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A bientôt EU

Discussion in 'Personal Cali Tours & Travel Blogs' started by Amarillo, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. WelshGas
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    WelshGas Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life. Top Poster VIP Member

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    I thought they used a Radar Type sensor. Didn’t realise it was a camera.
     
  2. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom Top Poster VIP Member

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    Yes - radar not camera. I read that as someone completely disinterested with the issue, only wanting to comply with the requirement of a response within 48 hours.


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  3. Digger
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    Digger VIP Member

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    I think the VW has both camera and radar sensor. (NOT)

    Edit Not on the Cali but on wife's car.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  4. westfalia
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    westfalia VIP Member

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    It´s just come up on my radar that you may have been
    the Crispin family on here in a past life.
     
  5. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom Top Poster VIP Member

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    Same life. We changed our user name on delivery of Amarillo.


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  6. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom Top Poster VIP Member

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    There is a radar in the centre of the grill, and four proximity parking sensors (laser I think). Where is/are the camera/s?


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  7. WelshGas
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    WelshGas Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life. Top Poster VIP Member

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  8. Digger
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    Digger VIP Member

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  9. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom Top Poster VIP Member

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    Day 287 - Miniș to Kopačevo

    We had planned to spend a night in Hungary, but were so angry with a vignette seller, and the whole vignette purchase process that we passed straight through Hungary without stopping a single night.

    A vignette is required in Hungary to use certain roads. The price is a modest 2,975 Ft (10 Euros) for 10 days. We were only going to be in Hungary for one day, but even for one day, compared to the tolling practice in France for example, 10 Euros is modest and reasonable.

    After crossing the Romanian/Hungarian border we pulled into a service station to purchase a vignette. The seller wanted 5,975 Ft, a premium of €10, and the vignette was duely printed out showing this price. I handed over my credit card and was handed the terminal to enter my pin, and the price now showed 27 Euros - a premium of 17 Euros. I asked to pay the amount on the vignette, 5,975 Ft. This was refused and I was told to pay 27 Euros by credit card or 5,975 Ft cash. No way! The transaction was cancelled.

    Back to the van and we tried to pay online. A clunky website added 190 Ft for an electronic vignette- but for some reason I couldn't get the English translated site to work properly and did something incorrect in the registration process. I simply couldn't work out how to buy the vignette. We drove on.

    Clare found another site selling the vignettes for €11.23. She fared better than me but fell at the final hurdle and her card payment did not go through. The campsite warden in Pecs sounded very grumpy on the phone, suggesting we go to another site! It was then that we decided to pass straight through Hungary and go to Croatia. We'd pay for the vignette once we arrived at the Croatian campsite.

    We turned off the motorway, and went by the most direct route to Croatia. From then our impression of Hungary changed. It is a tidy well-ordered country. Delightful towns and villages, and very clean. We crossed the Danube by ferry at Mohács, changing a small amount of Euros at a bar to pay for the passage. My mum likes photos of ferries, so here you are mum.

    [​IMG]

    On board one of the ferrymen came to chat to us, with perfect English, and he asked about our travels around Europe. He described himself as a "seaman" which did lead me to ponder how many Hungarian seamen there really are, and what form a Hungarian navy might take.

    Soon after the ferry, a high fence will rolls of barbed wire lined the border with Croatia to the right of the road, and then we were at the border. Our passports and car documents were all carefully checked by the Hungarian official, just as the Bulgarian border official did when we left Bulgaria for Romania.

    Both Hungary and Croatia are noticeably richer than Bulgaria and Romania. The roads are all better maintained and the land appears tidier and better ordered.

    We arrived at our campsite and were given a very warm welcome by the owner and our host. He immediately insisted I share a plum brandy with him, followed by a cool beer.

    [​IMG]


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    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  10. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom Top Poster VIP Member

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    Day 288 – Kopačevo

    The hospitality of our host continued the next day, with spirits and beer forced upon us at regular intervals. He took Ben and Jack for a ride on his Belarus tractor, then at lunchtime, without warning, he served up goulash with pasta - and more beer.

    [​IMG]

    Then, in a moment of sobriety, I remembered that we hadn't paid for the Hungarian vignette. I managed to get through to the English speaking helpline, but it is not possible to buy a vignette for the day before. If you miss the midnight deadline you face a 140 Euro late payment charge. I know that Norway's road pricing is rigorous - but usage charge only, no fines. I never received a charge for the Gothenburg congestion charge, so there is hope, but somehow I fear Hungary will be ultra efficient at collecting fines. Suddenly 27 Euros for a 10 Euro vignette doesn't sound such a rip off.

    Kopačevo is on the Danube flood plain, now protected by a substantial levee, the other side of which is protected wetlands. After lunch we cycled down to see these wetlands, Ben on his own bike, Jack with Clare and me in charge of luggage and Meg. A series of walkways and hides have been built over the wetlands, and boat trips are offered on a lake - we just missed the last trip of the day!

    [​IMG]

    On top of the levee was a rather good cycle path, and we rode for some distance along this - until Ben picked up a puncture. We then had to strap his bike to the front of my Brompton, looking like some obscene bull bar, and Ben sat on his child saddle in front of me. While we have just four bikes with us, we also have a child seat on each of our Bromptons.

    We had a few odd looks as we rode back to the campsite like that, Meg happily trotting alongside.


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    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  11. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom Top Poster VIP Member

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    Day 289 – Kopačevo to Duga Resa

    I had though of Croatia as a long strip of land along the Adriatic coast. This is, of course, entirely incorrect. West to east is 466 km, northwest to southeast 480 km. At its widest it is nearly as long as its entire length and certainly northern Croatia has the greater land area.

    [​IMG]

    We were in eastern Croatia, wanting to head south avoiding Serbia so we would not face difficulty re-entering the UK with Meg: Serbia is an unlisted country for the Pet Passport Scheme - and I do not understand the implications if we took Meg to an unlisted country.

    So, to get from the east of Croatia to the southeast, avoiding Serbia, we need to drive due west then southeast, in a large chevron shape with legs of about 300 km. The great benefit of this is seeing the non-Adriatic side of Croatia. We've now completed that first east-west leg and landed ourselves at a rather nice campsite with absolutely spotless washrooms.

    My first job when we arrived was to fix Ben's puncture, a job made somewhat easy by having a spare tube! He then promptly fell of his bike and bit his tongue in the process...






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  12. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom Top Poster VIP Member

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    Day 290 – Duga Resa to Gradac

    We slep in the van overnight, Clare and the boys in the roof tent, and me curled up on the bench seat - all packed and ready to go.

    At 8.30 we were off, along highway D1, a road that runs from Slovenia in the north to Split in the south, set inland, never far from the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. It's a single carriageway road for most of its length, one lane each way except on long hill sections, and carries a fair amount of HGV traffic avoiding the tolls on the autocesta which runs parallel.

    It was a great drive, much through high forest and barren landscape, climbing in parts to 2500 feet, then descending to flat flood plains. Spring is well underway with the bright green of new growth and white blossom.

    Our target was the Pelješac Peninsula via the Ploče-Trpanj Ferry. Croatia is bisected by Bosnia and Herzegovina which has a sea port on the Dalmatian Coast. To travel from Split to Dubrovnik without passing through Bosnia it is necessary to take the ferry. A bridge is planned, but Bosnia treasures its 12 miles of coastline and port access. Any shipping direct to Bosnia would have to pass under any bridge linking the two parts of Croatia.

    Initially our sat nav was giving an estimated arrival time beyond 6pm, suggesting about 10 hours driving time avoiding motorways. I knew this was an overestimate as I'd use the motorway from Split to Ploče. I also know from experience that the sat nav overestimates the time I'll take on good 'A' roads by about 50%. In the end we arrived at Ploče at 4.30pm, and that included a breakfast stop, a comfort break, refuelling and shopping in Lidl.

    So, we arrived in Ploče at 4.30, found the ferry terminal and then discovered that only three ferries a day run between the two parts of Croatia: 9:30, 14:15 and 19:30. And there was me expecting a 30 minute interval shuttle service. I know I should have checked... But I wasn't expecting such a good journey, and had a campsite earmarked just to the south of Split.

    I found on the ACSI phone app two campsites 10 minutes north of Ploče, one was closed or appeared to be closed, and did not look very nice with lots of ongoing construction work. The other is in a delightful spot right by the sea. We will remain for three nights before taking the 14:15 ferry on Thursday to the Pelješac Peninsula, where we will stay for 2 or 3 weeks if the campsite is good.

    Today was National Offer Day, and we had assurances from Greenwich Council that we would hear of Ben's school place today. We have heard nothing.


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  13. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom Top Poster VIP Member

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    Day 291 & 292 - Gradac

    On Tuesday we learned that Ben has a place at our first choice school, Coopers Lane, less than half a mile from home but in a different London borough.

    Then on Wednesday we learnt that Jack has a place at the nursery in the same school: they will be starting school together.


    Lovely quiet campsite, right on the beach. Few people when we arrived, but several more came.

    We had our usual setup, wind out awning fully extended and the driveaway awning attached to that.

    [​IMG]

    When it rained everything had to come in which makes it all a bit chaotic. And to make matters worse, Clare and I have been suffering with heavy colds.

    [​IMG]

    Then, dramatically, on our final night I had to get up early in the morning to separate the driveaway awning from the wind out awning, and wind in the canopy. The wind was just too strong. I had some spare guy ropes to provide extra support for what was now a stand-alone tent, and fortunately all but one of the additional five guys held throughout the night - but I was concerned, the wind was that strong!




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  14. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom Top Poster VIP Member

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    Day 293 - Gradac to Orebić

    A short 18 Km hop, which included a 1 hour ferry ride which connects the two parts of Croatia, bisected by Bosnia. An extraordinary geopolitical arrangement.

    We plan to stay on this campsite a while, at least a week. The washrooms are amazing. Campsite showers are usually tiny, not these, here they are cavernous. And the boys have their very own washroom with bath tub.

    In the short time we have been here, there have been at least three new additions to the campsite.

    [​IMG]

    We all (except Meg) watched as the on-site mouse catcher gave birth to kittens, at least three at the last count.


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  15. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom Top Poster VIP Member

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    Day 294 to 296 – Orebić

    We have now been here 3 full days, this is our forth night, and we are really appreciating this campsite. It is a superb location with stunning views across the bay and its islands.

    [​IMG]

    The boys have found some Swiss friends of a similar age, and they all play together. The washrooms are the best we have seen with showers of a sensible size and a scaled down children's bathroom.

    Ben and Jack had enjoyed looking at the kittens they watched being born. They really were beginning to look like little cats.

    [​IMG]

    We had been feeding mum with tuna and made sure she had plenty of water. On one occasion Meg slipped out of the van, and as she passed the nest mum came out and got Meg to chase her, away from her babies.

    And then, yesterday afternoon, the kittens disappeared. Perhaps mum has taken them elsewhere where they will be safe, but our fear is that the campsite has euthanised them. Mum spent all evening around her bush miaowing and looking lost (which drove Meg mad). At least the boys seem unphasef by the kittens' disappearance.

    After a short nine months, Ben has definitely outgrown his bicycle. I should have bought him the size bigger back in August. I have now ordered a size 6+ bike, with gears, and he should be able to use that for school. This is now bike number 4!

    I keep trying pedals on Jack's bike, but he just doesn't get it. He will glide about on two wheels perfectly confidently shooting down hills at speed, and scooting with his feet on uphill sections, but won't yet pedal. He will learn in his own time. Ben was nearly three and a half when he first pedalled, so Jack still has time.


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  16. s2bear
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    s2bear VIP Member

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    Perhaps it’s electrical interference emitted by railway lines and maybe there’s similar electrical interference where this happened to you, emitted by something else?

    Back in 2008 (here I go off on a tangent!) I had a brand new Suzuki 1000cc bike. Many, many times, when westbound on the A4 bridge crossing the railway lines near Barrons Court, the bike would cut out completely if it wasn’t revving highly. The dealer wouldn’t believe me. I was hit on the back of the head by a truck mirror as it cut out whilst i was filtering through and some days later it was stolen which saved future headaches. I’d be concerned if it kept happening elsewhere but not necessarily in the same place.

    I’m still enjoying your blog immensely, thank you!


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  17. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom Top Poster VIP Member

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    Day 297 to 299 – Orebić

    In 1957 my father drove along the Adriatic coast as far as the Albanian border, and in 1965 my uncle made a similar journey. It is quite an expedition now, I find it hard to imagine what it must have been like in 1957 and 1965. Uncle Nick drove his Riley 1.5, and remembers Orebić, he revisited three years ago and notes that the roads have been surfaced since his first visit!

    Clare's been into Orebić twice since we've been here - I've been left on childcare duty, but we will all be cycling into town to celebrate our 300th day away.

    On Monday we visited Dubrovnik, a four hour round trip. There we met a great many people who'd travelled even further than us. We couldn't help but notice as we drove into town, an enormous cruise liner many many decks high, looking like it was defying gravity by staying upright. In the town centre we met a family with two girls of a similar age to Ben and Jack, they were all the way from Christchurch, New Zealand. They'd flown to Rome where their ship had left two days' earlier, and it had sailed all the way around Italy to visit Dubrovnik.

    It is easy to understand why Dubrovnik is included in cruise liner itineraries: its labyrinth of stone paved streets and alleyways bordered by high buildings makes it a fascinating town to explore. Steep well worn steps under a canopy of drying bed linen reveal it as a living town, not a museum, residents put out potted plants to add some colour.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The entire town is encased in a huge fortified wall which held back a seven month siege by the Yugoslav's People's Army and Navy in 1991 and 1992. The town suffered significant shelling during this time, but much has now been restored. We saw little evidence of the damage in the short time we were there.

    We get to meet all sorts of people on the campsites, many of whom are retired, with all sorts of different interests and hobbies. They take the time to speak with Ben and Jack, who we don't scare with "stranger danger" stories, and they have the confidence to listen to the people we meet. Last night they were invited to look at the moon and Venus through the telescope of an old German man. They could see quite clearly the craters and shadows cast by mountains on the moon. Venus was less clear, but they could see it was the same crescent shape as the moon. Reminding the old man of his age, Ben then informed him that the moon was made of cheese!


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  18. Borris
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    Borris Top Poster VIP Member

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    My father also drove our family down that same Adriatic coast to the Albanian border in a Morris Minor Traveller complete with those moss filled window boxes. That holiday must have been around 1965 and my recollections of it now consist mainly of three strong memories:
    1. My father had built a home made trailer tent. For the suspension units he had used Vespa scooter front ends complete with their original Vespa wheels. His home made bodywork was very well made and as it turned out, when loaded became far too heavy for the aforementioned wheels. I have vivid memories of the collective worry that the wheels might suddenly give way and of the many searches enroute for the nearest local blacksmith or anywhere that could weld up those constantly cracking up wheels.
    2. I can still remember that drive down the Adriatic coast towards Dubrovnik. As a bored young lad confined to the rear seat with my younger brother it seemed to me like a never ending drive in and out of the endless almost identical inlets and headlands. I'm sure I would see it differently now.
    3. Finally, of the sheer beauty of Dubrovnik. I can still remember walking around the top of the fortified town walls and exploring the many narrow alley ways. It was such an interesting place, full of character and charm. I am delighted to hear that it is still the same today despite the recent war damage.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
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  19. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom Top Poster VIP Member

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    At £50 for the four of us, we felt the walls were just too expensive. Instead we satisfied ourselves by seeing them from the inside and outside for free.

    Perhaps we should have paid, if only to make a contribution to the amazing post war restoration work.


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  20. Borris
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    Borris Top Poster VIP Member

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    That may be a sign of the times. My father may have paid for us to walk on the walls but if he did I wasn't aware of it. I suspect that there wasn't a charge back then.
     

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