Saturday, 24 August 2013

A month at home

Monday 29th July 2013
We are currently on a ferry to the Netherlands after spending four amazing weeks at home. Even though we were only away in the van for two months it felt like a lot longer as we were living a much slower pace of life than we were running around in the Alps. There were two big events happening in our lives in July that we didn't want to miss out on and having never lived in a van before we thought two months was a conveniently good length of time for the testing out period before we could go home and see if it was right for us.
The two things we wanted to come back for were my dads 50th birthday and Global Gathering, we already had our 5th year tickets so had to attend! It was also my brothers 17th birthday, my aunties 60th and my dad is a tripet so they were having a big joint 50th. We came back a few weeks early so we could see the rest of our friends and family too.

Chilling with my family and my brother's 17th

Another thing we squeezed into these few weeks is that we bought a new van! The old Smurf Mobile / Blue Beast / Betty Blue van was awesome and we had no problems with it (except our ditch incident) but we realised we need something different having lived in it. With winter coming up and us thinking about maybe taking the van to the Alps when it's colder we would need a van with insulation and heating. We also would have liked a better living arrangement layout as if we wanted to sit down we always had to sit on the bed and there was only room for one person to be stood up doing anything at one time. We wanted to upgrade slightly from our self converted van to an oldish coach built, small motorhome. 

Our new van in the Alps (in the fuuuture)
We didn't have long for any buying or selling but luckily we found just what we needed and within our price range and the old van sold quickly on eBay. I will miss that old Suzie Blue! ;( We now have an 1989 Ford Auto-Sleeper Legend. A small motorhome with a double bed above the cab (Adam finds a little claustrophobic, I find snuggly and cave like), a toilet, shower, tiny kitchen area, heating and a boiler. Woop. We fitted a 120 watt solar panel as well which is slightly bigger than we had on the last van.
My cousin, sister and I ready to partaay
My dad with his triplet sisters
Our first roadtrip in the new van was up to County Durham for my dads birthday. He has a massive family (he was one of eleven kids) and that's where most of them still live. We stayed at my cousins house and the party was in a club hall with a cheesy disco. After a few vodkas there were a lot of of moves being thrown.  We had a big BBQ the next day and it was really nice to see everyone. I have a lot of family up there that I don't see very often, living hundreds of miles south. We also took a walk up to a massive reservoir and waterfall nearby and had a really hot day at Derwent Water in the Lake District. 
Our next stop was Statford upon Avon for Global Gathering (with a quick overnight stop in Wales, boring story involving gas cannisters but lovely scenery). All I can say about Global is that it was as epic as it is every year :) It was boiling hot the first day and monsooned the second but every bit was great. Even when our tent flooded the last night and we had to trudge through the mud in the early hours to get to our van. We slept in the carpark a bit into the afternoon where we then had to make our way straight over to the ferry port in Newhaven to get to the Hook of Holland in the Netherlands for a very different kind of festival called OHM in a few days.

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