Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".

Friday, 8 September 2017

Bailey unicorn III Seville

We have just bought a caravan. A slight surprise as we always thought we were 'campervan' types and that was our retirement dream. But, after careful reflection, we decided a caravan would be best for us and the type of travel we want to do. Of course, my dreams of towing Arwen behind the van to far flung destinations just took a major hit but life is full of compromises and I can still take Arwen to these places and merely camp on board her instead. It will of course, be without 'her-indoors'. She loves the outdoors but doesn't do tents, all the result of a promise made which failed to live up to its intentions......I promised the Vendee in France would be wall to wall sunshine with great beaches and pine forests in August. So we went camping. It turned out to be wall to wall rain, gales and floods. And around 4" of water around the tent. Don't ask about inside!  She forgave me but she has never been in a tent since. That was some 15 years ago.  Yet she has slummed it in some horrendous backpacking hostels and lodges across Central America since then with a smile and good will.........go figure.

Our reasons for getting a caravan are simple really. We tend to base ourselves for a week at a time at different places before we move on. We like to get under the skin of a place. There is nothing wrong with a camper and, in fact if someone offered me a free VW camper van, I'd bite their hand off. The issue is we saw so many campervans, large and small, get themselves stuck in Sicily; or restricted on where they could do in Cornwall and Pembrokeshire. We felt every time you wanted to go somewhere you'd have to sort the van before leaving. Yes we could tow a car behind and carry bikes but we came to the view that we liked the flexibility of having a 4 x 4 car, the bigger space interior of the van and awning etc etc. To each their own I guess.

We do plan on towing the van down to the Falmouth area next early summer and then popping back up for Arwen and basing ourselves down there for a fortnight or so sailing the helford etc. Her- indoors is up for that.

Caravanning is so new to us and there has been so much to take on board, from storage sites to insurance, from motor movers toAlko safety features......mind boggling stuff but it has kept me busy in my first week of retirement.

I will blog more about our caravan experiences as we embark upon this new adventure. It won't overshadow adventures in Arwen but I probably will start a new blog about our travels, caravanning, etc on a new site and keep this one just for adventures with Arwen and my wood working projects. I'm rather attached to this blog. It has been going a long time and although I doubt there is much of substance on it, it has been my online diary of my sailing adventures in a boat 'wot I made' for many years. It, along with the YouTube channel have huge sentimental value.

For the record, the caravan is a Bailey Unicorn III Seville model, spacious, tasteful (as her-indoors likes to point out) and about as big as we can tow on our car. Our car was called 'Zebedee'. So there was only one name for the caravan and no it wasn't 'Brian'. We felt our caravan was a 'Florence', 'Florrie' for short.

Ah the good old days of the BBC. They don't make them like that any more. How sad. 


Bursledon Blogger said...

Sounds like a good plan Steve, not sure about the separate blog - I'd certainly be more than happy to hear about your travels here as well as sailing.

We're in similar dilemma - how do we best use top box which means we can't carry canoes and all the camping and kayak gear which won't fit in the car, bikes on the back but then we can't tow a boat and so it goes on


Anonymous said...

You and "her-indoors" will love the caravan Steve. We've had ours for four years now and it really is fab. Like you we originally thought about a campervan so that we could tow a boat, but decided the caravan was more practical for holidaying.

We have just been near Falmouth for a week and it was delightful. Stayed in St Just in Roseland - Trethem Mill Touring Park. It's a great site just five minutes from St Mawes.

Hope you enjoy your caravanning as much as we do!

steve said...

Max - the bikes! yep that is the big problem and likewise, the canoe I intend building - it will all have to go on the roof somehow but I've yet to work that out. As for the separate blog - I want to move across to wordpress and my own domain. I cant copy all this blog across so options are a) archive this one and start it anew on the new blog with a link to these archived pages b) keep this blog going for Arwen and update it as currently but just post an update on notice on the new blog c) keep this blog and just post travels etc on this one. I am least in favour of option C - I want a different set of menu headings and greater flexibility than I currently get here

Decisions, decisions. But I'm not rushing into anything - plenty of time to sit and ponder.

steve said...

thanks for the inspiration Bob and yes that was the campsite we had in mind. Just done our first caravan trip - a quick test run locally to Tavistock this week. Juts posted new blog update about it - loved it!