Putting a toe in the water

The mattress in the rear traverse bed in our van has never been great and is property knackered now so we'd originally planned on getting a replacement made. That was going to be about £500 though so we decided to construct our own replacement using a couple of memory foam single mattresses from Ikea. Today we finally got around to cutting and fitting those so fingers crossed that it's an improvement. If not we might switch to the overcab as that has thicker foam and also hasn't really ever been used.
We're finally heading off today - planning on using one of the Britstops off the A68 tonight (maybe in the Kielder area) before heading to a CL between Lincoln and Newark for a couple of days. After that we've a couple of nights in a CS near Epping (as we've tickets to the see the comedian Kevin Bridges in London on the 14th) before heading to catch the ferry from Dover to Calais on the 15th.

No plans after that although we might head to the Aire at Le Touquet for a couple of days to work out where to go next.
The Britstop we used last night was good - nice old coaching inn at the side of the A68 with nice beer and food. Despite the stay itself being free it's not the cheapest overnight option because with food and drink we were about £35. Still - nice to spend the cash on good food etc. rather than on a campsite with facilities we didn't need for an overnight anyway.

Today we've moved further south to a little Caravan and Motorhome Club CL between Newark and Lincoln. No shower or toilet on the site but it has everything else you could possibly want. There are 5 hard-standing pitches backing onto their own fields, with each pitch being fully serviced with mains water, EHU and grey waste disposal. There is also free WiFi, a chemical waste disposal point, a very well stocked information hut (even has lots of books and DVD's for loan) and even electronic gates with a secure entry code set-up. Not at all bad for £15 a night really. We're just planning a quiet evening before heading into Lincoln on the motorbike tomorrow.

The overall parameters of the trip is going to be changing a bit however, as I've been offered an interesting job in Edinburgh and have decided to take it. That means we're only going to be out for a couple of months this time as I need to be back in early November to start that - however it's only deferred the intention to take a much longer trip at some point. If nothing else this trip will help us get a handle on the finances as well as some of the practicalities of a longer trip.
Worked our way down to Bordeaux now, using a combination of Britstops, CL's and CS's, Aire's and France Passion sites. Tonight we're on a campsite for the first time this trip - still cheaper than we're used to though as it's outside school holidays.

Will probably do a few nights near Biarritz before heading into Spain later this week.