Saturday 30 April 2016

The Eighth Week

Friday 22-4-16, Saturday 23-4-16 and Sunday 24-4-16

We made a rash decision after leaving the little harbour yesterday.  We saw a sign for a camping and turned off the road to it.  A very nice one it was too.  We had a pitch next to the beach under trees for shade. 

 When we spoke to the camping man he said he’d give us more discount if we stayed three days, so that wasn’t a hard decision.   The beach was in a bay, so one day we turned left and at the end of the beach found a small town called Gialova.

 It had a couple of normal shops but mainly catered for tourists with lots of bars and restaurants. All quite laid back in a surfer, driftwood, faded paint chic type way.  None tempted us in but they were nice to look at.  The camp site sold bread and veggies so we didn’t want for anything.  Another day we turned right and followed the beach to the other end of the bay.

 A lovely empty, sandy beach that had the feeling of a desert island.  We spoke to a French family on the campsite who’d flown to Greece with a tent and had hired a car.  A great way to do it.  I got my hammock out for its first ever hanging, and after a few trial runs got it sussed. 

 Liz spotted a spider in the Ladies one morning.  Turned out, after I consulted my iSpy book of Insects and Spiders, to be a Ladybird Spider and a bit rare.  They also bite.

 Another first of the trip was getting the gas BBQ out, the roast chicken, potatoes and green beans was a treat.

Camping Erodios, Gialova, Greece. N36.95213 E021.6957

Monday 25-4-16

We had a leisurely morning packing all our kit up, emptying grey waste and toilet cassettes and filling up with fresh water.  Back north, 5km up the road, we’d heard of a spectacular beach called Voidokilia.  Found this photo on the internet.  We drove down the road you can see at the top. 

 After a few dead ends and gravel roads we eventually found it.  It was nice and on a lovely bay with fresh water lagoons behind it.  We wandered on it for a bit but then left.

 It wasn’t a great place to overnight at, the only area to park was the other side of a dune with no view of the beach or sea.  Also a big pile of bags of beach rubbish sat in the middle of the parking.  It seemed a team had cleaned up the beach but their endeavours hadn’t been collected yet.  So we drove south, back past our campsite and in 10km dropped into the small port of Pylos.

 There was harbour parking at both ends of the town and we’d read that the right hand side one was ok for overnighting on. 

 A great spot really.  Not far from the shops and bars but quiet enough, the Greeks make every effort to park as close to where they're going as possible.  So the far end of any carpark is usually deserted. I got my rod out and fed some fish with my bait. 

 We then had a look around the town, very busy and lots of shops and bars.  A nice big square and a big war memorial in the middle.  We liked it here.  A fisherman came over and started bashing his octopus on the harbour wall.  For a good ten minutes he slammed it and then rubbed it about on the concrete.  I guess this is to tenderise it? In the evening we ventured back and had a drink in one of the bars, only the second drink in a bar during our eight weeks away. 

 The wind got up during the night and we laid in bed listening to the sea crashing on the harbour wall while the van rocked.

Wild Camping at Pylos Harbour, Greece. N 36.91633 E021.69776

Tuesday 26-4-16

We woke to find we were in a huge puddle which was getting huger as the sea crashed over the harbour onto the van.  All the other vehicles had moved back from the edge.  We had a think and decided to stay where we were.  I’m British, a bit of seawater doesn’t bother me.  After cheese on toast for breakfast we took a look at the boats moored up in the port.  Some very nice ones.

 And a few sadly at the end of their career.

It was full, we presumed they’d come into port due to the high winds and rough sea.  In the town we bought salad, bread and anti-histamines. My mozzi bites seem to be less itchy if I pop a tab every day or so.  We also decided to stop another night.  This was mainly due to picking up a take-away pizza menu while wandering around and deciding to treat ourselves for dinner.  The pizza was excellent and we even sat in the bar and had a drink while we waited for it, this going out lark was becoming a habit.

Wild Camping at Pylos Harbour, Greece. N 36.91633 E021.69776

Wednesday 27-4-16

During the night someone turned the sea off and we woke to silence.  The weather had quietened and it was calm again, unlike my guts which had had a nasty reaction to the melted cheese and spicy salami on last night’s pizzas.  The windows got opened and the van got aired during breakfast.  We climbed up the hill out of the town and drove 8km to the next town called Methoni.  I parked up next to the beach and nosed around the town.

 Liz got given free cake with our bread at the bakers, I’m a great fan of free cake.  The well-hidden supermarket was unearthed and pillaged for beer and milk.  And we did a touristy thing and looked at their old castle and wondered why they’d buried cannons in the harbour wall. 

It could have been a spot to overnight but during lunch, cold leftover pizza, we decided it could get a bit noisy at night.  It was the only parking area in the town and there were a lot of bars and tavernas close by.  So we moved on, not far, just as far as Foinikounta Beach.  It was a good choice to move, parked right on the edge of the beach with nobody else there.

 During the afternoon a few people turned up to walk on the beach but that evening we were left to ourselves.  I managed to find my emergency Gin rations, I’d given up on finding them, but then remembered putting the four miniature bottles in the box we store our card games and dominos in.  With a slice of lemon off of a tree and some full fat Schweppes tonic I made a perfect G&T.  Bliss.  I’d also had a craving for a big sloppy potato omelette, so that evening I took a night off cooking and Liz did her thing with the eggs.  It was our 50th night away.

Wild camping on Foinikounta Beach, Greece. N36.80131 E021.78315

Thursday 28-4-16

I woke early and went outside to watch the sun rising over the hills.

 We hadn’t heard a thing all night apart from the waves lapping on the beach, we decided this place was in our top 5 best stops so far.  Another night here seemed like a good idea.  It was also decided that a walk down the beach to the town of Foinikounta for beer and tea bags would be a good idea.   It looked a lot closer than it was.

 The town was nice, we found our beer and tea bags, and in actual fact we found a box of real PG Tips.  We’d been suffering the dishwater that Twinning’s English Breakfast tea produces for weeks.  We spotted a GB motorhome parked on a campsite next to the town, the first we’d seen in Greece.  Perhaps it’s the lure of PG Tips? Back at the van after our 10km route march I cracked a beer and then struggled to stay awake for lunch while Liz decontaminated the ablutions with bleach and lemony disinfectant. The iSpy book of the seashore got consulted and Liz identified some of the beach plants, Three Horned Stock and Sea Holly, we weren’t sure what the daffodil leaved thing was though. 

After lunch one half of the crew sunned on the beach while the other half snoozed on the bed.  Its Easter weekend in Greece, Good Friday tomorrow.  We want to see the candle lit processions so we picked a campsite near a town 20km away, Koroni, and that’s where we’ll head for tomorrow.  We should get decent Wi-Fi to upload this blog post too.

Wild camping on Foinikounta Beach, Greece. N36.80131 E021.78315

Friday 29-4-16

We took one last look at our beach then headed for civilisation again.

Two supermarkets, the first had everything we wanted but absolutely no meat.  The Orthodox Greek Catholics fast on the week before Easter, no meat, dairy or fish, oddly Octopus, shellfish and Lobster are allowed.  But the second supermarket seemed to cater for us Non-orthodox English Atheists and had a full butchers department.  We blew the budget on a whole chicken, 6 euros, so whole it still had its neck attached.   Then we found a campsite in Koroni.  With our ASCI discount card a pitch with electric was 17 euro a night.  Plus it had a swimming pool, taverna, and access to the beach, free wifi and they were roasting two whole lambs at the taverna on Sunday for Easter.  All the kit came out, tables, chairs and the BBQ. 

I took the legs off of our chicken and roasted the body with some potatoes and red peppers then made a gravy with the stuff in the bottom of the pan.  The crew declared it a hit.  After dinner we spruced ourselves up to go into town for the Easter procession.  This really meant me putting my old brown Docs on, a pair of crumpled combat pants and a grubby shirt.  But it’s the thought that counts.  We sat outside a bar opposite the church having a drink with two Germans who live here, nice people. 

Then when the crucifix, choir, brass band, statue of Christ and lots of people holding candles came out we followed them up the hill. 

Up the hill led to a castle and a church, fireworks got set off and they all filed into the other church.  It seem Jesus died today and tomorrow they do the same but because he rises again. Great entertainment.  We left them all in the church and wandered back through the castle walls and into town.

Camping Koroni, Greece. N36.95058 E021.95058

Saturday 30-4-16

A pair of Jays are building a nest in the tree above our van, every time one puts a stick in it another stick falls out to our feet.  It’s a quiet morning at Camp Van Brian.  We didn’t get to bed till half one after the festivities.  There’s a load of my smalls in the washing machine and I’m sat in the sun writing about this week’s goings on.  The chicken legs are in the slow cooker hopefully turning themselves into a Coq au Van Brian type thing.  

We’ve got chicken sandwiches for lunch, it’s a bird that just keeps on giving.  Thinking we’ll leave here on Monday and find ourselves another beach to stop at.  Apart from that our plans don’t go much further. As a side note, we've been looking for a bit of property to buy while we're here in Greece. Think we've hit it lucky. This one bedroom detached we've found today comes with a patio and garden furniture. Will be approaching the owners tomorrow with a firm offer. Fingers crossed....

Camping Koroni, Greece. N36.95058 E021.95058

Cheers and happy Greek Easter, The Van Brian Crew.

Below are the updated facts and figures for 53 days away.

Friday 22 April 2016

The Seventh Week

Saturday 16-4-16

Yesterday after uploading the weekly blog we decided to walk into town.  Bad idea.  5 km of busy main road with no pavement.  Full sun and a nice steep hill as you enter the town.  But I slept well that night.  In the morning we packed the van up and left the campsite about half eleven.  Had fun paying as the old boy left in charge on a Saturday morning couldn’t work the card machine and didn’t have any change.  But we muddled through.  A quick shop in a mini market and by twelve we were pitched up next to Kalogria Beach.  It’s a long sandy beach with dunes and we found a parking area at the end of a gravel track. 

Two German vans were already there plus two German Landrovers with roof tents were on the beach.  A bit naughty as lots of signs said not to take vehicles over the dunes as they’re a protected area due to endangered coastal habitat.  We walked along the beach and sunbathed. 

The Landrovers left but a bit later three off road bikes shot over the dunes.  The endangered bit is'nt getting much respect.  We had a lovely sunset and that was another day done.

Wild camping at Kalogria Beach, Greece.  N38.15218 E021.36876

Sunday 17-4-16

Today we met the Strawberry men from Moscow. The day started like a lot of Sunday mornings, not a lot going on.  We left the beach late and travelled 16 km down the coast to another beach.  The parking got busy in the afternoon with locals coming down to swim and sunbathe, and then two articulated lorries turned up, without their trailers. 

Four large, noisy men got out and went swimming.  When they came back one of them came over to us and gave us a punnet of strawberries.  He introduced himself as "Ruskie, Moscow, Putin". Then told us they were all Russian drivers taking the strawberries they grow here to Moscow.  The trip takes five days. The trailers were being loaded so they had an afternoon on the beach.  The beach emptied and then just as the sun was setting a fisherman turned up.  He had a wooden pallet with empty plastic bottles tied to it as floats.  On top of this he’d rigged a small sail.  This he floated it out to sea with a line baited with hundreds of hooks attached, these he carried down to the sea in a large bowl.

It also had a flashing red light on it so he could see where it was when it got dark.  Sadly we never got to see his catch as he was still fishing when we went to bed.  In the morning he was gone.

Wild camping at Megalo Pefko Beach, Greece.  N38.06118 E021.32795

Monday 18-4-16

We started the day filling up the water using the beach tap.  Another motorhome was parked up and I spoke to the Austrian in it. He was heading home, via the ferry from Patras.  I think I upset him when I said we didn’t need to be home till October.  We left and headed for a Lidl south of the beach.  Found it and replenished our meat and beer stocks. I also slipped a bottle of Ouzo in the trolley.  When in Rome, as they say.  Then we looked for LPG.  The Greeks call it Auto Gas.  We’d tried two stations and they’d got none even though they advertised it on the price signs.  Today we found it.  Also I found out the Greeks use the same filling adaptor that the French and Italians use.  We got three different adaptors given us when the tanks were installed, one for Spain, and one for Italy/France and one that just said other?  So we had a full water tank, gas bottles and fridge.  One of the overnight spots on our big map turned out to be a harbour, not a problem normally but a huge cruise ship had docked and it was full of buses and taxis.  The town was geared up for these ships, shops full of tat and those little tourist trains that snake around the place.  Also we’d noticed the last few towns had huge piles of rubbish bags piled up at the side of the roads.  This town being no different.  It wasn’t too pretty and smelled, we can only think the bin men are on strike.  We drove on south and gradually the piles of rubbish disappeared.  I saw a sign for a beach and we ended up in Agio Nikolaos at the side of their beach.

No piles of rubbish and Liz got the beach all to herself.  We got the big map out and made plans.

Unfortunately later that night the dogs in the local town had a big barking contest that seemed to have a lot of heats and semi-finals. The barking carried on into the small hours and again in the early morning.

Wild camping at Agio Nikalaos Beach, Greece. N37.47407 E021.62614

Tuesday 19-4-16

We were glad to get away from the barking marathon. We didn’t need anything, food, water, gas or drinks for the next few days so I wanted to find somewhere that we could stop a couple of nights at.  Just 17 km down the road we followed beach signs and found a nice sandy beach at the end of a small track.  South, running alongside the beach, was another track that ran through woods.  As ever, always wanting to find somewhere better, we drove down the track.  We spotted two other vans hidden away in the shade of the trees and alongside the track a couple of water taps. One had a bit of a yin-yang theme going on.

 This looked promising.  We found a hollow just off the track, with a few trees for shade.  This would do fine, in front of us a dune then the beach, behind us a pine forest.  And no barking dogs.


We had a walk around and then lazed the rest of the day.  A breeze kept the van cool in the 27 degree heat and we got the awning out for some shade.  I could see tomorrow being a very quiet day.

Wild camping at Elaia Beach, Greece. N37.36461 E021.68875

Wednesday 20-4-16

Not a lot to say about today.  “Sleepy Hollow” slowed me down to a snail’s pace.  The most exciting thing to happen all day was a tortoise wandering under our awning into the shade. 

Liz had a morning on the beach, saw nobody and I had a morning trying to read but nodding off every ten minutes.  If I slow down any more I’d be in a coma.  I filled in the spreadsheet that we use to keep track of costs, that didn’t take long, zero costs yesterday, zero costs today.  I filled the solar shower bag with water and lobbed it on the roof to heat up.


The hose dropped through the bathroom skylight and it gave enough hot water for us both to have a really hot shower.  The solar panel kept the batteries topped up so the only thing we were using was gas from our tanks to cool the fridge.  We’re off-grid.  Our evening was interrupted by a huge toad taking the same path under our awning as the tortoise.  It’s none stop here.

Wild camping at Elaia Beach, Greece. N37.36461 E021.68875

Thursday 21-4-16

We left our hollow this morning, stopping at the tap by the track to fill the tank.  An old Austrian chap came over to have a chat.  Within minutes maps were out.

 Liz showed off her big map of Greece, lots of details and places marked to stop at.  He’d been coming to Greece in his camper for twenty years, had no gps and a map that was the size of two bits of A4 paper.  He didn’t need anything else as he knew everywhere to go.  He asked us how old we thought he was, I guessed 75, and he told us he was 87.  Doing well it seemed.  We did a flying Lidl visit, just essentials, beer and bread. Then headed off looking for one of those kiosks that sell cigarettes in Greece. One was located, we double parked, and then on to another and double parked again, they don’t seem to like selling you more than a couple of packets at one time but no ones bothered about you double parking. 

Next was to find a place to stop tonight.  On the map we saw a beach shown a little further south so that’s where we headed.  It turned out to be a small beach, a tiny harbour and two tavernas, one open one shut.  Bingo, we’d cracked it again.

 After lunch a French retired couple turned up in a small VW T4 camper, like we had before Van Brian.  We chatted half in French (Liz) and half in English (Me) about where’d we’d been and where they’d been.  It seems the only people we talk to are old.  Anyway they gave a few tips, the border crossing to Bulgaria being a nightmare was one.  We may revise plans in July, a long time away yet though.  After lunch we said bye to the French, they needed a campsite as they had no toilet or shower in their van.  Liz found a bit of sand and I read my book (code for snoozed) on the bed.

 Later I got the Wi-Fi booster gizmo out and found some free Wi-Fi at the far taverna so emails got checked and online bank accounts got studied.

Wild Camping at Agia Kyriaki Harbour, Greece. N37.11807 E021.57538

Friday 22-4-16

We woke to a fine view out of our very dirty bedroom window.

As we’re in possession of some unsuspecting Tavernas Wi-Fi we decided to put up the blog post today.  After the Greek yoghurty breakfast thing I sat down to write this up.  The hardest bit is choosing the photos, I take a lot.  We try to limit it to two photos per day on each weeks post but sometimes there’s too may images that deserve sticking in it.  Looking at the facts and figures we get out of the spreadsheet it seems the mileage per day is going down, as we thought it would when we got to Greece.  The average daily cost is creeping down, again because of less mileage we think. We’ve stocked up on a lot of stuff as we’ve found it, so some big costs have gone on food and drink this week.  It’ll all level out in the end.  So that’s our seventh week away done, not sure where we’ll be tonight, hope you enjoy reading about where we’ve been so far.  Cheers, The Van Brian Crew.

Below are the updated facts and figures for 44 days away.

Friday 15 April 2016

The Sixth Week

Sunday 10-4-16

We woke up at half six to thunder and rain hammering on the roof.  I got up and looked at the rain hammering down on the sea.  It was Sunday morning so decided to do the only thing any civilised person would in these conditions, I went back to bed.  I woke again at half ten.  The rain had stopped and bacon and eggs were frying in the pan.  We’d found bacon in the supermarket the day before.  We didn’t plan on moving today so after bacon and eggs we read and idled about.  The only excitement was a dog chasing a lamb down the bank behind us, the lamb shot off down the road and the dog went back up the bank.  After lunch we walked around the bay and found a better parking place for tonight so when we got back we drove less than a mile down the road and pitched up again. 

Maps were consulted and a very rough plan devised for tomorrow.  Drive south for 20km to the island of Lefkada. The sun set through our door.

Wild Camping at Mitikas Beach, Greece. N39.18874 E020.53292

Monday 11-4-16

We left our beachside spot about nine and drove into Preveza, popping back into Lidl to buy beef (it was on offer so we’ve filled the freezer with it) At Preveza you can take a tunnel under an estuary so you don’t have to drive a long way around a lake, it was 5 euro but worth it not to take the diversion. To get to the island of Lefkada we drove along a causeway connecting it to the mainland.  Darth Garmin sent us down a tiny road just as we got on the island and we had to shout a farmer out of his field to move his moped which blocked our way.  You get a sense of how small the road is if a moped can block your path.  From the town of Lefkada we climbed up into the hills and got a great view of the causeway we’d just driven over. 

We’d decided to go around the island in an anticlockwise direction so we headed to the west coast.  Looked in on a beach in a bay but it seemed to be owned by a taverna, so we drove on a few more miles and found Kathisma Beach

Turns out that in the summer this is one of the busiest beaches on the island.  We could see why, a long stretch of beach and the most turquoise water I’d ever seen.  At this time of year we had it to ourselves.  At the far end a km from where we’d parked up were some small apartments, closed up for the winter.  I pointed our Wi-Fi signal booster gizmo at them and got onto their wifi.  Bonus!  So we walked up a down the beach looking at the sea, Liz got a bit close at one point.

 We watched the sun set over the sea and had the trip favourite for dinner, beef bourguignon.  On the internet I found a photo of what the place looks like in the summer, full of cars and sunbeds.  Tonight there was us and our van.

Wild Camping at Kathisma Beach, Lefkada, Greece. N38.77736 E020.60064

Tuesday 12-4-16

As we left in the morning I stopped on the hill above the beach and took a photo from the same place as the one I’d found taken in the summer.

We’d read of a really nice beach at Gialos which was only 20km down the road so that’s where we headed.  Off the main road we had three km of very small twisty road and then around a corner we found out that the road had fallen down the hill.

So that was Gialos beach out, this was the only road to it.  We consulted the big map of Greece and saw a few places on the west coast that looked promising.  So back down the small twisty road and then across the island we trundled.  We saw only one car in 30 km.  The small quayside town of Syvota was pretty and everyone said hello to us as we walked around the quay.  But the only place to park the van was right in the middle, a bit too in your face for the locals for my liking.

So we drove on and found another quayside, not as pretty but very quiet and we had a nice parking at one end for the night.  It had our name all over it. 

As a bonus, next to the van on the quay was a tap, which worked.  So full water tanks tomorrow.  Lunch was tomatoes and feta cheese and for dinner I’d prepped a kind of experimental moussaka in the slow cooker that morning (beef mince, diced onions & green peppers, slices of aubergine, no white sauce) and it’d been simmering away all day.  We had a walk, sat in the sun and watched a big fishing boat dock then unload its catch straight into a waiting lorry.  Early beers and experimental moussaka (success) then early bed.

Ellomeno Quayside, Greece. N38.72059 E020.72439

Wednesday 13-4-16

I started the day by filling up the water tank.  Time to break out the long hose we’d bought in Italy for a bargain price of 4 euro, which we needed for the 1st time today as the short hose we’d brought with us from home wouldn’t reach the tap.  Fail, it leaked. It seems it was designed to leak, it’s one of those hoses that dribble water out so as to water veggies and flowers.  I felt a bit foolish as we watered the quayside.  So that went in the bin and we set off for the causeway taking us back to the mainland.  In the big town, just as you cross, I spotted a hardware shop.  13 euro later I was the proud owner of 15m of non-leaky yellow hose and a Hoselock connector. We turn right and headed south.  We stopped at three or four places that looked likely for an overnight, the best being a small beach at the end of a little road.  But this had been taken over by men erecting fish farm cages in the sea and their machines and kit had turned the place into a builder’s yard.

  We dumped Van Brian next to a taverna and walked around a really nice town called Mitikas but it was all pedestrianised and narrow streets, nowhere to hide a van. 

We filled up with diesel for the 1st time in Greece, 98 cents a litre. The old Greek chap who served us got a good dose of “Lizzie Greek”, this confused the hell out of him.  He pointed at our map and we just nodded.  But he let us fill our water tank with his garden hose and we shook hands. So on we drove, big miles today, ending up at the end of a long spit of land at a beach called Tourlida.  A late lunch, a snooze and then walk. 

I’ve got a longing for grilled lamb chops and chips, like you get in Greece.  Two things we can’t really cook in the van.  But all three of the restaurants near us were fish restaurants so it was back to the van for pasta and a sauce made from the leftovers of my moussaka experiment.  We need a campsite soon too, we’ve done 12 nights since we last paid for a campsite, but we have a full laundry now.  Liz making a mess of the nice Italian campsite man’s washing machines was a long time ago.

Wild camping on Tourlida Beach, Greece. N38.32610 E021.41902

Thursday 14-4-16

We looked in the ACSI campsite book and found one just after the bridge at Patras on the Peloponnese.  So I stuck its coordinates in Darth Garmin and off we went. A quick call in at a supermarket to pick up bread and milk, where we saw a UK registered car, the first we’d seen in Greece.  Then onto our 1st motorway in Greece, we were doing 70mph and it felt like we were flying.  After a couple of hundred miles of small, twisty, bumpy Greek back roads this felt odd.  Patras is huge and I expected the sat nav to take me straight through the middle of it, but it played ball and kept us on the ring road. All the way to the stunning Patras bridge which links the mainland to the Peloponnese.  Now I have a bit of a bridge fetish, we’d travelled miles out of our way in France just so we could spend a night overlooking the Millau Bridge.  This one didn’t disappoint.

 We did get charged 13.20 euro for using it and I managed to scrape Van Brian’s bumper at the toll booth in my excitement to get on the bridge. But well worth it. Then a bit more new motorway, funded by the EU so the signs said. And then a mile or so to the camping.

It was lovely and we managed to confuse the nice campsite man with our English and French passports and Liz throwing random Greek phrases at him.  All the pitches were in the shade under olive and Black Locust trees (looked that one up in my iSpy book of Trees & Shrubs) and we had a lot to pick from. 

There was us, a French camper van and a man on a bike in a tent on the whole site.  Liz hit the poor old washing machine with two huge loads.  I sorted out connecting the van to the electric hook up, it’s a good job we carry numerous adaptors as it took three different ones to eventually get us some power.  The water heater went on and we revelled in the joys of 240 volts.  We had a walk down to the beach which turned out to be tiny and pebbles.  Then it was pastis and nibbles outside the van sat at the big table, 1st time out this trip.  I cooked outside and we ate outside (chicken in mushroom sauce with rice) and then I did some serious damage to a 1.5 litre bottle of generic Greek red wine.  Smashing.

Campsite Kata Alissos, Galio, Greece. N38.14970 E021.57748

Friday 15-4-2016

And now it’s today.  We got up late, breakfasted outside, bacon and eggs making a welcome return to the breakfast menu.  Did jobs, emptied a full loo, took in dry washing and then I laid on the bed for a rest and fell asleep.  At dinner I woke up and decided to get this literary masterpiece written up.  So that’s where you find me now, hammering at the keyboard in the shade outside the van.  Thanks for reading and let us know if you enjoyed it.  Cheers The Van Brian Crew.

Below are the updated facts and figures for 37 days away.