Rewind was great, three vans rendezvoused close by to Henley and convoyed into the festival. Mothership provided breakfasts, cold drinks and phone charging for the weekend. Charlie was with us, so it gave us a chance to check that the jump seat works ok. This ended up an expensive option for the baby Alpa when we specified it, but carrying passengers was always a must have option for us.
The inverter and the new solar controller are working great, our voltage on leaving the festival was higher than our arrival, which is looking good for crossing the channel in the next week or so.
This is ‘Prewind’ – the few days build up of excitement before Rewind, the 80’s festival. This week our wonderful Dethleffs dealers, Pullingers, sorted all our outstanding niggles, so we are happy campers.
So we now have a 2KVA Inverter fitted and the laptop runs just fine – very low current draw through the inverter. It also means we can run the silly things that you end up needing, an iron, hair clippers, coffee machine etc!
Also the solar panels are now pumping out 15 amps in bright sunlight – thanks to a new solar controller. Thanks to Barrie and the team, we are all set for off grid adventures! (https://pullingers.co.uk/).
While Pullingers sorted the inverter and solar panels we took a quick visit to the Colne Valley Railway who had steam running. They only have a mile of track, but it’s a great couple of hours. http://www.colnevalleyrailway.co.uk/
Just in case you do want to know where we are, here is a link to a handy map that shows roughly where we are and where we’ve been:https://www.turbotas.co.uk/webapps/Locator/map.php
This is pretty rough and ready at the moment, but we might improve if it’s useful! You can’t really use this to steal the beast because it only shows locations that we decide to publish. We built this by reverse engineering the anti theft/tracking device data.
It’ll be interesting to see how accurate this is as we head overseas. We don’t want to tell you what brand of device is fitted as they were spectacularly unhelpful and would not even give us a manual for the dealer fitted option. The only interaction we have had is a bill for the tracking and a phone number if the vehicle is stolen – that’s it basically!
Feel free to post a comment if you think it’s great/awful or with feature suggestions!
Monday 9th August and the post festival blues kick in. We didn’t want to come straight home – that seems like a waste of a day, so we visited the closest National Trust property – Hinton Ampner. A great couple of hours strolling around, scoffing delicious ice cream and eating expensive sandwiches. Interesting Country house.
We got off to a shaky start though: Campervan drivers beware, the gate is really narrow and not very tall! We couldn’t fit so had to phone up and get the alternative parking arrangements that coaches use. We ended up parked right in front of the house. A reminder that for much of our european travels, we need to research our day trips and make sure we can park! https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hinton-ampner
We started a multi day adventure on Sunday 29th July, beginning with a nice trip down to the south coast and three nights at Parley Glade – a C&C Certificated Site near Bournemouth (https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/dorset/ferndown/parleyglade) .
T was able to work Monday and Tuesday, so it was a good test that all the tech worked as it should. The site was nice and quiet and had great cell phone coverage! It feels odd sitting in a campervan, but still being part of the rat-race.
We met the site wardens and had a great chat with them about the good old days! The only thing to watch for at Parley Glade is the Bournemouth Airport flight line. Didn’t bother us – we’ve lived near Gatwick for a long time!
On Monday, dropped Charlie at Studland Bay for his volunteering week on Brownsea Island.
Wednesday August 1st and it’s Festival time! Leaving Parley Glade, It’s two quick stops, one at Bournemouth Aviation Museum and another high up on the hills overlooking the Solent at Fort Nelson – and then it’s off to Wickham.
The Aviation museum is great. It was saved from closure a few years ago when it looked like redeveloping the airport would put an end to it, but a small parcel of land was found over the road and the museum was saved.
There are a few whole aircraft and a few fuselage sections – probably 20 aircraft in all. What is pretty awesome about Bournemouth is that most of the aircraft can be clambered into, so it’s a hands on experience. It was a great day to visit as it was not at all busy and a couple of hours was blissfully spent clambering in and out of aircraft like the Avro Vulcan and flicking various levers and switches and just generally appreciating what a bugger warbirds must be to fly. (https://www.aviation-museum.co.uk/)
Multi-vanning into a festival is much easier if you meet up a few KM away and arrive together.
So it was a quick slog over to Fort Nelson for the meetup for Wickham. Fort Nelson is a Victorian fort set in 19 acres of fortifications and secret underground tunnels and on top of a big hill overlooking the Solent (https://royalarmouries.org/venue/fort-nelson/). Parking is £3 and it’s free to get into the fort – yes, free! There is a good selection of modern and ancient artillery pieces including a couple of sections of Saddams supergun.
Wednesday 1st August and both campervans head to Wickham from Fort Nelson. We did Wickham two years ago and we were instant fans. It is a relatively small festival with two main tented stages and a couple of smaller stages. Less than 10,000 people.
Highlights for us were Steve Harley, Squeeze, Richard Thompson, Black Kat Boppers and of course our favorite Gerry Colvin. The Undertones were also great but reminded us that we don’t know many of their songs.
Ranty comedian Jonathan Pye was something to behold. Selina bumped into an ex work colleague and Toby bumped into an old friend not seen for 20 years, so it was a great social weekend too! We only have one festival left and then we will get across la Manche as fast as we can!