>This is our area to post some of the ‘blunders’ along the way…

Hopefully it won’t be full of too many reports.


Our ‘blunders’ are not limited to overseas calamities and only a few weekends ago we fell foul to a ‘dose of not thinking it through’. Not entirely our fault I hasten to add as we were ushered onto what I assumed to be a perfectly fit and dry field only to find out it was wetter than a Bank Holliday weekend in Rhyl.

Having got halfway across the field I soon realised that it was too dodgy to go any further forward and opted for a spot of reversing to avoid getting stuck. It was. Alas, too late as the bit I was reversing into was even more sodden than the bit I was trying to escape. The rear wheel rested again a lump in the uneven ground and the front wheels spun like one of Fat Boy Slims Saturday offerings on his twin decks.


By now the gentleman who had directed me into the mire came over to see what the fuss was about and offered to get some ‘wood-chippings’ to help me out. It was going to take a damn sight more than wood chippings to get me out of this bog – you couldn’t see the wheels for mud at this point (so much for washing and polishing the van before we set off!)

It became obvious that we had to wait for the ‘Lord of the Manor’ to return to get the tractor out. We were chained to the back of the Massey Ferguson and unceremoniously dragged the fifty feet out of the field.

Lord Litton (made up name) enquired as to why I had selected to drive into a boggy field – I declined to comment.

….as you can see – we made quite an impression!

05/11/12 – The penultimate day

I am going to risk a summary of all that went wrong or broke as the trip is nearly over and hope that I am not tempting fate.

Brake light switch, alternator, shower drain pipe (still holding up with temporary repair), fry pan handle, two glasses, both wedge levellers (they are very poor quality) and the awning handle (again poor quality). So thats not too bad for 7 months.

10/09/12 – Our ten days of hell!

It’s been a while since we had any blunders but the following ‘tale of woe’ far surpasses any of the minor hiccups so far!

As its exactly one month since the start of a fairly poor (read terrible) time for us I thought I’d bring you up to date with what went on.

We travelled into Camperserve from Gale to see if they could sort out our ‘reluctant to start’ fridge – he fixed it in seconds and we were on our way. All goo you might say

Later that day we arrived near Cabanas and stopped at the supermarket to get some bits – the van then wouldnt start and felt like a flat battery. It was 44 degress and we were wringing wet. A guy gave us a jump start with my leads and we headed for the campsite near our pal Wolfgang. He’s in a wheelchair so we didnt want to turn up un-announced and thought two days in the campsite would give him time to prepare for our arrival in his orchard. On arriving the van conked again as the battery was so flat – the fridge running off it at the same time didnt help.

We trickle charged the battery with Wolfgangs charger and the van started so we planned to go to his place. Next day the van wouldnt even turn over as the immobilser had ‘fried’ during jump starting. we sat and waited for three days and no auto electrician turned up (we asked two different ones to see if we could get a result) Eventually our son talked me through starting it across the starter motor and we got it going and moved to Wolfgangs. Two more days and no auto-electrician !  I finally found a guy way back in Almancil who could look at it but was so busy he couldnt help until Saturday and we had to go to him – with a duff alternator and a spare charged up battery from Wolfgang.

We made it to Almancil (Camperserve let the spark Barry the Superhero work from there) and he fixed it on the day for 150 euros and touch wood it all works fine now.

So that was our ten days of hell…

…we dont want that again!

11/06/12 – How are you spelling that…?

I was fed up of trying to get the internet from here there and everywhere (particularly in France where it would seem that WiFi hasn’t been invented soI bought a Huawei MiFi dongle from Amazon and daughter Kirsty brought it with her to Luz when we met up with her and Nick. A ‘pal’ off the MotorhomeFacts forum gave me a list of all of the inputs for each country and it is supposed to be a simple task to change the password and APN number. I spent about three hours with every variation of code – logging in and out and switching the laptop off each time. May I remind you all in order that you never suffer the same pain that ‘Vodaphone’ (as I was typing in) is spelt ‘Vodafone’ – now known as in the ‘f’ in Vodafone! The MiFi is a great bit of kit by the way.

16/05/12 – ‘Pop’py?

How might the simple poppy land us in bother? Well, I’ll tell you! Being a soft git and noting that it was Mothers Day (again) in Portugal I picked a few wild poppies for Mrs R and that was that.  As you can see the ‘vase’ is somewhat minimalistic (small water bottle)

A few days later when they were wilted beyond all redemption she chucked them out leaving the unemptied receptacle on the kitchen top. It was hot out and I thought I’d have a quick drink of water – yep, that tepid and slightly nasty tasting water was the ‘flower water’. I said nothing (feeling slightly stupid) only to learnt twn minutes later that she had done the same thing – Alison had no excuse really as she was the one who had pitched the flowers out!. She did wonder is either of us might suffer in any way – other than wilting ourselves later in the day we were both fine – fresh as a daisy in fact!

03/05/12 – Vino Tonto

I have fallen for it again – in my quest to find even cheaper red wines I’ve bought ‘the idiots choice’ in the form of a 1.5 litre bottle of Vino Tinto that as you can see falls short of the mark in terms of strength.

It serves me right really as you can get loads of very good wine – the one I had last night was a Don Simon Tempranillo costing just 95 cents a 75 ml bottle. The above looked cheap at 1.60 Euros for twice that quantity. I havent drunk it yet – I will – either that or we’ll use it for brushing our teeth with.

26/04/12 – Bike Bother

Whilst in Gente we set off for a cycle ride into nearby Segonzac for a few provisions and a breath of fresh air. Now my bike seat is so hard that I fit a seat cover that is made of padded and soft gel (yes it’s the age) and I fitted it that morning. We looked around the town and then headed for the supermarket. As it looked like it might rain I removed the cover and walked around the shop with it. It wasn’t until we were nearly back at the motor home that I realised that the pain in my posterior was due to the fact that the gel seat cover was no where to be seen. So her I am – having completed nearly 12 miles round trip – contemplating going back to the supermarket (on my own I hasten to add as Mrs R had decided she had done enough cycling for one day) to look for the seat or find that I had left it near the checkout as we packed our things.

I opted for the return journey hoping that I would find it by the roadside about halfway back when I raised myself off the seat before hitting a big hill.  Oh no – it couldn’t be that easy!  I ended up back at SuperU and asked in best French (to the checkout girls dismay) whether of not anyone had seen my ‘gel seet couvre’. Nope – my extra 5 mile trip had been in vane and more to the point I would have to head back another 6 miles further without the aid of my ‘bottoms friend’. So, whoever it is who is riding around Segonzac with MY soft gel seat cover, I hope you fall off your bike sometime soon!

08/04/12 – Cidre

Upon reporting that ‘the cider wasn’t up to much’ after my first glass we discovered just why. You may notice that the strength of my reasonably priced apple based drink was a measly two percent. I used the remainder of the bottle to clean the brake dust off the wheels. Reading glasses are now an accompaniment when visiting the supermarket.

05/04/12 – The Shower

Despite trying to ensure that everything was in order with the motorhome – an ‘extra’ MOT, the motorhome habitational check and days spent looking over the vehicle there will always be that ‘one thing’ that you could never account for.

Our ‘one thing’ followed us both having taken a shower and then looking out the window to witness gallons of water flowing from under the vehicle down the gentle slope of the car park. It’s not really the done thing to drop your grey waste anywhere (especially in England) but here the contents of our two long needed showers was leaking out from underneath.  I quickly grabbed an insufficiently sized basin to collect the water but it soon filled under the split waste hose near to where it connects to the waste tank . It has probably been like that for a while but went un-noticed as normal use of either sink wouldnt have to cope with such a large amount of water.

The jubilee style clip that holds it on was rusted beyond any re-use so I now had to venture to the village to find a (and this is my translation) “une douche pepe collier”.  I got one even with my pigeon French and returned to make the repair – it’s been fine since. Alas there is no photographic content for this post.


3 Responses to Oooops

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