Published: May 17th 2011May 4th 2011
The Major in Motcombe
What a beauty!! Jupiter (the car!) has been pimped too with added umphh...
Away in The Major
Five years and five weeks ago we wandered wide eyed into the Heathrow arrivals hall in the manner of Hugh Grant in “Love Actually”, direct from Lima and our year out in South America to be met by Simon’s Dad, Dave.
Bitten by the travel bug we had promised ourselves over numerous wine and steak dinners in the Southern Cone that life on the road was so good that we would aim for a “mini sabbatical” every 5 years or so to while away the ever increasing years until our retirements…
A week later in April 2006 and we were back at our jobs, doing much the same things as we had done before we left…even we couldn’t predict that within 12 months of stepping off the plane we would leave London, our home for 16 years, and set up a lovely life in Dorset with twin baby boys, and with our lives and heads in a tailspin.
Needless to say our 5 year plan went through radical revisions until by happy coincidence both of our companies introduced a sabbatical scheme and we found ourselves discussing the next “Big Trip” with two four year olds in tow.
Last time we went travelling we set off with 20kg luggage and 3 bags between us. This time the kit list is rather longer;
• Thomas and Miles
• Thomas and Miles’s huge amounts of stuff
• ‘Jupiter’ (ref Fireman Sam for the uninitiated) our trusty VW Touran bought two weeks before the twins were born with no more expectation from it than to put two baby car seats in the back and trundle around Dorset between toddler groups (and named after Fireman Sam’s Fire Engine as it is bright red) and which we are now relying on to pull us and the Major around Europe. We have beefed it up a bit in the manner of “pimp my ride” but are nervous about the longevity of the clutch.
• ‘The Major’ our (hopefully) trusty new Sprite Major 6 caravan purchased from Tilshead Caravans on a whim in February and collected just 3 weeks ago by two virgin caravanners. What a beauty.
• a spare pair of smalls for Simon and Claire – believe me there is no room for anything else as it would exceed our ‘MTPLM’ )maximum technially permissable laden mass - i.e weight!) - and I never aspired to knowing about such things.
• A guide-book of likely campsites around Europe, and a TomTom map which seems determined to take us through the least appropriate roads (ie narrow, precipitous drops, overhanging cliffs etc) on the continent.
As I write we are pretty much set to leave tomorrow, lots of thanks to all of you who have helped us out with childcare, itinerary suggestions, packing lists, send-off dinner parties and caravanning tips (hmmmm… the Nikki’s Porter and Cannon’s various suggestions of a bumper stickers saying “when I grow up I want to be Gypsy” [see Le Thor blog for why this wouldn’t have been a good idea…] or “honk if you can see this – I’ve lost my caravan” don’t count).
So join us as we set sail for a trip around Europe… the blog of our last trip has had 66,000 hits - we can’t guarantee anything like the level of attention to detail on this one, small people take up too much of our time and public wifi connections are too scarce in comparison – but we hope family and friends will enjoy it.