Michael and Lesley Fuller have retired.
They are keen tandem riders and attend the rallies when they can especially the international one which alternates between Spring Bank Holiday and the summer school holidays. Their motorhome allows them to take off with the bike in the back for the winter and summer alike.
Back in Southampton they keep up with the Nuffield Theatre and Phoenix Film Theatre programmes as well as what is good at Chichester Festival and National Theatres.
And, of course, there is still Ben via the BenCam i.e. Skype. But not only Ben as he has been joined by brother Thomas (baby Thomas). And we have a younger grandchild, our first granddaughter Mia, produced by Thomas and Caroline.
In 2011 they are off to Morocco and Portugal for a few months.
April 5th 2011
Crisis in Spain We have now arrived home a week early. Having left our cosy wifi enabled campsite in the Alentejo we took one week to get to Bilbao rather than the two planned to allow us to get to a funeral of our brother in law in Devon on Friday 8 April. But then, as we were travelling down a hill on a motorway in Spain outside Villaviciosa, our rear off tyre decided to shed its tread. This has never happened to us before and it makes a hell of a noise. It wrecked the wheel arch, the underside of the cooker, all the cooking equipment which was dispensed down the motorway, and the back of the fridge. It also trashed the sink drain, the grey water waste pipe and broke the water supply to ... read more
March 18th 2011
Conil and the Algarve We are now enjoying the sun and rest of Monte Naturista do Barao where we have stopped a couple of years ago. This is the first real sunny and windless days we have had for a long time and it is lovely. We have arrived in time to join the weekly joint meal with everyone else on the site. It is very busy this time with three other Brit couples and lots of Dutch. Since Morocco, we have spent time in Conil de la Frontera from where we managed another cycle ride. We hope to cycle from here as well. After a few nights there where we had wifi in the van we moved along the Algarve to mixed weather and some changes to the possiblilities of wild camping in one or ... read more
March 6th 2011
From Conil de la Frontera Now in Spain at the site near Cadiz where we stayed before heading to Morocco. We both felt a sense of relief on reaching Spanish soil and realised that we had been a little tense throughout the stay. Nothing major but rather a state of 'readiness' expecting to deal with unsought attentions. Clearly we stand out as rich outsiders and a source of goodies. Even as we left the port we were asked forcefully for a tip to get the papers sorted then for a pen and finally after the customs check Michael ejected a man trying to hide under the van! Although the security guy came over he did nothing to send him off the site. Having said all that the main impressions I am left with are positive and ... read more
March 2nd 2011
Exploring the South Highlights of our tour of the south of the High Atlas was a shortish stay at Tafraoute where we used the bike to visit some strange painted rocks out of town. This proved to be our most southerly stop and we then started our slow journey north to the ferry. We meant to skirt Agadir, rebuilt after the deverstating earthquake in 1962, but drove straight through the centre and up the coast. On to Essaouria a lovely resort of some age having been founded by the Phoenicians or earlier. A gull knocked over Lesley's wine glass while we were having a fish lunch as it dived for her food. We ate the food but left the plates early to move from the ogling gulls (and cats). Marrakech This city was a different type ... read more
February 16th 2011
Merzouga to Goulmima Leaving the camels and dunes at Merzouga we stopped first to see a factory and showrooms where the local fossil filled marble is worked. It is beautiful and especially striking when used for washstands and larger items. Between Erfoud and Goulmima we passed through many palmeries with their ingenious irrigation systems from the wadis and a few ksours or fortified villages. Goulmima was a typical small village and enjoyable as a stop over as it was well off the tourist trail. We looked around the old ksour without any hassle. Amazing that they are still inhabited. Just beaten earth floors and a warren of tunnel like alleys connecting cave like living spaces. All water has to be collected outside the walls, animals are kept in compounds just outside the wall and washing is ... read more
February 8th 2011
We've Reached The Sahara Shall sort the photos soon. We have now realised that the way to get the internet in the van (and thence Radio 4 etc) is to buy a dongle. And a month unlimited for £19 from Maroc Telecom which is fine for us as long as we have electricity for the computer. So here we are again. Crossing the Straights of Tangiers was ok if a bit confusing. The paperwork of the Moroccan state is wonderful and complex but I am sure helps them keep a tab on everyone. We meet police checkpoints fairly regularly though they wave us through quickly. High points so far are the Roman ruins of Volubilis near Meknes which was an interesting town, a confusing Fez with a woeful guide who wanted more money for us to ... read more
January 30th 2011
Found Somewhere a bit Warmer We almost didn't get off on time but, thanks to our Giles and friend Mike, we managed to mend our broken electrical step. Much thanks to them for working so quickly, the day before we were due to leave. And then Michael managed to break the valve to one of the wheels whilst attempting to take a dust cap off. This meant a call to the AA and then a trip to the tyre shop to get a new valve fitted ("We don't fit metal valves!"). So on Tuesday we made it to Folkestone to see Lesley's brother's family which was really good including an afternoon with Emma in town and a walk along the front. Then onto Dover, Calais, our friends in Evreux for a coffee stop and to our ... read more
January 18th 2011
Getting Ready Just a quick note to you to check if you want to receive these short reports. If you want us to no longer send them then let us know and we can delete you from the circulation list. No problem. For those staying with us we are now preparing the van for another trip south to some sunshine. We have recovered from Xmas and New Year (Both a first time for Thomas and Mia, from respectively Anne and Graham and Thomas and Caroline). And then we have had the marmalade making machine in the kitchen producing 85lbs in the last two weeks. But then we are free, apart from the Saints playing Notts County on Saturday, to start our journey. First we are calling on Lesley's brother's family in Folkestone before crossing on Wednesday. ... read more
April 26th 2010
A Different Country It was really easy with us being collected from the airport by Jen and Mark, the lovely people who own the motorhome we are going to be borrowing. They took us to their home near Rockingham where we were introduced to our home for the following three weeks. It is a converted Transit van, a bit smaller than ours and a bit smaller. We found it a bit poky in comparison. However, it works well and has all the comforts we shall need. Next day we set off to the local nudist club, Sunseekers Inc., based to the east of Perth in the hills right next to John Forrest National Park. A lovely setting with lots of friendly people. We enjoyed their sitting around at sunset, a sundowners meeting. A bit more ... read more
April 26th 2010
Back from touring Victoria We went to Echuca about 250 kms north of Melbourne. Strange as it seems this river port was the second busiest in Australia before the railways came to the interior of Victoria in the late 1800s. As is usual with these historic towns they thrived with great wealth being invested in the town but then suffered a sharp decline meaning that the old buildings remain as they looked in the old days. Thus the town has an olden feel souped up by the tourism industry. The government has also invested in facilities for tourists. And we found that situation in Echuca, Maldon, Bendigo and Ballarat. The first was built upon the wool trade. The others were all created by gold, lots of gold. We followed our gold tour with a visit to ... read more