Weekend Away

We finally got to get away for a weekend, after finally settling in and having no visitors planned, we managed to sort a weekend together doing fun stuff. We had the Skywire booked at the Eden Project, then Sunday in Perranporth surfing.

Can’t get over how easy it is to now get to Cornwall! After it taking about 4 – 5 hours to get to Devon from where we used to live, we never really went to Cornwall as the journey would be too long for just the weekend. It only took 2 and half hours to get to the Eden Project from home which felt like nothing.

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We booked the tickets in advance to save money. We arrived with loadsss of time before our Skywire slot so we had a drink and a snack in the visitors centre (I was trying not to panic too much over the ziplining)

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The Skywire is located at the Hangloose Centre, you can book onto these activities without having to go into the actual Eden Project which is good to know for the future in case I have a mad phase and decide I want to go and do something else like the Freefall (highly unlikely, sorry Joe!) We checked in, had our bags stored and then we were weighed so they could label us (I thought it was strange at first but it’s down to how you then travel down the line, either tucked in or arms out etc) You are harnessed up and then driven up to the  start tower. It’s not a standard zipline as you lie on your front for this.

Joe GoPro’d it when he went down and then filmed me from the bottom when I came down. I didn’t realise how far it went across the whole Eden estate, the views were amazing! I impressed myself I kept my eyes open all the way, I did squeal all the way down but I enjoyed it so much, it’s one of the best things I have done. I had to tuck in my arms to make me go faster against the wind, and I think it did about 60mph which was crazy!

When we had both had a minute to take in what we had done we headed back down to start our adventure round the Eden Project itself.

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We were sooo lucky with the weather, it was perfect for walking around without a jacket on and we sat outside with a picnic too. The domes were our favourite part, really interesting as I love plants.

If you can’t put loads of pictures on your blog then where can you?

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When we saw this little Baobab Hut we thought we should try one, I picked the Rum cocktail but it wasn’t to my taste! It was literally Baobab smoothie with a small drop of Rum in it, I’m not really a fan of the smoothie texture but luckily Joe liked it so it didn’t go to waste.

The Med dome was just like being on holiday inside, all stone steps and cacti plants etc.

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We had a drink in the Med bar/restaurant before we finished the day.

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The drive to Perranporth was only about 35 mins and the campsite was lovely. It was short walk to the beach so we set up the camp then walked to the beach for a drink before we did a BBQ back at the van. We have found places where we can just rough it so next time we will do that rather than taking the whole set up.

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Took the gazebo for a bit of shelter when we did dinner and the windbreaks could have been a good idea but they broke as soon as Joe hammered them in the ground

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Luckily we had some bungee cords in the van drawer so Joe attached the windbreak to the gazebo pole for some support, grateful of the shield from the wind as it was quite strong. It felt so good to sleep in the van again, we both agreed we sleep better in there than in our flat for some reason!

Our ceiling still isn’t finished but that worked well as we were able to attach our light to it (my Grandma gave it to me and I love it and it can be like a strip light or torch)

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When the ceiling is sorted we will have to reconsider a light arrangement as I kept banging my head on it even though it was at the end of the bed, so I might just end up using it as a torch in future.

Surf was wild on Sunday, it was a really misty rough morning but Joe still went in for a bit.

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We had a drink at The Watering Hole which is a bar on the beach before having a pasty and heading back to Ilfracombe.

It was such a great weekend, it’s just the getting home and carrying all the camping stuff to the top floor haha! Can’t wait to do more of this, please stay tuned as we explore more of the South West.

Becky & Joe

We are Back!

Apologies for the lack of posting. We have had a wild few months. I had to have an emergency operation to remove my appendix, we holidayed in Croatia and then we quit our jobs and moved into a great little flat in Ilfracombe to start a new life by the sea.. so y’know, nothing major haha!

I have felt bad for not posting anything but due to the run up to moving and being poorly we haven’t really had time to go on any adventures and document it but as of this weekend that will now all change as we are now so close to the places we love and the South Coast that we will have no excuse not to enjoy things and get out there!

We chose to live in Ilfracombe as it is only 10 minutes away from our favourite beach at Woolacombe, the housing is affordable, it is close to the town of Barnstaple where Joe is working and from our flat it is a 3 minute walk to the sea front so we are getting the best of both worlds. Our flat is really ideally located (even though it is on the top floor and it is exactly 49 steps.. but at least we will be getting fit) we are close to a supermarket, the high street, the sea and most importantly.. pubs!

We have been here for a month now and loving it. We both knew it was perfect for us as we are able to have a better lifestyle compared to where we used to live in Nottinghamshire. We can now go surfing after work and the drive home is minimum (usually driving “home” from Woolacombe to where we used to live took 4 hours so we are now definitely living the dream!) We have never once sat and thought we have made the wrong decision. I urge anyone who has ever wanted to do something like this to do it! Life is too short and there is never the perfect time. We just made the best of everything that happened in the run up to the move and we couldn’t be happier now.

I can’t wait for all the adventures we will be able to go on and all the parts of Devon and Cornwall we will be able to discover now places are so much closer. We have planned a trip to the Eden Project this weekend coming which is going to be great. We have both been when we were little but can barely remember it so it’s going to be lovely to go again. We are planning on doing the Zip Line when we are there (I honestly don’t know why I agree to these things but least I will be able to say I’ve done it) and then head over to Perranporth to stop over and surf.

It’s going to be so much fun being in the van again, I don’t think I sleep as well as I do when I’m in the van for some reason! We have booked a campsite for the night this time instead of roughing it, just to treat ourselves but it will be just as good!

Please keep checking our page for updates now, like I say, I have no excuse not to update you on our adventures as we will be having loads!

Becky & Joe

What We’ve Been Waiting For..

Yesterday was a very exciting day as we were able to pick up our upholstry! Granted it was a bit later than we were expecting and it meant Joe had to go on his way home from work but we’ve got them, and just in time for our weekend away!

We had them done at Regal Furnishings which is based in Ilkeston. They specialise in caravan/motorhome, yachts, RV’s etc so we knew we had made the right choice as they obviously know what they’re doing. It’s not far from us so it was also really convenient to organise collecting.
Their website is www.regalfurnishings.co.uk/  if anyone is interested in checking them out. This isn’t a paid promotion for them but we are both just so impressed with the quality of what we recived, the service there is great. Mick sorted us out, helped with the price and gave us a lot of advice before we made the final decision.

We love them! We decided on the grey being the main colour, firstly to make it lighter as we were worried a lot of the blue would make it feel a little dark in such a small space, and secondly it really goes with the grey of the dash and the front seat so everything flows really well.

Diamond stitching was on the top of the list if what we wanted. We both thought it would make the cushions a lot more interesting and gives it a bit of depth, instead of just a flat plain cushion.
They are vinyl, we looked at the real leather (then thought we would probably need a massive bank loan to fund it) so settled for vinyl, it looks exactly the same, was cheaper and it’s wipe clean so instead of having cloth which we didn’t think would have been ideal, especially with sand and mud and water ending up in the back it would be a nightmare! The foam is 4inches thick, we were advised that this is one of the most common sizes for caravans and its also comfy and not too thick so we can still sit up ok.

They are all fitted with a zip too which is great just in case we ever need to replace the foam or have to access the foam for some reason. (I know it’s usually to wash them but I doubt we will ever put the cushions in the washing machine)

We had a little extension cushion made too. We only wanted it plain grey as it will only come out when we are using the bed so didn’t see the point in more work to have diamond stitching on that too.
Obviously, us being us, we can’t just get something and be 100% happy, we had to figure something out to fix it to the walls and then we could sit back and be content.

We had bought a box of strong velcro that we thought would be ideal, however the velcro itself didn’t stay on the vinyl so it was back to the drawing board. Also us being us, it had to include power tools and wood.

We came up with the idea of slipping some wooden battens inside the cushions (thankful for the zips!) then screwing the velcro on the outside of the cushion through to the wood to make it secure. We did two, one on each side of the cushion.

Next job was then screwing the other side of the velcro on to the wall. This now means you can rip the cushions off without the velcro coming off, it’s perfect! We did a few test pulls to make sure it was sturdy enough, and it is!
We wanted to get it done last night as we are slowly running out of time before the weekend, tonight will be packing, packing, packing!

Stay tuned for a round up next week about our first weekend away of 2017!
Becky&Joe

(don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to see our most recent pics – caddycamper.blog)

Homemade Insulation Blinds

I spent Saturday afternoon making my own insulating window blind things for the side windows and windscreen. Just thankful I had mainly an inside task due to it being cold!

I’ve seen them online for just over £60 for the full set but thought I would have a go at making my own to save some money and because I knew we need them within the next couple of weeks as our first over night stay of the year is coming up! (I thought if I did a rubbish job then I would have to bite the bullet and actually buy some)

I bought a roll of foil bubble wrap insulation, a roll of foil tape and a pack of window suction cup things. In total I spent £28 (I haven’t used the full roll of the tape or insulation though)

I made a template out of newspaper, which was really difficult with Storm Doris blowing around, trying to tape the paper to the window to stop it blowing must have been a hilarious show for the neighbors.
Once I had the initial template for one of the side windows I just used it for both which saved time and also stress of wrestling with more newspaper!

I basically drew the shape on the insulation twice as I wanted to do a double layer to make it thicker and then stick them together with the foil tape around the edges to make it all neat and secure. To attach the suckers I poked a hole through each corner and pushed the sucker through and then taped it on the inside so they wouldn’t come off.

The windscreen was the easiest part of the job due to it being 2 rectangle pieces and a small thin piece to fit in the middle under the rear view mirror. I had to do it in 3 pieces due to the roll of insulation only being a certain measurement wide, and also the mirror is also in a bit of an awkward place for blind making but the 3 pieces works for now. They slot behind the passenger seat so there’s no worry of them getting lost

I know they aren’t the prettiest or neatest that they could be but they do the job, I left them up all Saturday night to make sure the suckers were big enough and they stayed up all night which I was impressed by. (Actually made something that works!)

We are both please with how much more space we seem to have inside, we used to just tuck an old sheet up from the overhead shelf over the front seats but that meant the front seats themselves were blocked off and it made it feel really closed in so I can’t wait to try them out properly soon.

Becky&Joe

Sorting Out Drawers

Today was spent out in Doris (soo windy!), doing more work on the drawers in the bed frame.

What needed to be done was: sorting out clips to secure the drawers, handles to fit and then panelling to paint and fix.

We had previously fixed some smaller drawer clips on, the type you get in caravans but it just wasn’t working for us. They still rattled and we didn’t want them to come open whilst driving so we needed something with a bit more about it. Joe got some clips like the ones he uses at work in the kitchens he fits. As you can see in the picture below they are a lot bigger and do the job better! I’m going to have really strong arms after opening them!

On our Instagram page we put quite a few photos up so some of you may have seen the drawers already in, but they now have solid oak drawer fronts and we fitted panneling around them to really make it look flowing.

First job was getting them cut down to fit then it was on to the painting.. not ideal weather to be letting them dry outside due to it spitting with rain so we lit the log burner in the dining room to help them on their way!

I think the wood and blue combination is lovely, compliments each other well. 

The drawers handles were just standard ones from B&Q, we knew we needed some to really get a hold of, I wanted some unusual colourful knobs at first but knew they wouldn’t be practical. Joe had to order some special bolts as we needed the bolts to go right through the drawer front and also the plywood behind to make it super secure and we knew the ones that came in the pack with the handles wouldn’t be long enough.

We are planning on making the thin verticle drawer a pull out mini bar, need to insulate with some foil stuff and pop on a lid and hopefully it will keep my gin cool! (Or flasks of water hot, whichever is more important)

We can both slowly see the end, or until we decide we want to change something! It’s looking all ready for our upholstry now, which should be ready next weekend all being well! 

Our next move is the ceiling and lighting situation I think. You just don’t realise how much money you spend on little bits, let alone the big stuff! We just know it will be worth it in the end when we are getting so much use out of it! We have our first trip away in it in 2 weeks, just relying on the bed to be back from the upholsters.

We bought the hamsa hand decal just on a whim but it came the other day and its the perfect size and really goes with the vibe.

Becky&Joe

First Surf Trip of the Year

We set off this morning for our first surf trip of the year! We decided to go up to Cayton Bay as it’s not too far away from us just for the day and also the wave predictions weren’t huge so I could really get good practise in.

When we arrived at the car park there was only one other vehicle parked up and that was another caddy! We decided to have a little walk down to the beach before we got all our gear out, just to check the sea wasn’t completely flat, and then have a cuppa soup to warm us through before before braving the North sea.

We haven’t had our cushions upholstered yet (they are in the process of being done though so watch this space!) So that meant we sat on towels on the wooden frame but it was quite comfy so not a big deal

Joe came up with a nifty idea of using our bed extension as a little shelf for the camping stove. Its the perfect size and a good height for when you’re sat down on the sofa. As you can see, we eventually came up with a solution to hold the extension flap up. I think it’s great because it’s just so easy to put up and the cord doesn’t take up any room and its securely tied on to the wood so we won’t loose them.
Impressively, we also managed to get our wetsuits on inside the van so we were sheltered from the wind which was a bonus. I’m sure most of you know how much of a struggle it is to actually get in one so being able to wrestle ourselves in, in the back of a swb VW Caddy is pretty impressive.

We have the boots, gloves and some waterproof hats which is a must at this time of year, especially in the North Sea and I was so thankful for them. It wasn’t at all cold actually getting in the sea and waiting about for waves and I seriously think its our gear that helped. We spent a good couple of hours in there, we were the only people in the sea apart from various dogs and a couple of people kayaking and I bet everyone thought we were mad as they walked past, all bundled up in hats, scarves and coats but I’m so glad we did it, we had so much fun and I really improved from when I first got in. I usually bodyboard and Joe is the surfer but I really enjoyed myself and it was a nice change to have a big board (just a chuffin nightmare carrying the thing up the beach in the wind!)

In the car park at Cayton Bay there are toilets (which you have to pay 20p to use but I always find the quality better if you do), hot showers (!!) and a couple of changing shelters. We paid £2 to park all day so this meant we had use of those facilities. It was lovely peeling your wetsuit off and standing under a steaming shower, its grear that they can offer such a luxury haha.

After we had shoved all our wet stuff in our drybag and took the fins off the boards it was time for another soup to warm us up before heading home.

We decided to just lay the boards in the back of the van as we have the room and we don’t have to faff about strapping then down (trying to lift them on the roof in the wind never ends well).

All in all we had such a fun day but we will definitely sleep tonight! We are both so excited for all the adverntures we will be getting up to this year, it felt great to be out in the van. I would say “hurry up warmer weather” but we have both proved today you don’t have to wait for summer to have fun!

Becky&Joe