoidance of rules:

*  The main point of this is to get away in the van, and enjoy myself and whilst it is mostly a coast drive I don't have to stick to the very edge of this small island if I don't feel like it, either because the weather is awful and there won't be anything to see, or the road isn't one I feel comfortable taking the van down, or it is a long dead-end, or it just doesn't look like fun . . .

*  The journey will start close to home heading south, in sections.  Each section will be a few days, then back home, then next time drive back to where I left off and carry on. I may be seeing a lot of the M6 and M1 this year ‼️

*  Not sure about Scotland as the now infamous NC500 seems to have bolloxed much of the peace and quiet of the west coast.

*  I am not going to work out coastline mileage, or actual miles travelled, or much other statistical nonsense.  I also reserve the right to ignore "coastline" if the land is tracking a river/estuary.

* I will make detours/stop whenever I want to in order to visit gardens, ruins, RSPB reserves or anything else that interests me along the way.  Or just because I feel like it, and think it might be relaxing or fun (can you spot a theme here!)

*  I am not visiting islands.  Even those with bridges connecting to the mainland.  Simple reason - finish this project, and the next one is ready and waiting - transition from "A drive around an  Island" to "Driving around the  Islands".  Maybe.  England has nine which are larger than 5km2, Wales has two, but the 70+ off the Scottish coast are a whole bundle of trouble all on their own!  Thank you to the Ordnance Survey and Joe Harrison for this:




If there was a Coffee Morning for round-the-coast travellers I suspect there wouldn't be an invite - I am clearly not taking this seriously enough.

But on the subject of Coffee Mornings, I have blogging friends all over the country, and happily many of them are either near the coast or near motorway routes to or from the coast . . . there are already many emails being exchanged for the purposes of arranging coffee stops.




PS:  . . .  I had a brainwave/insane idea yesterday - not only do I have Project #2 waiting in the wings, Project #3  can be visit every one of the 15 National Parks - and Management suggests a visit only counts if I actually sleep there.





29 comments:

  1. Oh, this is so exciting. Wishing you safe and happy travelling on your adventures and look forward to reading about all you get up to.

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  2. You are just so brave setting out alone. I don;t think I'd dare.

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    1. FDR, 1933: "the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself - nameless, unreasoning"

      I get where you're coming from Sue, but really, what is there to be frightened of? If the van breaks down, call Green Flag. If I have forgotten something really essential - get on Amazon and have it delivered to the next campsite or find a nearby shop; if it's not essential I don't need it. If I am hating it - come home. If I have an accident - Management would jump in his car in a moment and come to wherever I am. I reckon as long as I have a mobile phone signal, a credit card, and the keys to a well-maintained and reliable vehicle, I'll be fine. It's a hell of a lot more than many people have.

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  3. As I said before, if you need a resting spot, or just a coffee break, Portchester, Hampshire is on the coast.

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    1. Thanks Marlene, I may well take you up on that :-)

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  4. Such a journey is on my wish list - am just waiting for hubby to retire (even if only partially) in a few years time as I wouldn't want to do it on my own. It's always nice to have something to look forward to. I look forward to hearing about your travels.

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    1. Hi LH, hope you can make a start soon. It does not have to be done in one go.

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  5. It sounds great so far Jayne, and something I've wanted to do for ages but can't yet take retirement to make it happen. I look forward to reading your many posts and seeing photos of your adventures before too long :)

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    1. Thanks Eunice, perhaps you can make a start at Easter, ha ha ha. As I said to LH, it could be done in bite-sized sections . . .

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  6. You really must make this dream come true Jayne and it's great that your husband is so supportive. I do like the retirement rules, we do some but not all of those. I can't help thinking we shouldn't put off what we really want to do and do it while we are still able. When you travel along the North Wales coast you really must visit Anglesey, it's beautiful.

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    1. I'll second what Eileen has just said. Even though you said you don't intend visiting any islands Anglesey has so many lovely places it's a MUST NOT MISS - and if you don't do it on this particular adventure then make it an adventure of its own :)

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    2. Thanks girls. I know from Eunice's photos that it is a beautiful place and I intend to visit in Project #2 😊

      I already have a scheduled stop on the North Wales coast . . .

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  7. While we are about as far from the coast as you can get, we are at the junction of the M1 and M6, so if you are coming past this way, we'd love to see you. I like the rules of retirement (though I often quote the line from Pirates); Janet has now retired, and I'll be retiring fully at Christmas.

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    1. Roddie, yes😀! It will be a few months before my 'return trip' comes near you - on my way home from Kent looks like the first time I might hit the M1. Would love to see you both again, so thank you. xx

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  8. If only I was still at the smallholding - with campsite and just 3 miles from the sea!

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    1. Oh, Pooh Sticks! Your campsite would have been perfect for a night.
      I'm expecting to do Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk in one trip to save a lot of back & forth. But that will not be for a while (see reply to Roddie).

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  9. I like your non-rules. It's going to be so exciting. I'm dreaming of the day I can grab my rucksack and just head off whenever I feel like it. X

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    1. Jules, I don't know how many hours Lily is at school these days, but could you prepare a rucksack the night before and head out as soon as you've dropped her off, or is it too risky in case you were delayed getting back?

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  10. Wow! Your plans "floor" me!!! You are totally brave and wild and fearless and.... Just Wow!!!!!!!!

    Needless to say, I'd never have thought of doing something like this, even when young like you.

    Hooray for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Double, triple Hooray for you!!!!!!!

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    1. Bless you Wisp, but the one thing I would never have said about myself was that I was fearless . . . It would be quite a neat project in your country - although the logistics would be rather more complex :-)

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  11. And the Retirement Rules.... :-) They sound good. But actually, if one just did those things, day after day after day, they would get bored. One really needs projects. My husband more than me. But even I would get bored, with just lazing around. :-)

    Do love the "no clock rule" though. Clocks stink!!!!! >,-) It's quite lovely, when at last, you can mostly thumb your nose at them. :-)))))

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    1. These 'rules' make me smile, and I agree with you about hobbies/projects.

      The day we moved up here from the other end of the country I put my watch in a drawer. Haven't worn it since, which is rather a shame because it's a particularly nice bit of jewellery . . .

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  12. I do believe the retirement phase has begun, but only if Management does some of this stuff too. It takes some adjustment to realize that you can do exactly what you want to do and when you want to do it.

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    1. Management is already much better at this than me but you are right, it does take a huge adjustment to realise you can now do what YOU want.

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  13. Wow, that sounds like a plan. Very brave doing it alone, though. We thought about things like that & we should have done it when younger as we both get stiff travelling too far in one hit now(we have 10+ years on you, remember), but then this is a huge country too. We've seen a lot more of Australia than some people we know, plus our trips to UK, with a short bus tour of Europe, have led us further afield too. I've still so much I want to see on your beautiful island & we've only made a few plans for our next trip there. Keep us posted to the progress & I'm really looking forward to your trips in photos. Take care & huggles. BTW, we got good rain over night. Yippee!!!

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    1. Thanks Susan, allegedly the English coastline is a about 5,800 miles and Australia 16,000. Like you I need to walk about so I do not intend to cover big distances in one day, and I was working it out last night and I'll be lucky to have this finished this year, we'll see.

      Glad you got rain, just hope it is a sensible amount and no flooding.

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  14. Dear Jayne
    It is all sounding really exciting. Love the retirement 'guidelines' too!
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Thanks Ellie. It should certainly get me out in the van a bit more :-)

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