Bitton again...

 

Bitton again...

 


Absinthe is due an MOT and service before we head to France so we'd once again booked into Knight's Folly at Bitton for a few days.

First, though, was a trip to Huddersfield to finally take advantage of a Sleepover Auction prize donated by Tim Marsden of St Andrew's Motors, which we'd won in May. Tim had offered a full internal and external valet by the people who prepare his own van, Ronnie, and also the cars in his showroom. We dropped Absinthe off on Friday and went back on Saturday to collect her.



What a transformation - from a dirty van to one that was gleaming in the sunshine - they'd done a great job and just in time for our trip with the Brazilianvwbay crew to the Ile de Re.




We even managed to get back across the Pennines without any rain to get her dirty - although the heavens did open later when she was parked on the drive.

We set off around 11.30am on Sunday, to drive to Bitton - there were the usual speed restrictions on the M6 and heavy roadworks traffic at the start of the M5 but we've had worse journeys. As we got close to Bristol there was a tremendous thunderstorm and it was still raining heavily when we got to the site around 4.30pm.



We've been coming to Knight's Folly for a few years now and the site has gradually developed as Julie and Victor are constantly improving the facilities. This year there's a lovely new shower and toilet block - I particularly liked the colour of the doors inside - can you guess why?

The new shower and toilet block

What a lovely colour they've chosen for the doors...



On Monday we were up early to drive the 20 minutes to Yate for Absinthe's service and MOT at Danbury. Once we'd handed her over we walked back into Yate and caught the train to Gloucester to meet up with Gabbie who drove over from her house in Cheltenham.


It was great to see her and to have breakfast outside in the recently refurbished area of Gloucester docks. If you're in the area it's well worth a visit.





We caught the train back to Yate and walked to Danbury where we bumped into our friend (and ex-Brazilian owner) Chris, on his fantastic Triumph Thruxton. It was great to catch up (and to learn that he'd got married - massive congratulations to him and Karen). I thought I caught a glimpse in his eye that said, "I need another Kombi" - I'd say, "watch this space..."




There's still plenty of choice for those who'd like to buy a VW T2c from Danbury, as you can see from their forecourt.


I think we'll stick with this one though:



The MOT was passed with no advisories (hurray!) so we drove back to the site (via the fish and chip shop) and chilled at the van, before driving home on Tuesday morning. A successful weekend, ahead of this year's big adventure to France.

Look out soon for a re-designed Blog - let's hope I can get to grips with Wordpress before we get back from our holiday...

There's a full set of photos here: FLICKR







Camperjam 2017



Camperjam 2017



This was our 5th Camperjam (we missed last year) and it was probably the best, through a combination of good weather, a good state of mind and good friends from the Brazilianvwbay Forum.

It was the first time we'd camped in the "Home is where you Park it" section rather than in Club camping because I was meant to have been going sailing with a friend, in Scotland, but some things got in the way of that, so we managed to buy some tickets at the last minute from a chap on Facebook. We were rewarded with a brilliant weekend of sun, fun and cider...




The drive down was as bad as ever - it's only 90 miles to Weston Park from home but it still took us 3 hours, thanks once again to major hold ups on my nemesis, the M6 Motorway.

Trying to choose a pitch when there aren't any restrictions is quite weird - normally we fit ourselves into the Club's allocated space in Club Camping but this time we could park anyway - the choice is tempered by the distance to walk down to the showground and the trek to the nearest toilets!


The field really filled up over the weekend with very little space between pitches - I did warn the chap in the yellow T2 behind us about my snoring but he said he was prepared to risk it.


We wandered over to Club Camping to catch up with our friends then headed down to the main show area for a while. The theme for Friday night was Party Hats and we'd done our best at short notice.


It turned quite cool on Friday evening but Saturday broke with bright sunshine and the promise of a lovely day. We chilled for a while and grabbed some breakfast before going back down to wander round the traders stalls and to catch up with the Glawning team (Glawning.com) and Ben from Dbeilt Trailers (Dbeilt.co.uk). Our friend Sophie was also trading (Sophie's Attic) - here's hoping they all had a profitable weekend.




We had some great paella from one of the food stalls then grabbed a cider from the bar before sitting in the sun, first with Alan and Gill and then with Claire and Daz - there are definitely worse places to be on a Saturday afternoon.










After a short break back at the van, we went back over to Club Camping for a bottle of fizz to celebrate Alan's big birthday and a giggle with good friends, before everyone headed down to the entertainment tent for some great live sets and more cider for me.




Birthday Boy, Alan












video

The walk back to the van later was interesting - I may have had one gulp of cider too many - but we made it and I slept as well as our neighbour had during the day.


We'd bought a new table top from one of the stalls but their payment machine couldn't get enough signal, so I'd managed to PayPal the money from my phone on Saturday evening - we walked back down to collect it on Sunday morning - if anything it was hotter than Saturday, perfect weather for a festival and good practice for our upcoming trip to France.

We packed everything away and drove up to Club camping to say our goodbyes - the next time we see some of our friends will be in France on the Kombi Kaper to the Ile de Re - we can't wait.

We avoided most of the M6 going back by taking the scenic route and stopping at the Black Dog Pub just outside Chester for lunch, so the drive back wasn't anywhere near as bad as the oen there.

 

I really think this was the best Camperjam we've attended - will we be back next year? almost certainly... 

There's a full set of photos here: FLICKR


Things we've learned:


Sometimes, booking events at the last minute can be as good as planning them months in advance
Sunshine will put a smile on everyone's face
I need to learn to love the M6
Some people think that the invisibe forces that pull magnets together are amazing - personally, I can't see the attraction.
Other people just want to put magnets all over their bodies - they can be a funny lot, those Brazilian Owners...