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Published: September 1st 2013
Only the Victorians could build something like this
Bank Holiday Monday and it really is countdown to the trip. Suzy's cupboards have been emptied, cleaned and refilled with reading and puzzle books for the trip, paper for writing on and anything else you can imagine you would need in a motorhome. The cooker has been cleaned, the fridge tidied out and some provisions put in ready for the off. Essentials, coffee, tea and milk plus beer and wine all in.
She has had a well deserved wash and the dust of the summer cleaned off her. The last minute cleaning of the house, last minute washing of the clothes have all been completed and clothes have been moved from the house into Suzy. All we need now is to get round to Thursday afternoon and the off.
Money ordered and we have a stock of euros courtesy of the Caravan Club which provide an excellent money ordering service. It doesnt matter which currency you order on line and it pops through the letter box within a couple of days. The car is MOT'd, taxed and insured - all jobs that needed to be completed before we set off and the house and building contents insurances sorted. Why
is it all these types of things fall due when you are out of the country?
A new computer purchased. The old one died and you cannot go abroad without a computer can you? The weather is good again after a brief spell of poor weather. The grass needs cutting - a job for tomorrow and the garden has been given a quick once over. The nights are well and truly drawing in.
Tuesday- the last of the years Bank Holidays gone. The only ones left now are over Christmas. The grass has been cut and the last minute shopping done. The fridge full. Only 2 nights to go now.
We cant wait to get on the road again. Last minute jobs will need to be done but we counting the days down now
Thursday and it’s D Day. Suzy is up and ready, all filled with water, food and everything we need to last us over our holiday. We woke early. Glenn to continue with the last minute preparations and me a morning at work. The day dragged and I couldn’t wait to get on the road again.
We left at 3.30 with the
plan of staying overnight at Chapel Lane Caravan Site a camping club site in Wythall, Nr Solihull in Warwickshire. This would take us 2 and a half hours and hopefully we wouldn’t hit the traffic. Our journey starts in our first country Wales and we hit the road and head for the first change of county – the county borough of Wrexham. The moorlands on either side of the road changing colour from green to purple as the heather starts to colour up. The trees still green. I guess that they will be bronzed by the time we return home.
Suzy ate up the miles as we entered England and Shropshire, around Oswestry, the Severn and Shrewsbury. Ever onward through to Telford. Roadworks have appeared along the road. It is hard to tell sometimes what exactly is going on but it was obvious that the traffic was beginning to build up. The M6 came in to view and with it the signs advising us that the speed limit was dropping down from 70 to 60 and that queues were likely. Overhead cameras monitored speed as it dropped to 50 and then 40. The roadworks were still there on the
ironwork detail to the door
M6 and it was hard to see what had changed since we last drove down the road in May. The move to managed motorway was taken a long time to achieve and it looked as if it would still be going on through to 2014.
Thistles all gone over, yellow Ragwort and the remains of Rose Bay Willow Herb lined the road until we reached the outskirts of Birmingham and ticked the next county off - Warwickshire. We always feel that we know the area well, the gasworks with the circular gasholders, the views of Birmingham, Walsall and West Bromwich Albion Football grounds.
And on to a small piece of Worcestershire before coming back into Warwickshire.
The caravan site is just off the M5 motorway down a country lane and aptly named Chapel Lane CC site. It is rural and has a bus stop outside with a regular service to Solihull and a motor museum just at the end of the road. The chapel at the end of the road looked Gothic full of beautiful design features on the doors, wrought iron and pretty brickwork in yellow and purple engineering bricks. The chapel is no longer in
Our first evening
use and has been converted to commercial use but there are still lovely gardens all around and graves in situ.
The site has ample wide spaces both hard standing and grass and was quiet when we arrived at 6.00. The office had closed but there was a bell to ring to alert the warden of your arrival. The cost was £24 per night and we paid up front as we wanted to leave before the office opened at 9.30. We needed an early start to get down to the tunnel and had we waited until they opened there would have been little point in coming down the night before. The complex is gated with a key to open the barriers. Phone booths are on site and WiFi is available although we didn’t use it. I guess there was a charge but we were too late to ask about it. The ablutions blocks of which there were two were clean and tidy. The washing area looked new with lighting that comes on automatically. There is a small shop on site with basics of chemical cleaning fluid. A friendly site we certainly would use again. Tomorrow it’s La Belle France.
The final jobs before setting off were washing pots in the new washing block which had nicely cleaned sinks although only two of them and lights that were movement activated. Electricity cable removed, gas switched off, barrier opened and key dropped through the letter box and we were good to go.
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