Thursday, October 30, 2008

Day 6: Colwyn Bay wiggle through Wales

Oct 7th 2008, Waking up in a cold fresh breeze, on top of a hill, facing the big blue ocean as if married with the sky...... and... a train track.

It is in deed a sceneric view. One that many won't regret waking up to by the sound of sonic train passing by every few hours. Even the cloudy weather can't really hide its natural beauty.

After breakfast, we made our move to Conwy Castle and the Great Britain Smallest House.. a challenging road with a 'muat-muat' terowong. But luckily enough there is an allocated parking bay for motorhomes! The Great Britain Smallest house is painted red, red red.. we can't get in as there was no one but the sign '1 pound per entree' there.. so we ended up posing2 depan rumah je la..

The side view on another case is the beautiful romantic bay, full of luxurious boats (so i figured), which kinda remind me of the scene from Mr.Bean the movie.... only with much much smaller portion..hehe. The surrounding town is small and cozy, just nice for a walk.. but unfortunately the weather doesn't really agree with us, it then starts to pour rains.

While others sebok visiting the inside of Conwy castle, me and aizal went back to our motorhome to settle myra's business.. bushyuk tak ingat!!!

By late afternoon, we then make our move to Swansea.. going through the most challenging road we had ever encounter- up through hills, narrow snake-like roads of Wales. Almost all of the passengers were 'car drunk d'. But all of the dizziness and nauseous vomits and even with my imbalanced mind and with one eye open.. i could tell..that they are worth the journey; we were accompanied by series of beautiful misty natures throughout, which aizal said like being in the Lord of the Ring's movie- marvelous, superb and breath-taking.. which no natural vocabs in the world could just describe. (I'm sorry..not to exaggerate..but you ought to try it yourself to believe it!)
After the long 6-7 hours drives (again.. ditipu si GPS.. kate 4 jam je.. ciss), we arrived safe and sound to our Swansea campsite - it's dark and almost coming to their closing time, luckily enough that we made it.

Confused weather

Apparently it snows overnight and we missed it. No wonder there are ice everywhere that morning.. so.. this is what its like huh? The unpredictable english weather. Can't wait to see the real deal :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day 5: Liverpool and Cheshire Oak village

October 6th 2008, What a nice hotel.. thanks to my own mistake and lack of homework, we spent the night at Liverpool Premiere Inn. Not too bad.. it has got big bed (1 double bed, a pullover and a single bed to be exact) but yet only allows 2 adults occupation at one time. What a rip off.. dah la stakat nak tido brape jam je.. huhu.. whatever.. since we've paid for that, might as well enjoy it while it last.

And no breakfast! huh uh.. so, bangun pagi-pagi, after check out kami beramai-ramai masuk ke dalam motorhomes for our own quick breakfast before heading to Albert Dock.

Thank god, It is easy to find spacious parking (another point to consider when driving a motorhomes- you are no longer in the normal lenght categories, and the behind is too big..thus need to carefully pick the right place to park!)

There's nothing much to do there except some quality photo times and visiting Beatles Story (I think it's lika Museum). We didn't go into Beatles story of course, it cost too much! we value our money more than to waste it on the magnificient Beatles.. (dengar lagu korang cukup la kot? hehe apparently we are not that big a fan.. sorry folks!) . Because Albert Dock is so famous for the Beatles, there are plenty of souvenirs shops around.. you can easily get any kind of fridge magnet you want! After few shots.. we then head to the ultimate shopping spree - The Cheshire Oak Designer Outlet village!

how i wish!

At first I wasn't that keen on getting anything there.. cos we are almost broke from moving to the new apartment and have used all our cash money for the trip. But after making few round, we realized, it is just sooo hard to resist! Almost all of the shop slashed up their price like crazy!. For example, Aizal got himself a pair of timberland for 9.99 pound slashed from 52!! how cool is that?! Definately a place to go again and again ;) The signboard even says: Chesire Oak Designer Outlet - GUILT FREE SHOPPING. So.. what can i do?

There are few designer outlet in UK and I've done my research; there are two that closest to London, one in Kent and one in Swindon, but both are smaller than Chesire Oak.. this is in deed the biggest, thus I think it has got more shops.. (tak abes jalan pun! letih.. )

I even manage to grab a lil treat for myself (that I rather not share here.. hehe..but all i can tell is i am BERRY happy ;)). Disebabkan kami ini hanye insan yang lemah.. terpakse jugakla swipe our only credit card Malaysia.. We've got rid of other credit cards and don't plan on getting any in london.. takut pisang berbuah 8 kali! hahahaha

So.. after few hours of satisfying bargain hunt.. all of us gather again and head up to our next campsite in Colwyn Bay.

Oh yeah, on the way to Cheshire Oak, we found a caravan campsite! it is just few minutes away from liverpool.. ciss.. kalau tau dah duduk situ dah, takyah susah2 carik kat liverpool.. urghhh!!..

Monday, October 6, 2008

Day 4: glorified MANCHESTER

So, after 3 days on the road, we have learnt few crucial things to prepare ourselves for travelling. One of which, the wheather forecast! So, according to the website, it's going to be rainy in Manchester and Sunny in Edinburgh! How cruel is that?! We should have turn our itinerary around! (That If only we knew). So, as I told before, we have agreed to wake up really early to start our journey from Lothian down to Manchester. In deed we did. It was the earliest that we ever woke up! So, by err...I don't really recall what time.. but i think 7-ish? we made our move.

People says the best part of travelling is the journey to the place we're heading. And again, people do tells a lot of true stuff. The entire journey from Scotland back to the land of England - to Manchester is so beautiful. We stop several time to snap some fancy photos and still managed to arrive Manchester by noon.

First stop; Old Trafford, Aizal's so-called holy dream (reallllly not getting it). And it must be his lucky day that despite the rainy forecast, it is bright and shiny Man U!

Funny part about our arrival there was, he kept missing the junction and ended up being far and farter apart than the stadium! So, after his 3rd attempt to approach the holy-stadium, we finally manage to park safely. So, what more can you do in an empty stadium in the middle of the day without any match?
Plenty of shopping! The merchandise is lika paradise to all the crazy fans out there (my husband to name a few).. you name it, you'll get it, They have absolutely everything! The most shocking part was, they have more stuff for baby than adults! they've got travel cots, pacifiers, bibs, sleeping suits.. just everything lah! some marketing huh?.. (pancing mommy2 yang daddy2 nye crazy fan of MU.. huhu)
Next stop, the Manchester city. A lil too small than what I'd imagine, and frankly, pretty dull. The worst part is, they don't even have any souvenirs shop, cos apparently in Manchester, all they have as an attraction; is the Old Trafford Stadium and the glory Manchester United. But, lucky me, still managed to grab the last fridge magnet from Hard Rock!

There goes our day, after few rounds we then head to liverpool for an overnight turns nightmare! I was the one in charge of the itinerary plus the camp site look out. There was only one caravan park in between Manchester and Liverpool. So, I didn't really mind about reading reviews from their previous visitors. Boy how I regret that! The liverpool campsite was like the stage for some serial killer movie. When we meet the owner, an old skinny guy, he said due to lots of rains earlier he couldn't let us park in his usual campsite, which is in the middle of a field, so he suggest the scary-serial-killer-barn instead. Plus, he said he didn't have any toilet let alone shower facilities which he claims he already put out on his website. I admit to have missed to see the important symbol of facilities on the website. Another point need to remember, when booking a campsite, always.. always check their facilities and reviews! trust me, it helps!
So, since there's no place else to go, we use the excuse of not having the shower facilities to get out of our booking deal and look for another place to stay, a nice BnB or Inn or something. So there goes 60pound for each room that you can't even share with more than 2 adults! huh uh.. typical british.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Day 3: Scottish-ing away!!

We arrived at Linwater campsite in Lothian before 9pm. More than enough time to relax, cook and had a proper meal together. So, for that we've decided to have a special dinner; sardine, telur dadar and hot rice. Simple but yet delicious (dalam lapar and sejuk, even batu will taste like kfc i figured hehe). So, the next following morning, with time running ahead of us, we took our time to actually enjoy the campsite facilities. Hot steamy shower with its own control, proper room to leave your bag dry, and a handy hair dryer. So, dengan seleranya, me and dill make use of the time to shampoo our hair. After a great breakfast treat by Aizal (we were served burger aizal special), we then make a move to Edinburgh into a pouring rain.. huwaaaargh!!!

It's true what people said about Edinburgh, it is really beautiful and it has it all. It is a place to go is you really in a short schedule to cover Scotland. Castle in the middle of the town, shopping spree at every corner and green green park just about everywhere. We enjoy our time there even in rain! We were all soaking wet, but yet satisfied.. even bagged our self some cool scottish sweaters. I dunno why i didn't feel as cold..maybe the fact that I wore 5 pieces of clothes plus 2 jackets helps! hahaha.. i feel like a marshmallow man- baloon up. But as I scroll back through all my scottish pics.. i kinda look ok.. so no complaint there! hehe

Because we love the campsite so much, we then decided to stay another night at Linwater and make an early move to Machester the next morning. We'll see how 'early' is early on my next post ;)

Day 2: Leeds and only leeds!

I think Day 2 was the worst of all... dahla sampai after midnight, gate kunci.. gelap gelite.. ade telepon tak angkat2, after 3-4 cobaan meng-call the so-called emergency contact number, akhirnye we've been let in (hampir2 putus ase dah), then dalam sejuk2 abang-abang sumer kne blaja care2 nak hook up electric, fill up air, pasang gas etc2. So, abes je pasang .. masuk2 sumer sapu je ape yang ade.. asal perut berisi... hehe kesian tul bile ingat balik!

Becos of the bad drama last night, the next morning all of the following-the-itinerary-timing moods are out. None of us get up early to start the day. The park man whom last night claim he gonna come by the morning to sort us out, didn't show up at all. We walked through the cold breeze to go to the toilet and left frustrated by the locked doors!!! I mean.. the park is nice and everything.. but the service? I think kedai mamak lagi better! So, ended up me, aizal, dilla, aidil n myra take our turns to mandi lam the compact shower room inside or motorhomes. (Seb baek air boleh refill). And the other two gents managed to get their way into the park shower room (which according to them much better left untold - teruk la tu i figure? hehe)

After our very first leisure-lazy breakfast, we then heads to our first and s'pose to be brief stop; Leeds, when we eventually spent the rest of the afternoon looking for a place to park! then an hour or two for dine-in fish&chip lunch, lurking for the non-existing fridge magnets and a drop or two to the chinese shop (in hope to find aidil's formula). I didn't even remember to take much photos! So, since we are really out of the schedule.. and if we carry on to Newcastle-upon-tyne, we will pretty much endup arriving to our next campsite as late as today.. we just had to drop Newcastle. :( shoots.. i was told Newcastle was very nice n a must see.. well then takde rezeki, maybe some other time then..

So after i think 3 to 4 hours driving, we speed across Scotland and landed on Lothian to overnight in Linwater Caravan park. By far the best campsite of all.

It is indeed nice, clean park, and have got showers all berselera to be in. The best part of the park is, it is only 10 miles from Edinburgh. So, we can take our own sweet time for getting ready tomorrow.

Friday, October 3, 2008

UK Raye Road Trip Day 1

Akhirnye.. mase yang di tunggu-tunggu telah tibe. Our motorhome arrives around 12-ish. Besar!!! Bes gile.. ade 1 permenant double decker (single), 1 double bed and 1 convertible double bed and 1 single convertible bed. Everything is there; shower, toilet, kitchen, oven, wardrobe, 2 sinks and 6 seater dining table. I just can't believe how a small van (or it is more lika lorry type?) could have got all of these features fixed in. Unbelievably stunning. If anybody interested.. check out their website; and to book for the campsite

So, after almost 1 hour lesson with the company driver, we then loaded up and ready to push off to our first destination - Cambridge University town. (That is not until 14-ish).

We arrived at Cambridge around 16-ish; quite late but still picture-managable ;) . So, ape lagi... try out the infamous gondola ride around the campus area.. nice but a bit too chilly (I wasn't prepared for sucha cold weather, i tot Cambridge just gonna be slightly more like London.. but I was so wrong. Rase mencucuk2.. sejuk tak ingat! with no glove whatsoever.. lagi seksa.. huk huk

And ape yang lebih menakutkan ialah.. I learnt that Myra is staring at the gondola guy way too long - as if she is falling in love or something.. mate tak berkelip! bahaye bahaye (this is like the 2nd time I saw her looking at guy like that, the first time was in a tube, siap tongkat dagu tuuu!)

After all the drama.. we then push off to West Yorkshire to overnight at Upwood Holiday Park. Drove through the narrowest road, climbing hills after hills.. then arrived safely at 12midnite.. when everything is already closed. We've been trying to call up the campsite owner since afternoon.. but no answer.. and since he said it is a flexible camp site, no check in time limits or whatsoever.. we just turn up. Only after 3-4 times trial, only we manage to get hold of someone through the emergency phone number listed in front of the campsite. Itu pun after hesitating and malas2, baruuu die nak bangun bukak gate, nasib baik dah bayar dah park tu. kalau tak, sure stranded laa kiteorang tak bercamp. sob sob.

So, what I gather from our first day experience, few facts you need to know about Motorhoming;

1. Know where to park - There are few limited area to park in Uni area specially. So, try to find Side Road parking area or If you are lucky, Coach Parking area (blasah je.. sebab motorhome besar, so boleh di kategorikan as coach gak la hehe). Jangan mimpi la nak park betul2 depan tempat yang you wanna visit. hehehe

2. Do not arrive super late to your campsite, even if the owner said they are flexible.. I think to be safe, 9pm should be the cut off time. And it is better to pre-book yor campsite, so at least if you are coming late.. they can arrange for something. (Lagipun naye tengah-tengah malam, sejuk2 nak carik jalan lagipun)

3. Do not always believe the GPS - Banyak gile jalan yang GPS tunjuk tu salah.. cos it doesn't count for bus & taxi road only. So, super careful.. preferrably, get a co-pilot to read the GPS instruction with a map on another hand (so boleh compare)

4. Don't fill up the water tank full before driving. It'll get heavier, so more fuel consumption.

5. Take more conforter/sleeping bag.. it can be super chill at night! (but the motorhome does come with a heater.. but still not enough for me!)

Ok then, so far that's all that I could think of .. to be continue..

Thursday, October 2, 2008

UK Road trip begins

I am currently away from 02nd of Oct to 10th of Oct 2008 with budak ebott as below itinerary;

London--> Cambridge--> West York --> Leeds--> Newcastle-Upon-tyne -->Edinburgh --> Manchester --> Liverpool --> Colwyn Bay --> Swansea --> Cardiff --> Bath --> Stonehenge --> Salisbury --> Oxford --> Windsor --> London, London, London..
Please leave a message if applicable.. hehe

Myra's first birthday eid

Alhamdulillah.. Myra's birthday celebration comes hari raya was a success.. although many of the guests had to excuse themselves from coming di sebabkan faktor2 yang tak boleh dielakkan.
That's fine.. as long as Myra had fun.. Thank you all for coming and actually blending in with the theme hehe.. and thanks thanks thanks again for the gifts... (for Myra's Doha family.. thank you so much for the gifts yang di kirim, jauh di mata, dekat di hati.. hiks)