Saturday, February 25, 2006

Getting to Hilton (Nr Derby), or getting to anywhere new .....

Getting to the Motorhome dealers today made me think of our Sat.Nav. plans for our trip.

Now whilst our navigation with a map whilst driving is fairly good, it has also been known to cause more than the occasional argument. This I believe to be a genetic trait. Anyway today was no different, though unusually amicable.

I've been trying to work out for the last couple of weeks what is for us, the best affordable GPS based navigation system. The main choice was, a standalone GPS or a PDA based system.
As you do, I spent ages reading the alleged pros and cons of numerous systems before deciding that either approach was equally valid. Pricewise they are similar so I've opted for the PDA system.

Ebay last night was kind enough to provide a Bluetooth GPS and Navteq software for the whole of Europe for under £80. So once I find a Dell Axim X30 or X50 at the right price, there should be no more arguments.

Oh, and with the PDA's wifi and bluetooth we'll be able to use it as internet browser and allow it to send stuff via the phone to this blog. Costly but cool.


Headed down to near Derby today to have a look at yet more MH's.

We were hoping that they (Don Amott) would have one of the Autoroller garage models for us to have a look at. They didn't, but all was not lost as they did have a Ci Riviera 181 Garage and an Elnagh Marlin 65 Garage. Both of which have loads of storage plus a raised double bed above, though not as pokey as an overcab double.

Below - the Riviera's rear bed.

We reckon that the layout of these garage models are just what we are looking for.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Motorhome - Old or New ?

This weekend gone, we visited a number of Motorhome dealers with a view to deciding exactly which layout we would like for our forthcoming acommodation.

Previous visits to dealers had suggested that a rear kitchen type layout and a 4/5 berth would do the trick. This time though we gave a little more thought to the need for storage of our bikes and the kid's toys and concluded that something a bit larger, with a garage would be better.

The term garage is somewhat misleading really, think 1 by 1 metre times the width of the camper, basically room for the bikes out of sight of prying eyes.

Look at the pic below at the rear.
..and here is a front view while we're on the subject

The model is called the Autoroller Garage made by part of the Trigano group.

Quite clever really, as above the garage is a double bed.

Our original budget was for 10 - 15K, which we thought should locate a reasonable secondhand vehicle, though it seems that the campers with garages are not that common, especially in the UK. On the continent they are not so uncommon and even though they are more than the £15K, they are available in Germany, so much cheaper than over here.

Now I know the quality of the fittings will not be as good as the more expensive motorhomes, yet I'd much prefer a new or very nearly new import. to the 11 year old Hymer with 110K miles on the clock that the dealer had £16,500 on last Saturday.

If there is time at the weekend we'll try to look at one at a dealer over here

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Last Wall Papering Ever.

Skye and Tom have been shipped out to the Grandparents so that we could address the last of the major decorating.

I can't begin to tell you how much I HATE papering walls. Our bedroom has been showing part of it's plaster for as long as we have been in this house. I have papered most of the rest of the house, and this room was, until now more than I could face. Uneven walls, corners that aren't square, windows that aren't straight, lumps, the list goes on.

Anyway the offending wall has been done now, I've started to paint and it should be finshed tomorrow. Ann has been valiant in doing a number of small fiddly jobs today including stripping the paint from a door which I started some time ago.

So only one room to completely paint and a few other small jobs to do now.

We've even sold a couple of things on BIN on ebay whilst we have been industrious.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

....What about me ?

Sorry, here's your picture too.

Coal is yummy...

Don't leave your children unattended, even if they have had a bath earlier in the day.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Map

Here's a map showing very roughly where we may be going.

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Clearout begins

One of many bookcases that need emptying.

One of those days today, when you set out to do a number of things, and get very few of them done. The plan was to do some more ruthless tidying. Ended up sorting out my malfunctioning phone with the service provider for most of the morning.

Unrealistic expectations, or easily distracted.....

Ebay kindly emailed me the other day to inform of a cheap listing day on Thursday, so I've taken a few pictures, and started writing out the descriptions. I've already discovered a couple of books which list elsewhere for over $100.

Even more important I suppose is that I've junked some books that even a charity shop wouldn't want. I hate throwing books away, but it just seems the best thing to do. We have boxes that have not been emptied since we moved here over 3 years ago, something that won't be repeated again.

My auctions can be found here as from Thursday.

Hopefully we will not have too much stuff to put into storage when we leave here.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Technological breakthroughs

Just finished fixing the jackplugs on my laptop's charger lead which had come un-soldered. Soldering is something I do so rarely, for me it is a bit of a hit/miss affair. This time I seem to have done a better job than usual.

I've been looking at roaming Sim cards at
They seem to have a solution for staying in touch whilst abroad without spending a fortune with a UK SIM on calls, or buying a new SIM for each country. Only drawback is that data for my GSM card is not offered. V0d@f0ne charge over 10 quid a MB so I shan't be using that abroad. Haven't look into wifi hot spots yet, though no doubt that, or internet cafes will suffice for our internet use.

Whilst we are on about technology, I've decided that my Marin Attack Trail is coming along on our trip, taking preference over my Surly CrossCheck. Even though it is not my usual first choice bike, it is certainly the bike for big thrills when the terrain will allow it. Ann's taking her bike a Giant cyclo cross bike, Skye her trailer bike (her forthcoming birthday present) and Tom his Burley trailer.

We like bikes.

Transferred blog

Spent half the afternoon faffing about with Opera's blogging program. Seems to be rather hit and miss, as to allowing one to edit stuff previously posted.
No doubt there is a solution, but I can't be bothered spending anymore time looking for one.
Moved my previous posts to here.


Just fitted a new toilet seat. The old one's lid had bust in half. As you know the toilet seat lid is an essential allowing somewhere to sit when conversing with whoever is in the bath. Been to price up the paint with which you can cover up ceramic tiles. Probably going to cost 20 quid to do, though I reckon it'll be money well spent.

What's this to do with..........?

So what's this got to do with the "Road to Morocco"? Well I suppose not a great deal today as we're not going anywhere yet.
The priority at the moment is to finish decorating our house, get it on the market, and sold.
Only then will we be hitting the road.

Here's a picture of the proposed expeditions youngest member.

Some Progress at last

Spent most of the weekend decorating the bathroom, and obliterating the mural in the kids bedroom. Chucked out several bags of rubbish also.

Not all work though. Went for a nice meal this afternoon.