Endings and Beginnings


Picture of Vince
My view as I write. Such a handsome boy!

Oh dear. This seems to be a bit of a habit. That thing where I crank up the blogging engine to set up a new trip. Then realise I didn’t finish off the last one, sorry. Again. So, er… endings and beginnings.

Last time, wayyyyyy back in December last year, we were gathering our thoughts after a different kind of break; travels without Vince in Spain. We’d rented an apartment in an apart-hotel in Denia for a month and taken the car as it was so much cheaper than doing the long crossing in Vince.

We’ve had – ahem – plenty of time since to think about this type of break versus travelling in the big fella. And for the moment our thoughts are that it’s just…different. On the plus side you can really get to know a place by staying longer than we would in Vince. There’s more room to spread out and a lot can be said for plentiful hot water and roomy showers! 

Palm trees in the sunshine
Dénia beach view

Exploring in our own car was also a plus as I could hear the radio or podcasts without them being drowned out by rattling crockery and bouncing suspension. Vince really is a noisy fella it has to be said.

On the negative side it feels less like an adventure, and you do have to be careful about where you choose to go as you can’t just up sticks and move on if you don’t like it. Or if you get bored. Fortunately there was plenty to do and see around Denia so that wasn’t an issue, this time. 

It’s not an either/or situation yet. We’ll probably do something similar this winter but most likely by flying and renting a car. It’s great to be in your own familiar vehicle but it did put a lot of miles on the clock. Best of all though, we’ll avoid the looong bumpy crossing over the Bay of Biscay. My stomach still lurches every time I think of it, and the extra 12hrs on board we had in December sailing round the storm.

Cooking a steak in Vince
Back in my happy place – cooking a steak dinner in Vince last night 🙂

I’m writing this in my favourite camper chair, with a cup of Tetley’s by my side in French France. We’ve just arrived in Arleux, about 70 miles from the Belgian border. We left the UK on the third of June, just two days ago. I’ll fill you in on our enjoyable stop in Arras, and our travel plans in the next post.

It’s been radio silence for quite a while now, but since our last adventure we’ve been and went and done it again. We sold our apartment and bought a new build house five miles up the road in Skipton.

Living in the area for nearly four years after our move from Scotland has convinced us that this is where we want to be. But apartment life wasn’t quite right for us; we wanted our own four walls and a bit of garden for grandkids and grand-dogs. The only problem we had was that our new build wouldn’t be ready until the end of March, but our buyers wanted to move in early February.

Vince to the rescue – again! Regular readers might remember that we had the same situation in 2017 when we lived in Vince for nearly five months. This time it was only seven weeks and to be fair we spent a lot of that time imposing on our older daughter with frequent use of their spare room. 

So since retiring in 2017 we’ve moved… let me see… *counts fingers*… four times with two stints living in the van 😀 I really hope this house is a keeper! 

Vince on the drive
Perhaps I should have measured the length of the drive on the plans! It’s not really an issue as we still keep him in storage and just bring him home to pack.

We felt a little break was in order after all the solicitor & house-builder malarkey as all we’ve done is build shelves, assemble furniture and choose curtains and blinds. And here we are! 

It’s not an epic round Europe voyage this time. Just a low-key, short-hop break, dodging back and forth over the France-Belgium border for a few weeks. I was here in the Ardennes on a motorcycle trip just a couple of weeks ago. I saw enough of the area to make me think that a Vince trip would be fun. Fortunately Gill agreed as it would have been a bit lonely if she’d stayed at home!

More next time, and thanks for sticking with us. It wouldn’t be half as much fun without you 🙂

Endings and beginnings - ferry tag for Irish ferries
About Ken Tomlinson 218 Articles
Semi-retired biker, blogger and world’s best grandad. Doesn’t take life too seriously. Discovered motorhoming in 2015, sold up and downsized to fund more travels. Now with added Yorkshire.

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