Friday, 20 June 2014

Back to Blighty – 2nd June 2014

I’m a couple of weeks behind on my posts and we’ll be off-grid for about a week so I’ll do an update now and “trickle” it out to you so that you don’t get too long a post.

Monday 2nd June - So getting back to Dover the first thing to remember was DRIVE ON THE LEFT.
We wild-camped the night in Folkestone while we took Iain’s brother and his wife to dinner to say thank-you for looking after our post while we were away.  It was surprising how little post we actually had, and of that how little of that was actually important. We also took the opportunity to do some banking and sorting out of some urgent post.

Then the next fixed plan was to go off to Seaford in East Sussex to visit Joy and Nick and from previous experience we thought we would stay a couple of days in Hastings on the way through to prepare ourselves for what we knew would be a heavy weekend.

The campsite in Hastings was very good with a pool  and gym (both an extra charge)and lots of statics. It was on the top of yet another hill and the ups and downs in Hastings were challenging. We understand that it can be a bit windy on the top of the hill when the weather isn’t too good. Hastings itself was really very interesting, I must have been there as a child but didn’t remember it. Firstly the top of the east cliffs is one big nature reserve with some lovely walks and the dog loved it.  The views were stunning,  and the weather was pretty good while we were there. Then thumbs up for the East Cliff Lift, it actually allowed dogs so that saved us a long walk down and even more difficult walk up again.  It’s actually the steepest cliff lift in the country, and Iain’s not much of a one for heights.  The old town itself was full of quaint streets and buildings and the seafront is scattered with old net stores which look like glorified beach huts.   The walk from the campsite was about 2 miles so not too strenuous but I wouldn’t have liked to have taken the bikes as I would have spent all my time pushing my bike back up the hill with the buggy in tow.  Of course when I go uphill and push, I do make the dog walk.  I’m not dragging her uphill as well as my bike and buggy.

East Cliff Lift

East Cliff with the lift station at the top (of course)

Net stores - it's great the way these have been preserved

View from the top of the East Cliff

I wonder how many people actually remember what these were for?

The campsite was however nowhere near anywhere, shops, newspapers etc so we were a bit stuck for supplies.  Before we left Albir we had cleared out our cupboards, particularly of tins that were out of date.  Some of them had just been shoved into the van  5 months before when we moved out of the house in a hurry.   The oldest out of date tin we found was some grapefruit segments with a best before date of 2004.  Well at the time we had a tin of corned beef that was just out of date, and whilst we thought about ditching it we knew that if we did, we would need it.  Well we did now.  Iain said it was a shame to use it as it had been to Ireland and Germany and France and all around England with us and he was rather attached to it.  Still it cooked up ok and stopped us from going hungry the first night.

The road out of the campsite was to be challenging.  When you arrive, you don’t know what you are letting yourself into, but then you have the time at the campsite to ponder on the return.  These roads were narrow and very steep.  We left the campsite and navigated the first bit ok but then we had to turn right down a steep hill.  And what did we find, parked cars all down one side, not a problem except that someone had illegally and inconsiderately parked on the double yellows on the other side.  There was no other way around so I stopped the van and Iain jumped out to see me through.  Now our van is left-hand drive and the impatient driver in the car behind wasn’t too happy that the driver had just left the van in the middle of the road and got out.  He started hooting at us, he must have been in a hurry, I do feel sorry for people in a hurry!!!!  I’ll be he felt a complete “id ten t” when he realised that it was actually the passenger who had got out.  We inched our way through with only inches to spare and we were on our way.

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