Tuesday 7th March 2017
Apologies to all the people we promised to phone, email etc but we are having massive problems with communications. The trip of a lifetime started with the taxi arriving 15 minutes late and he did nothing to try to make up for lost time.
Next, on check in we were advised that our 40kg luggage limit (each) was over by a staggering 9kg.
Of course we were reluctant to part with any of it and were happy to pay for the additional 9kg until we found out it was going to cost us a cool $990.00.
Ugh!!! So there we were running late and having to remove items from our suitcases – how embarrassing.
The suitcases that we had packed so well now looked like a demolition sight.
The things left behind were mostly for our motorhome Ziggy – but what the heck – we could replace those in England.
The plane from Gold Coast to Sydney was held up for us while we were removing luggage and we were assured that it would be taken to our plane – we wondered if our luggage would arrive with us in London.
Things now had to get better – we hoped.
Our flights from Sydney to Dubai and then on to London after a short two hour stop over were just wonderful.
We befriended our French Steward Jeremy, who is a Sommelier from the Loire Valley.
He made the whole experience just wonderful.
He really looked after us and even gave us a list of contacts in vineyards in France and his mother who is the mayor in a town near Le Mans – said she would give us tickets – wow was Rob impressed.
Wednesday 8th March 2017
Landed at Heathrow – raining and cold – think we expected that.
How excited we were to see our first suitcase appear and then the other three.
Straight through customs and then picked up our Volvo rental at Hertz.
Off to Stafford now, about 3.5 hours north west of London to meet up with Michael Steers and Ann.
Michael is our contact in Stafford who assisted us with our purchase of Our Hymer 544 – Ziggy.
We had the most wonderful experience dealing with Michael throughout the many months before our trip.
He made sure everything for Ziggy was checked out and safe and even purchased items for us so we could take off immediately.
What a wonderful find Michael was and we would highly recommend him to any one wishing to purchase or sell a motorhome.
We spent the next 24 hours with Michael and Ann going over Ziggy and spending some wonderful hours talking and dining with them. – Friends for life now.
Spent £221 buying groceries and replacing items Qantas confiscated at Gold Coast airport.
Now to find a place to put everything. – We will probably change everything around 3 times before we are happy. – So many cupboards and so much space in our new home for the next two years.
Thursday & Friday 9th March, 2017
Off today on a farm stay just outside of Stafford .”Park Farm B & B”. – Here for two days to become fully acquainted with Ziggy. – We are parked in a beautiful green paddock with views to the farm house and stables on one side and trees and green everywhere on the other side – all to ourselves now.
Had dinner with Michael and Ann at Saracen Head Restaurant- lots of laughter and told lots of tall stories.
Friday night was our first home cooked dinner in Ziggy. – Put loads of weight on over last few days so need to get back to regular exercise and good wholesome fat free meals.
Saturday 11th March
Left the farm and headed for Wales to catch up with Phil and Kaye Davies – Spent the afternoon tasting some of the local beers and wine then went on a pub crawl.
They live in a beautiful little village – met with lots of the locals and friends of Phil & Kay. -Ton of fun again but couldn’t keep up with them and staggered home at a reasonable hour. They eventually came home around midnight – so glad we came home earlier.
Sunday 12th March
Hit the road after breakfast and headed south for Canterbury – just a stones through from Dover where we will take off for Europe in a couple of days.
Took the best part of the day to find our way back past the South east of London – got lost on so many roundabouts – think the UK must be the roundabout capital of the world.
Rob was absolutely exhausted when we finally parked for the night in the Dover Park and Ride.
Monday 13th March
Took the bus to down town Canterbury – stocked up on groceries and tried out our newly acquired credit and debit cards and tried to buy SIM cards.
Canterbury Cathedral was under renovation so couldn’t see it but looked just amazing from the outside.
We were very frustrated as only one of our credit cards worked but we couldn’t get cash out from our debit card.
Back to Ziggy and on line with our banks to sort out problem hopefully.
Decided to leave our SIM card purchase until we get to France as no-one we tried to get sim from could guarantee us they would operate in Europe.