Wednesday, 10th October 2018
We are slowly learning the tricks of motorhoming abroad. And we believe there may be many.
Robert chose to buy a British motorhome version of a vehicle designed and built in Italy, which has the leisure/habitation door on the left/pavement side in the UK. Most continental models have this door on the right. The accepted convention on any site is to park so that each motorhome is on the same edge of the plot and therefore has private space to set up tables and chairs which is not overlooked. But as we are bucking the trend with our UK model we will need to consider carefully in future whether we drive on or reverse on to make sure we maximise the private space for all involved. Yesterday our side/leisure door faced our neighbour’s. They had a very docile dog who seemed to have been trained not to stray off their piece of astroturf laid out to mark out their territory. However, Ralf sensed that this dog spent some time, sat on the edge of this staring at our [closed] door and was not quite so chilled about this. It seems dogs are even more territorial than motorhomers.
At yesterday’s aire you had to pay and choose your pitch number before the barrier would raise. As previously mentioned, we had no idea which were the sought after pitches but the helpful Belgians selected one for us, which with hindsight, was probably based on how good the satellite signal was and this may not have been our main concern. Some of the pitches had picnic tables between them and if we were to stay again, we would opt for one with this additional seating space.
We also noticed that more seasoned motorhomers stopped on the road outside the aire and walked in to check the plots available before committing to any payment.
We would also avoid a plot next to any of the promotional flagpoles favoured by campsites as these rattle in the wind and may disturb sleep.
We had originally planned to spend two days in Westende, but having failed to find the site with the swimming pool and as so many places seemed to be closed out of season, after some discussion, we decided to head on to Brugge. With Robert occasionally muttering a mantra to himself “Drive on the right, drive on the right” Matilda is even more convinced that, with her serious issues differentiating between left and right, she does not want to drive a vehicle the size of Alan on “the wrong side of the road”.
On the way from Westende to Brugge, we drove, for a while, parallel to the canal which we had sailed down on a boating holiday about ten years ago with Robert’s parents and old family friends John and Belinda. We recognised the place we moored up at on the first night and the Harley Davidson bar on the opposite bank. In those days we never dreamed we would be passing this way again in a mobile home on an extended journey through Europe.
The aire in Brugge is very central and close to the train station, so Robert feels right at home. Ralf however, was less at ease on a walk through the town as the sound of the tourist carriages and in particular the clatter of horses hooves on cobbles scared him and made him cower. He was however well-behaved waiting for Robert to come out of the supermarket and was most appreciate of the chorizo which a neighbouring customer offered him at the bar where, of course, we had to stop for a beer on the way home.
Walked today: 5.3miles [plus 2.5mile run by Robert]
Driving distance today: 25.15miles
The current tour map:
Overnight location: N51’195700º E3’225705º Bargeweg [Brugge]: