Monday, 10 September 2012

A Visit to "The Sheppy Show!"

This weekend we decided a trip to the motorhome show at Shepton Mallet was called for. Armed with our reduced admission ticket from the Caravan Club mag ( 2 for a tenner) we set out. We decided Billie would stay at home, as we have had wet and horrible experiences at the show in the past.

In order to rest our "little grey cells" we took a shopping list.

  • Find out about Wifi for Billie. We wondered if Sophie and Adam  ( Motorhome Wifi) would be at the show?
  • Find out about "solar panels", Vanbitz?
  • Look at cab carpets.
  • A new updated, colour co-ordinated easy clean tablecloth (  we can't only look at expensive things can we?)
  • A new travel kettle ( possibly)
  • A storage bag for the silver screens.
  • Anything else "exciting."
The day was beautiful as we set off for Shepton, a good day for a motor show. As we arrived, the first thing that struck us was how quiet it all seemed. The car parking field was not as full as we have seen it. Even the camping area was not as full as usual. We quickly got into show mode, Den setting off at full speed, me lagging behind and looking at things! The sun beamed down. We looked at all the jolly campers and were glad we weren't joining them. We love going away in our motorhome, but for peace and tranquility, not display! Still, horses for courses.

As we worked our way down the first row of stalls we spotted Adam and Sophie and "Motorhome Wifi" perfect!  We spent a few minutes talking about our needs. We want to be able to pick up Wifi in the van usually when we are on campsites. We usually take our ipads and don't bother with the laptop as it's so big to store. We decided on the "I Boost" system with a larger booster, so we could pick up signals that were further away. Paid our money and ordered the system.

Sophie also explained about the "Fon " system so we could pick up more signals, for £36 it seemed a brilliant idea.  We'll update the blog with the outcomes after playing with the new setup, which hopefully will arrive later this week. First item on the list sorted!

Solar panels next. We found the "Vanbitz" stall and spent a worthwhile ten minutes going over the possibilities of "solar panels". We were given all the info we needed. The outcome is that we need to decide exactly when and how we want extra power. Solar panels will not provide unending energy for free but will supplement our existing system. All we need to do now is work out whether we want to spend the cash. The next step for us ,is to have a second battery fitted and we will probably get Chipping Sodbury Caravans to do that first. Still Vanbitz as usual were most helpful. Further developments will be reported on in due course.

Following on a liquid lunch in the local bar, well a glass of wine and half of lager, we bought the tablecloth and the bag for the silver screens. The travel kettle we decided we would buy in John Lewis. The show was still relatively quiet, our feet were killing us, so we set off for home. All in all a pleasant interlude.

Was the trip to Sheppy worthwhile? Well it passed a sunny afternoon and we got the wifi sorted. In terms of vans, lots of the bigger dealers were not around and we fancied there were fewer stalls than usual. We are still pleased with our Billie and can't see ourselves changing him for a few years. All we need to do now is get out and about in him a bit more. Job for next week, book a ferry crossing for July 2013!

Now where shall we go next week??

Monday, 3 September 2012

Out and About in Somerset

Just back from a great weekend in Somerset. We stayed at the Wells Holiday Park just outside the City of Wells near Wookey Hole.

Great little campsite, very well kept with super clean loos and hot showers.

The journey there was slightly fraught ! Fine 'till we got through Cheddar and then the A371, was the road from hell. Billie was quite happy until the road became increasingly more bendy and narrow. It is an "A" road and we did follow the directions on the campsite website but it was tight in places. Just don't be tempted to follow the sat nav! A big "star" badge for Den, I was just glad he did the driving. The final insult, was we took the wrong turning into the site and nearly grounded Billie on the speed hump. I jumped out and held up the traffic while Den reversed back out onto the main road........ we had arrived, a large drink called for.

The campsite was in a great spot, easy to fill up the water and good access ( using the right gate). We were on a tarmac hard standing. The site was not too full but as the evening went on there were lots of new arrivals. An "adults only" site so fairly quiet. I had taken enough food for the weekend so we had a leisurely meal, a few drinks and a comfy night sleep.

The weather god was in a good mood! We took a 20 minute stroll into Wells and had a lovely morning looking around the market, which was really one of the best ones we have seen. Fabulous farmer's products, cheese, sausages and of course Somerset Cider. Wells was busy, but a great place to walk around. The cathedral is really worth a look, we didn't go round the Bishop's Palace this time, as only the grounds were open. Wells is somewhere we will be returning to again, soon.

After a leisurely drink in a local pub we strolled back to the campsite, had lunch and then walked up to Wookey Hole. Another, lovely ( if somewhat hilly) stroll about 1.5miles from the campsite, at £32 for two adult tickets, we did not bother going into the complex but enjoyed the sunshine and the stroll back. At £49 for a family ticket , we were amazed that anyone went in!! No nice pubs near Wookey Hole, so back to finish the white wine and watch the X Factor, we live life to the full!!!

In all a very (nearly) relaxing weekend break ( except for getting there,) we drove home on Sunday through Glastonbury and then the motorway, further to drive but less stressful! A place we will add to our list of favourites and  visit again very soon.

Next weekend off to the Motorhome Show at Shepton Mallett, without Billie!