Volksworld Show 2013

It was bitterly cold and we attempted to chip the lumps of ice and frozen snow from Betty Bus so that we could make it to St Albans for 8 o’clock in the morning to join the Herts VW Club cruise to VolksWorld.  The diesel heater had been running for a while, but that had only just managed to raise the internal temperature of the van to just above freezing.

As we arrived in the car park at the meeting place we thought we’d missed them.  We’d been expecting to be one of the newest vehicles there at a mere 21 (and a bit) years old.  But the weather and a series of mishaps had seen just a few hardy souls turn up, and all in much newer cars than us.  So at a bit after 8 o’clock, we joined the convoy of a Golf, a Polo and a Lupo for the hour long trip to Sandown park.   Not quite what we’d been expecting.

On the journey down, the roads were ominously free of VWs.  Was anyone else going?

The show was nice enough, it was our first visit and if I’m honest, we’re more into the camping thing than the car thing or even the VW scene.  But the number of campervans in the car park bought a smile our faces and the examples on display inside were just stunning.  We got to meet Herbie, watched the Cool flo BMX display and also enjoyed the camper van cooking session with Martin Dorey (we’ve posted before about cooking from his cookbooks) and are seriously considering a mini smoker now – the smell was just great.

Here’s a few pictures from the day.

Brecon Beacons

I remember it clearly.  It was a thursday evening and we were looking at a very sunny weather forecast for the coming weekend.  The sun!  It felt so long since we’d felt the sun on our bones.  So it wasn’t really a question of should we go away somewhere, but more a question of where shall we go?

We decided on the Brecon Beacons for a weekend of walking in the hills, so we chucked the sleeping bags and the walking kit in the back of Betty Bus and headed off straight from work on Friday night, straight into the rush hour…err free flowing traffic. For once the accident was on the other side of the motorway and no one seemed interested in stopping to gawk.  We were even more pleasantly surprised at the Severn Bridge crossing to only be charged the car rate. As we crossed into Wales it was getting late, so once again we found ourselves a service station to spend the night in.

Saturday morning saw us searching for a forestry car park near Talybont reservoir for the start point of our planned walk over Fan Y Big.  The roads were steep, narrow and winding, but a rejuvenated Betty Bus took them in her stride.

Although the day started cloudy, as the day drew on the cloud lifted and we were rewarded with clear blue skys and bright sunshine.  The views from the hilltops went on for miles, with just a slight haze in the air.  Plenty of snow and ice still around, but nothing that made walking difficult.

We camped overnight at Parc Bryn Bach,  shielded from the wind between 2 larger motorhomes.

I suppose that camping by a lake we should have expected the ducks…  Apparently the geese honked all night (says Rosana).  We took a stroll around the lake and watched he birds perform a murmuration before we retired back to the van, wacked the heating up and cooked a delicious sausage and fennel pasta meal, the recipe from the Campervan Cookbook.  Well recomended!  Guess it was pretty cold overnight as the lake froze, hence the unhappy geese.

Sunday saw a marked change in the weather, not the forecast sunshine, but low cloud and a biting cold wind.  We had planned a walk over Cribyn and Pen Y Fan, but the conditions were very different to Saturday.  As the wind whipped us, ice started forming on our hats!  Although a more challenging day, it was lovely walk with some fantastic views once we were down out of the clouds.

And then the long run home.  Until the next adventure…