One cold and wet winters days a few years ago now we had the vision of owning a campervan. Not knowing the slightest thing about camping, or motorhomes, we put the thought to the back of our minds, but it wouldn’t go away… We started looking at vans available to buy, and talking through what we wanted from a van. It was easy, somewhere big enough for all our surfboards. But that gave us far too much choice, so after a lot of research we decided on a van conversion, rather than the ready made-to-go motorhomes. And as our DIY skills aren’t up to much, we thought building our own from a white van would take far too long. So after many hours of online scrolling, we found a van we liked the look of in Wales. After a weekend trip, and a test drive somewhere in the middle of Wales we committed to this new adventure in our lives. Uncle Bryn was born, and he was on his way to his new home in Cornwall. We had to make a few purchases and add some features but he was essentially all we needed. Over the years we’ve had him we’ve added a gas shower, solar panels and a board rack, but he’s pretty much self sufficient.
We were itching to give him a try so we had a few over nighters close to home to give him a go. A few takeaways, and some chilly first nights, we then purchased cooking utensils, crockery etc, and a thermal curtain. Even with the diesel heater installed, it gets pretty cold in a van on a frosty morning!
We took a little trip down to Poldhu for one of our first overnighters, and the peace was infectious. Just waking up in the morning and looking out on the ocean, we had definitely been bitten by the campervan bug. In early spring we stayed at Trevone Bay then did the Camel trail, but we soon realised how bulky our bikes were, and how awkward it would become taking the wheels off to get them in and out of the boot.
(parked up checking the surf at Nazare, Portugal)
That’s where the fold up bikes made an appearance, and what a great invention they are!! We were super keen to take Uncle Bryn abroad and planned a trip to France that September. We had been before on a surfing trip, in a car with tents, so were excited about all the extra room we would have in the campervan.
(cycling in South France)
We’ve now been to France several times, venturing all down the West Coast into North Spain, across to the Mediterranean coast, and inland to the Tarn Gorge. On our last France trip we crossed the border in Spain and enjoyed it so much decided next time we would head there.
(parked in an aire in Roscoff, France)
So naturally when we started to make our wedding plans, when talk of the honeymoon came up we decided that two months in Spain and Portugal would be amazing. We skipped France and took the ferry straight down to North Spain and hugged the coast all down the West and into Portugal and the Algarve.
(a French ski resort in summer)
We have visited some awesome places, and Uncle Bryn has, touch wood, been so reliable on foreign soils. Now the weather is starting to warm up we are beginning to get itchy feet and wondering where the next few months will take us.
(chilling by the beach in Ericeira, Portugal)
A few local weekends away are in the pipeline, but who knows our long term campervan plans…
Uncle Bryn has now gone on to a loving new home where he can still travel around the country and over to Europe. We felt that we couldn’t give him the adventures he wanted in the coming years so decided a new home would be best for him. We hope he’s having a wonderful time somewhere sunny!
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