This weeks inspiration comes Trish & Howard, a wonderful couple who live just around the corner from my mum. Like ships passing in the night…Trish & Howard had just returned from their winter trip as we were setting off on our 2017 trip. But we managed to have a good catch up and I was truly inspired by their achievements especially the work they’d done for the homeless, amazing.
1. Tell us a little about yourself, like what is your name and where do you come from.
We are Trish and Howard Green from Wigan – up North! We are both Christians, retired, and looking for adventure! We have a son and a daughter and 5 beautiful grandchildren.
2. What sort of motorhome traveller are you? Full time / part time / short breaks / long stay
We are part time travelers who like to go away as often as possible! We have also done 2 long stays in France/Spain/Portugal for the last 2 years and we do a mix of aires (free and paid) and wild-camping spots. We would love to do an extended trip of 2 years if we can decide on house sale or rental or downsizing. We are currently members of 2 motorhome groups – Wildcamping and MotorhomeFun and are spending some time this summer going to rallies to get to know other motorhomers.
3. When did you first start motorhoming and what inspired you to start?
Motorhoming just sort of grew on us as we watched our neighbour going away at every opportunity and we started thinking about the freedom it would give us as we approached retirement. We must have been to every motorhome dealer north of Birmingham in the 18 months before we settled on one and bought it! It was our favourite Sunday afternoon pastime and we would come away longing to be on the road! in May 2015 we bought Hattie, an Autosleeper Surrey and we went down to a site near Lincoln for our maiden outing/steep learning curve! She was beautiful and we had her 4 months until we went to France and spent a couple of weeks in her before we realised that the bed arrangements weren’t comfy enough for us and on the way back we called into Spinneys in Crewe for a look around.
We both retired from the Brick Project in Wigan in December 2015, having dedicated 8 years to helping Homeless and disadvantaged people, setting up and running what is now a large charity in Wigan and we were both ready for some me time! Within 6 weeks of retiring we set off on our first big adventure into Europe, spending 4 months in France, Spain and Portugal. At the end of it we were thoroughly hooked and have not looked back since.
4. Tell us about your current motorhome like make, model, name, age and why you chose it?
Our current motorhome is a Hymer B698CL and we call him Eric. He’s a real beauty and we love him and we have not seen another like him anywhere on our travels. We bought him in November 2015 after a tearful parting with Hattie. He is a sleek and shiny silver beastie with an island bed in the back and a drop down double over the cab so we each have a double bed to ourselves. He has a beautifully organised kitchen and a lovely tall fridge/freezer that I can fill with all the fresh stuff we like eating.
We chose him because we wanted beds so that when we get up in the night we don’t have to scramble over each other and because Himself likes to get up early so we needed to have a separate area for him to sit in with his brew rather than always waking me up. We’ve got everything organised in the cupboards and we both know where things live so it makes things less stressful and easier to move quickly, although we once moved pitch quickly when one with a view to die for came up. In our haste, we forgot there was water in the kitchen sink and managed to slosh it everywhere as we drove!
5. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
On our way down to Spain on our last trip, we stopped off for a week in the Pyrennees in Novenmber. We stayed at Camping Gavin in Biescas and because we had towed the car down with us, we drove all around the Pyrenees foothills enjoying the beautiful autumn scenery. On our way back in May we decided to cross the top of the Pyrennees and we camped for one night at Col de Portalet at a height of 5886 feet. It was -10 degrees and the views were absolutely stunning. there was no-one else there but us and we literally felt on top of the world! At night it was so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face which was rather spooky!
6. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
Carrefour, Sant Joan d’Alacant. We pulled off the road into Carrefour on the way to El Campello to get diesel. We were towing the car on an A Frame and as we pulled onto the slip road we were going downhill and came to a height warning bar above the road – 2.8 metres. Well we are 3 metres high and we were committed on the road – no turning off points and facing us was a low bridge. Now with an A frame you can’t reverse so we were well and truly snookered! We ended up unhitching the car which was doubly difficult as we were going downhill therefore risking the car going into the back of the motorhome once unhitched and we had a huge queue of traffic behind us.
Anyway we managed it, I drove the car under the bridge, turned round and went onto a piece of waste ground nearby. Howard then had to do a 33 point turn in a road between 2 walls with cars trying to come from both directions and then find me because we hadn’t arranged where to meet up. All was well in the end. We just re-hitched and drove out – forget the diesel, it will do from somewhere else! It is funny now looking back but it was really stressful at the time!
7. What 3 places are on your bucket / wish list?
Our bucket list must go places with the moho are Croatia, Norway, Italy and Greece. (I know, that’s 4 but I couldn’t decide which one to leave off!)So many people have told us how beautiful Croatia is that we want to see it for ourselves. Norway because we spent a week there 5 years ago on a fishing holiday. What we saw of the country really inspired us with its beauty and we want to go back and spend some time there. Italy and Greece because we’ve never been and again they look absolutely beautiful. We are both inspired by mountains, lakes and views to die for so we are easily pleased wherever we go!
8. What things (apart from the obvious) do you always travel with?
I wouldn’t be without my pressure cooker – I make loads of soups, stews etc which are cooked in 10 minutes so it’s ideal for saving gas. We call them one pot wonders and are good for our diets. (We have both lost 2 stone since retiring and want to keep it off) I also take my blitzer for my soups. When we are not on electric hookup I use a pocket size plug in inverter to power it (another must have!).
Himself says he wouldn’t be without his binoculars – he’s always gazing into the far distance at ships, birds, mountains etc and is always saying why can’t they make a camera connected to these binos so I could take a picture. No answer to that one!
Another thing is our Satnav. She is called Jennifer and has equally taken us on some beautiful journeys and scared us half to death! We wouldn’t be without her and once rescued us in the car when we got lost in a tiny village. We just followed her little map to get us out of the narrow maze that we had somehow driven into or we would probably have still been there!
9. If you could share one handy motorhome hint or tip, what would it be?
If I were to advise anyone thinking of spending long periods of time together in a small box, I would say that you each need to take regular time out for yourselves doing whatever you enjoy doing. Himself goes fishing so I usually get out my craft stuff and either crochet or draw. It keeps us both sane!
10. Any finally, whats your funniest motorhome moment?
Our funniest moment was in St Seurin d’Uzet in France. We had parked in the aire and decided to take the car and find a supermarket. The first sign we came to advertised a Super U shop which was up the road turn right. OK we did that, went down the road for about 3 miles, no sign of a supermarket, so we turned round and headed back. Saw another sign for Super U – just up the road and left at the roundabout. OK sorted! Nope! No Super U in the area, we must have driven round and round the place for half an hour before we gave up. We laughed and laughed at how many times we had been down the same roads and nothing…. So if anyone knows where the Super U is in St Seurin d’Uzet, can you please send me the coordinates!!!
Thanks to Trish & Howard for their interview and here’s hoping they enjoy a summer full of rallies before they set off again for the winter. See you soon guys xxx
If you would like to join in the fun then drop is an email at firstname.lastname@example.org