Motorhome Blogs by Members

Blogs written by Club Motorhome members.

Campsite Wardens - We Quit!

A long, tedious and thoroughly boring story about matters so petty you wouldn't believe led us to the point of saying 'Enough!' on Friday - so I won't go into minor details.

We're very fortunate to be doing this work by choice rather than necessity otherwise such an outcome would have left us in the lurch. We've actually enjoyed the job as previously posted and haven't minded helping out with whatever jobs were necessary to make the campsite work properly. The problem has been in the form of one of the other workers who is known to be a moaner and somewhat of a difficult character. Unfortunately we have had to share our duties with this person and have been regularly undermined in our efforts.

This culminated in an official (friendly) meeting to get the matter sorted over a cup of coffee and biscuits, at which the other party (and husband) walked out in a huff refusing to discuss any issues. Management were appalled apparently but not prepared to make any further efforts to resolve the issues.

Anyway, rather than continue to work in an unpleasant atmosphere which basically casted a cloud over this otherwise lovely environment we decided to be the ones to quit as the others were more senior and solidly installed in the warden's lodge and obviously weren't affected by their own behaviour - I guess we gave the management an easy way out.

We've been offered the opportunity to stay on 'camped' as long as we like but we've felt a couple of days is long enough and we're moving on tomorrow - a burden lifted!

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Traveller_HA5_3DOM
I just did not need to hear the small print. In my eyes anyone who can bring two lovely people like you (and digger) to leave was... Read More
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 11:06
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On the ferry to Tallin

We have finally left Helsinki after 4 days - longer than we had planned due to having to obtain a new water pump then find someone to fit it - no, not on the Mercedes, but in the habitation part of the motorhome.

It first went wrong when we were up near the Arctic Circle, but it turned out to be an unusual system - Whale submersible pump, which required the fresh water tank to be lowered in order to replace it (something we only established for certain after several emails to the manufacturer).  Two motorhome dealers in Rovaneimi said they didn't know about the system, one did offer to look at it but had no spare parts for it anyway.  We discovered, using the internet, that we could get a pump from a marine dealer, so we tried two when we were in Oulu, only to find that the pump would have to come from Helsinki - in 5 days including the weekend, so we decided we were best to carry on to there, get the pump, then find someone to fix it for us. Well we were lucky with that, because we stumbled upon a really helpful company and a real a 'diamond bloke' to do what turned out to be a pig of a job - and thank goodness he spoke English, as most, but not all do here.  Why did it fail after less than 2 years? Probably run 'dry' by previous owner, as they normally last 10 years  or so - some things you can't foresee.

Then, worst of all, after the pump was replaced we went off to fill the tank with water, and the external pump which is used on this system to fillthe tank would not work!  After the closest we have come to panicing, we tok some deep breaths and had (yet) another think - we figured that it must be the 12 volt supply, so Edward had a look under the 'van and found a connection, disturbed by the work that had been necessarily been done, which was broken.  So back to the friendly dealer who took it all apart and found that the connections, less than 2 years old, were badly corroded - no wonder they fell apart when disturbed to to the rest of the job!.  Very kindly, he didn't charge us for the extra work, saying it was part of he previous job - I couldn'y see many in UK doing that.  The new joints will be well protected by me wehn we get home!  Anyway, we are all up and running again now, so all is well

 

There is not much to photograph in Finland, except lakes and trees, but we loved the place; the weather has been superb, we were parked, for free, by a beach one mile from the centre of the city!
I have never been anywhere where cars, cyclists and pedestrians mix so calmly together.  We made good use of our bikes, and could cycle right through the middle of the city with no problems.  When there is no cycle path, but the road is busy, we rode on the pavement, carefully of course - no-one moaned - pedestrians just move to let you through, and we do the same for them.  To our mind it's a lovely city, with lots of smart building, both new and old, and it beats Liverpool by having not 2, but 3 cathedrals Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Lutheran (not sure what they are ding with such grandeur, but it is  relatively plain inside.
They also love american cars - lots of 50s and  60s cars around, all in excellent condition - and room on the roads to drive them
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Oulu

Is both a department and Finland's 5 largest city with a population of 200,000.  They have plenty of land, so it is well spread out with lots of space for everyone.  We are in a free car park 10 minutes walk from the town centre; it is 24 deg; Following the Finnish motorhomers, we put our chairs out to enjoy the view and had a cold beer from the fridge.  It doesn't get better than this!

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South into Finland

Just to prove that we did get to Nordkapp, here is the picture

So far, Finland is as promised - trees and lakes and one or two (only) (motheaten)reindeer.  We have arrived at Santa's base, Rovaneimi.  We passed his workshop just outside the town, but resisted the temptation to go in.  The long endless days must help Santa and his elves get all the work done in time for Christmas!

Yesterday was very warm - 24 deg max and sunshine till 2.00am when we finally turned in.  We have pulled into a campsite and had a busy time doing our washing and ironing - paying the price for only doing 'small things' for a month.

There has not been much to photograph so far in Finland except - you guess?!  So here is a picture of a very wide section of road on an otherwise two-way road with 100 miles between any significant town or village.

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Nordkapp!!

Yes, we have arrived at Nordkapp.  Haven't sorted out the photos here yet, so they will have to follow later.  There are some photos to catch up on:

Going to Norkapp in a motorhome is easy! There are a surprising number of cyclists making their way north too. We kept seeing this young man over a period of about a week - he was keeping pace with us! When we arrived at a ferry at the same time we went to talk to him, then had a good chat during the ferry crossing.  He is on his gap year and is, amongst other things, cycling the length of Norway!  That will be some achievement for his CV!

The roads in Norway are generally quite narrow, as they don't seem to like wasting tarmac.  When passing a lorry or coach, you must have your nearside wheel ON the white line.  The lorries and coaches are mostly very good and follow the nearside white line exactly (I should add that there is usually about 3 inches of tarmac beyond the white line and very often a 45 deg. slope after that).   Here is what happens when you get it wrong!

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NEILMAC
Enjoying your blog and it looks like a great trip!Photos are good too
Sunday, 23 June 2013 09:16
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Alta

We are in Alta, the northernmost town in Norway  (but not at 'the end' of Norway which continues for several hundred km yet).  There's not much of Alta, unlike Tromso which is a surprisingly big city with lots of industry.

We travelled along the national scenic route through Vesteralen and Senja, stopping on the island of Andoya to view the midnight sun.  The road there is on the west coast ocean-side of the mountains, so is an ideal spot to see the sun above the horizon - and it is surprising just how high it is, even at midnight.  It is also surprising, to us, just how much heat there is in the sun - we have not used any heating, day or 'night' for the last three days.

While we were watching the midnight sun we had whales 'playing' in the sea in front of us and the cuckoo singing behind us.

We have travelled on the E6 today, which is supposedly not a scenic route - well it looked like one to us!!  When we stopped at a particularly spectacular viewpoint we noticed that our bikes were a bit 'angled' on the bike-rack.  Closer examinaion showed that we had lost a couple of wing-nuts - shaken loose by the appalling temporary road surfaces through roadworks in otherwise generally good or not-bad roads.  We tied it up with some strong string and duct-tape (that essential repair-all equipment) and managed to find some nuts to fix it when we arrived here in Alta, where we also found a wifi; but as it is only 1mps we will not post any photos, so you'll have to take our words for it that the scenery still, after 3 weeks, continues to amaze and delight us.  I'll post some photos when we get a decent connection.

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Lofoten Islands

I am able to update the blog courtesy of a friendly free wifi from Leknes airport, somewhere in this unpromising (from a free wifi point of view only!) landscape in front of us where we are spending the night.  This may impinge upon the sensibilities of some of our readers - we apologies for any distress caused!

And here is the picture of the snow road which I was unable to post earlier

We crossed over from Bodo to Meskenes last night on the 00.45 ferry.  This had not been our plan, but with one ship was being serviced then one of the other two broke down, causing chaos at the ferry port, so we went for the easier option rather than wait indefinately.  We were glad we did, as sailing into the midnight sun was a very special experience.  We arrived on Lofoten at 03.30, and easiliy found a good resting spot at a place called A - yes, A.  It is a traditional fishing village which is now a museum, albeit a working one (a bit like our Ironbridge).  We visited A in the (late!) morning.

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We are in Bodo

15th June

We have arrived in Bodo!  On last blog, written earlier, I was unable to add the snow road photo, sorry about that IT is OK when it works.  We have now passed the Arctic Circle, and on the first day we had a barbeque! Yesterday the temperature reached 20 deg - amazing!

 

We are booked on a ferry to the Lofoton Islands at 00.45 - yes 00.45!  One ferry boat is out for routine service, and one of the other two has broken down, so the options were limited.

More later

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Beyond the Arctic Circle

11th June

 

There are not many wifi connections where we have been since the last short post from MacDonalds in Trondheim, and now, so far as our sat-nav is concerned, it is still the nearest one at some 351km away. It seems that you can get away from McDs if you come to the north of Norway! Though where else to find a handy free wifi? (well, sometimes for the price of a coffee!). When we find the answer we will post this blog update!

 

I am writing this at 10.30pm while parked at a beautiful rest-stop after our second day on the Rv17 scenic route. The sun is shining (of course) as it did for the first time last night(as opposed to 'dusk' going immediately to 'dawn' as it had for several nights previously. We are about 20 miles south of the Arctic Circle, and we can hear the cuckoo singing as we sit here; earlier we sat outside in the sunshine drinking a G&T. OK, we did have our jumpers on, but with the low humidity and no wind it is very surprisingly pleasant, and feels much warmer than 12 deg at home in 80% humidity. We are parked beside a beautiful fjord, with mountains on the other side and the sun still sparking on the water. Our location is shared by Swiss, Dutch, Finnish and Swedish motorhomers, with plenty of room to park out of each other's way.

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Moving up Norway

We have arrived in Trondheim! No posts for a while because we didn't find WiFi in the mountains.  All good with us and Sally, and with Norway.  We have seen some wonderful fjords,  waterfalls' ice fields, mountains - great scenery everywhere.

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