On tour at home and abroad with the Sumpners

The view below is Toad Rock, Tunbridge Wells

Aye caramba! It’s Wrapping Weekend! 13-15 December

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It’s been a long, long time but we finally upped steadies and went away for our annual (apart from last year because of Paul’s back) wrapping weekend! Our chosen location for this year was Salisbury and a welcome return to the Coombe  Caravan Park, just by the racecourse and last visited in Nov 2012.

Now please don’t think we have been sitting around doing nothing with ourselves since August – far from it. Among other places, we’ve been to Scotland to visit Paul’s Mum and stepdad. Had a great time and here are a few pics to prove it. They live way up North in a little fishing village called Portknockie, which is famous for the Bowfiddle Rock, which you can see in the first picture. We flew to Aberdeen and then drove on up – just over an hour, to Portknockie.

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We went to Aviemore by steam train, saw the spectacle that is Thunder in the Glens – a procession of hundreds and hundreds (if not thousands) of Harleys, the noise of which is really something to hear!  We went to some Highland Games in Grantown on Spey and finally out from Findhorn on a rib, which was BRILLIANT fun. We went with a company called North 58, which we would highly recommend. We were also thrilled to see the seals at low tide just up the coast past Findochty (pronounced Finechty for some reason!). Popped back every evening to see them and it was a bit of a wrench to leave them.

After Scotland, we had a few glorious days on the Broads. A first for us and most enjoyable  –  although I could not do it as often as the canal. I love the interruption offered by the locks and  it was so odd not to have a towpath.  We picked our boat up at the top end of the Broads, in Stalham. The boat was from Richardsons and was what you might call vintage  – very 70s as can been seen below.  We had amazing weather and a really lovely relaxing time.

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We couldn’t have had better weather, and if you like boating, as we do, I’d highly recommend a trip on the Broads, but not in the height of summer. It was pretty busy in early October! On the way back, we called in to see my Cousin Angela and family near Bury St Edmunds  and it was so lovely  to see them. They gave us a lovely lunch and a break from the road. Thanks Cuz!

We also had a week in Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula at an amazing hotel just South of Cancun.  Much relaxation, cocktails and good food. The highlight of the trip was a speedboat day out but we’ve – er – he’s “temporarily mislaid” the camera that has those pics on. 😦

Beach P1010887 Pelicans Premium Swim-up

Anyway – back to the story. Wrapping Weekend. This is where we take all the presents we need to wrap and have a weekend in the ‘van  – with the aid of a little Bailey’s. Lovely.  We arrived in the dark and soon got sorted  We had borrowed Archie’s brother Fred for the weekend and we had a comfy night. The next morning, it was off  to Salisbury to visit the Christmas Market, listen to the choir , drink a mulled cider and scoff a lovely Bratwurst. This made us feel proper Christmassy and after a quick to trip to guess where? Yep – Waitrose – we returned to the van to commence the whole point of the weekend. Four hours later, some mulled apple juice and then some of the obligatory Baileys on ice and we were done.  Something that is a bit of  chore (if I’m honest) made more bearable by making it into a little adventure. Long may Wrapping Weekend reign!

As it was a quick visit and we had been there before there weren’t many pictures but here are a few:

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We shall be sleeping on the van over Christmas as we have family staying and then we are off on 29th Dec to see in the New Year in the van. Larks!

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