Travel at a Natural Pace; Enjoy the Journey

Lunch Stop

Campervan, Cooking and The Winding Way

It works!

We bought a campervan to revitalise The Winding Way. We were thwarted last summer when we realised that bed and breakfast had gone online and were difficult to find on the road. The Winding Way is about the journey and the places, people and produce or food we find along the way and a campervan seemed to be a possible alternative.

Campervan country lane LF04100Before our recent short trip I was slightly apprehensive on two fronts. First whether the campervan life would suit Alison; she freely admitted she did not know what to expect. Secondly, would it meet our needs for being able to cook dishes to take advantage of local produce? Not a big issue for this short trip but it will be important for the two week trip to France we hope to make in a few weeks.

Cooking on the Road

As far as cooking went we had two nights away and prepared our main meals in the van. It should be remembered it only has a small camping stove with two burners and a grill. We ate well; we had sausages in a spicy tomato sauce one night and Pasta Carbonara the other. All made fresh but on this occasion with ingredients we had taken with us.

The only produce we bought on this trip was some stone-ground bread flour produced by Tuxford Windmill; the mill will be covered in a separate article. We will be using the flour to validate Elizabeth David’s advice on bread making but could not use it in the van, at least not on this trip. Baking the traditional way is not possible so we will have to be more creative; more research at home will be required into traditional non-oven bread making – it should be fun!

Changing View from our Hotel Window

We had 36 hours of constant rain during our two and half day trip so our time out of doors was limited. Even so it did not dampen our enthusiasm. After all on a wet day in hotels we sit in our room or the lounge and read. That was just as easy in the campervan and it had the advantage we could move to change the view from our window. The places aspect was always going to be the easiest aspect of The Winding Way to fulfil and the campervan does so admirably. The high seating position makes country lanes so much more interesting as you can see over all but the highest hedges.

The choice of a small campervan was undoubtedly the right one as we were able to get under height barriers to get in to country parks and the like; at around 2.1 metre (7 feet) such barriers keep out larger motor homes (RV). We can park it almost anywhere we could park a large car. It was unseasonably cold so the van’s central heating was in frequent use and kept us comfortable. Mind you we should have taken more bedding as we were a bit cold at night but that is easily fixed.

Provoking Conversation

But the big plus has been rather unexpected. Everyone we meet has thought the campervan a wonderful idea; I had expected scepticism but there has been absolutely none. We have obviously had to put up with playful comments about “ageing hippies” (we are just about of that generation) but always said with a smile. Indeed there have been a lot of envious, and positive, comments and a surprising amount of interest. Bearing in mind how little time we have had outdoors it has already started allows us to fulfil the people aspect of The Winding Way. The campervan and The Winding Way idea has drawn friends, acquaintances and strangers into conversation and provided insights into the places we have been visiting. They seem to wish they could do what we are actually doing.

We now have a clear direction for The Winding Way and already have a lot to write about. Please follow us if you are interested in slow travel and places, people and produce you meet on the journey; treat it is a metaphor for life if you wish or just enjoy the trip with us. You can keep in touch either here on the site or by using our Facebook page.


Tuxford Windmill Tea Rooms LF04031


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Jill Browne (not verified) on 26 March, 2015 - 18:00

Hi Martin, I'm so glad to hear the first flight was a success, and I'm looking forward to reading about l'aventure française later this summer. Very happy to read that you like your campervan so much. Jill

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Katrena (not verified) on 26 March, 2015 - 18:01

Hi Martin, I'm so glad to hear the first flight was a success, and I'm looking forward to reading about l'aventure française later this summer. Very happy to read that you like your campervan so much. Jill

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