Posts From England

Vario steering, wrong side of the road (Rugby Truck Stop, England)

Journal entry for Thursday 20th Aug, 2015 (day 577, miles 16,054)

We were shocked this morning. Having been conditioned by the Iceland ferry's practice of please vacate your cabins two hours before docking we were shocked and more than a little disoriented. Not only did the ferry staff NOT ask us to leave our cabin before docking, but they also unload all commercial trucks before asking drivers of private vehicles to attend their vehicles. This means that we could have slept until almost the official private vehicle schedule docking time of 6:30am. to read the full post

Narrow boat virgins (Hillmorton, England)

Journal entry for Friday 21st Aug, 2015 (day 578, miles 16,054)

We had been a little concerned that the parking facilities at the canal boat depot at Rugby Wharf may not accommodate our truck so it was with some relief that we discovered, plenty of space, no low trees or structures and a bunch of laid-back people who seemed to have no issue with us parking a big yellow truck on their premises for a week. Phew! to read the full post

Sun (Priors Hardwick, England)

Journal entry for Saturday 22nd Aug, 2015 (day 579, miles 16,054)

Our first full day dawned fine, but cool. As we prepared breakfast we were visited by a large white swan who was very insistent, and persistent. We quickly deduced that feeding the canal water birds was a common pass-time of boaters and that the birds had come to expect this. Hence the swan was quite determined that we should provide food. to read the full post

Ride a cock horse (Banbury, England)

Journal entry for Sunday 23rd Aug, 2015 (day 580, miles 16,054)

Banbury is one of the few sizable towns along the Oxford Canal and we had known from the start that we were headed towards it. Hearing the name got Nina and I searching our memory for the words of a childhood nursery rhyme. It took us almost an entire day to drag up the words: to read the full post

Return journey (Boat, England)

Journal entry for Monday 24th Aug, 2015 (day 581, miles 16,054)

We travelled past Banbury today in generally rainy weather. There were some really pretty sections of canal but also some not-so-pretty sections of decrepit boats that have either been abandoned or are permanent housing. Some what unkindly we thought of some of these as canal-side slums. We even saw evidence of slum-lords at work. Along some sections it was evident that farmers had sold/leased a small section of canal front land to permanent boat dwellers. to read the full post

Return journey (Cropredy, England)

Journal entry for Tuesday 25th Aug, 2015 (day 582, miles 16,054)

We spent the day retracing our earlier route, lots of locks, bridges, other boats. Some nice farm land, loverly forests and the occassional canal boat "trailer park". But all in all a relaxing day. to read the full post

How to make a country house from a boat (Napton, England)

Journal entry for Wednesday 26th Aug, 2015 (day 583, miles 16,054)

We came across this unusual way (see photos) of making a country cottage. The recipe seems to be : to read the full post

Almost done (Rugby, England)

Journal entry for Thursday 27th Aug, 2015 (day 584, miles 16,054)

We spent the day in generally nice sunny weather working our way back into the neighbourhood of Rugby. About mid afternoon we decided to reward ourselves with a few beers in the garden of a comfortable, quant pub. to read the full post

Returning the boat (Blackmore Campground, England)

Journal entry for Friday 28th Aug, 2015 (day 585, miles 16,124)

We were underway before 7:00am this morning in order to cover the remaining few kilometers to the depot at Rugby Wharf before the deadline of 9:00am. We wanted to give ourselves plenty of time as this last little bit of the route required us to perform two major turns. The first of these was at the junction of the side channel to the depot where we had to do a full U-turn in order to approach from the correct direction, and the second was just before reaching the depot were we had to turn 180 degrees in order to reverse the boat into its dock. As I have noted earlier turning these boats is not easy as the boat is at least twice as long as the canal is wide and as such turns can only be undertaken at specific turning points. to read the full post

Rail strikes, bungee jumping and bus tickets (Blackmore Campground, England)

Journal entry for Saturday 29th Aug, 2015 (day 586, miles 16,124)

We thought today would be a nice restful day at Blackmore Campground with the only pressing chore being the need to find a train to London for tomorrow. After an hour or so on the internet we concluded that it was probably in our interest to go to the nearby town of Worcester to buy and pickup our tickets as it seemed rather complicated to buy and pickup tickets online. So that is what we did and after 30 minutes and GBP30 we walked into the ticket office at the Worcester station to be told The trains may be on strike, come back tomorrow and see if they are running. to read the full post

Bus to London (London, England)

Journal entry for Sunday 30th Aug, 2015 (day 587, miles 16,124)

The uncertainty over the trains had an impact on our bus and its driver this morning. There were only a few passengers waiting at Worcester when the bus arrived and a few of those did not have reservations and had to buy tickets from the driver. But unbeknown to the driver there were a lot waiting down the road at Cheltenham; enough to fill the bus. Thus unfortunately the driver, by selling tickets to those few without reservations, had overbooked the bus. This seemed to be a big deal to the driver and he talked about the problem off and on for the entire drive to Cheltenham and then paid out of his own pocket for those overbooked passengers to catch a train from Cheltenham to London. Amazing, we thought. to read the full post

Nina the solo tourist (London, England)

Journal entry for Monday 31st Aug, 2015 (day 589, miles 16,124)

Nina displayed her usual fortitude and set forth in the rain to make the most of the time in London and visited a number of sights, including Kensington Palace, The gates to Kensington Palace (still a shrine to Dianna), Kensington Gardens, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Sherlock Holmes Museum near Baker Street. I, on the other hand decided to take advantage of the good internet connection in the hotel and catch up on some chores that have been outstanding for a while. to read the full post

London tourists (London, England)

Journal entry for Tuesday 1st Sep, 2015 (day 589, miles 16,124)

We spent much of the morning on one of those hop on hop off bus tours of the city and confirmed that London traffic is indeed very slow. We complemented this with a lot of walking, a boat ride on the Thames and completed the day buying Nina a new rain jacket at one of London's Northface stores. to read the full post

Tourists again (London, England)

Journal entry for Wednesday 2nd Sep, 2015 (day 590, miles 16,124)

Better weather today and a new range of sights. Without doubt the highlights of the day were the Cabinet war rooms, and the changing of the Buckingham Palace Guards. to read the full post

Back to the camping ground (London, England)

Journal entry for Thursday 3rd Sep, 2015 (day 591, miles 16,124)

Our return bus journey was scheduled for 4:30 this afternoon which meant we had almost an entire day to us for sightseeing. We devoted this time to Westminster Abbey and the Imperial War Museum. to read the full post

SRMN Weekend (Blackmore, England)

Journal entry for Sunday 6th Sep, 2015 (day 594, miles 16,124)

We spent the weekend at the annual gathering of an organization called the Silk Route Motorcaravan network. The name is a bit misleading (at least from an Australian/US point of view) as the group is really about overlanding and collectively the group has vast experience traveling exotic (and not so exotic) parts of the world in all kinds of vehicle. I have known about this group for a number of years and have poured over their website, trip reports and forum in search of wisdom about vehicles and routes. So it was a great pleasure to finally meet the people behind the organization. It was an informative and inspirational weekend. to read the full post

Another manicure for Nina (Blackmore Campground, England)

Journal entry for Monday 7th Sep, 2015 (day 595, miles 16,124)

We spent the Monday following our SRMN weekend getting ready for the next chapter of our travels, and finishing up conversations from the weekend with members that stayed around over Sunday night. Oh, and did I mention, that Nina went on a journey of discovery via local bus to the near by town of Malvern to have her nails done. to read the full post

Carnarvon (Chester, England)

Journal entry for Wednesday 9th Sep, 2015 (day 597, miles 16,421)

A great sunny day, and a real treat for our quick trip through Snowdonia. We spent the morning in the forests around betws-y-coed, then up into the highlands of Snowdonia with its open moorland. The roads continued to be interesting, very narrow and bordered on each side by stone walls, leaving us only a few inches to squeeze past other traffic. to read the full post

Ferry bound (Tuxford, England)

Journal entry for Saturday 10th Oct, 2015 (day 628, miles 18,479)

The next few days will be traveling days as we head back to Europe by ferry, drop the truck with Erik in the Netherlands and fly to Dublin. So probably nothing worth reading. I will still make entries in the journal as a "matter of record". We made, for us, a big push today traveling over 200 miles and getting to a nice little country side campground just outside Tuxford. As you can see we are back in England. to read the full post

Blackwell town (Sudbury, England)

Journal entry for Sunday 11th Oct, 2015 (day 629, miles 18,618)

Another days driving brought us to a small campground in the town of Sudbury. Interestingly when we told the manager our name (Blackwell) he pointed out that the town was full of "Blackwells" and rattled off the names of a dozen locals who share our name. This was surprising because in my life time I have only met a very few other "Blackwells". to read the full post

The Chunnel, Rye and the Mermaid (Rye, England)

Journal entry for Sunday 28th May, 2017 (day 75, miles 74,366)

Saturday morning we were up early waiting in the square to be picked up by our son Brendon and his fiancé Jessica. We were off to England for a few days on the south coast at a town named Rye and for all of us it would be the first experience of the Channel-Tunnel. We did not really understand how the crossing was going to work so it was with great interest that we all observed the loading of vehicles onto the train that carries all passengers and vehicles through the tunnel. to read the full post