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Keef & Anne's Travel Blog

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By keef and annie hellinger, May 19 2020 07:52AM

During this Coronavirus / Covid-19 Pandemic lockdown why not break up your day by doing my “Where in the World “ motorhome travels quiz…every picture is a place we have visited and can be found here on the website. Answers are applied after a while so you can check back. Thanks for looking


If you want to look CLICK HERE


Below is also my take on whats happening, recorded for memories sake, troubling times, but it sure helps one focus on what is important and what & whom you miss!


In future when this appears in my memories, I will look back on hard times and will hopefully appreciate what are the important things in my life.


Living life in coronavirus times , which could be a while yet!


Prime Minister Boris Johnson started lockdown on the evening of 23rd of March 2020 On the 5th April he was admitted to hospital after 10 days self isolating with the Corona Virus On the 6th April he is in intensive care with deteriorating symptoms The Queen addressed the nation at 8pm on 5th April

Excel now known as NHS Nightingale and will be a hospital for up to 4,000 patients, most of whom are on ventilators. Similar venues being used in cities across the country. Opened by Prince Charles at 11am on 3rd April

Community support groups established, to support the vulnerable, elderly, immunocompromised and people in enforced isolation due to exposure, in their community

Petrol price close to home was less than £1… the first time since 2007, but when there is no where to go hardly surprising

Schools closed on Friday 20 March.Remote learning in place either via Home schooling or BBC Bitesize

Self-distancing measures required Don’t stand so close to me, i.e 2m

Tape on the floors at grocery stores and others to help distance shoppers (2 mtrs) from each other.

Limited number of people inside stores, therefore, line-ups outside the store doors

Non-essential stores, pubs and businesses mandated closed People who can work from home should do, Boris decreed back to work 14 May 2020 for construction workers and folk who can’t work from home

Parks , trails, entire cities closed or restricted to locals only in their bubble.

Entire sports seasons cancelled.

Olympics postponed to 2021 Concerts,tours, festivals etc cancelled

Weddings family celebrations holiday gatherings even funerals cancelled, although relaxed to allow upto 9 attendees mid may

No masses, churches are closed No gatherings of 50 or more, then 20 or more, then 10 or more. Now, Don't socialize with anyone outside of your home bubble , but rather confusingly from 14 May you can see 1 person from outside your household in an open space BUT if your parents are your cleaner or buying your house you can see both of them, confuseddotcom!

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and all other TV networks are on in every home daily now Children's outdoor play parks are closed Reruns of the Chelsea flower show. Have I got news for you and just about anything else done via Zoom or Skype. Everyones bookcase as a background is the new Claim to fame, especially if you strategically place Stephen Hawkings a brief history of Time. We are to distance from each other. Shortage of masks gowns gloves for our front-line workers.Both NHS and Care Homes. Care homes sadly an afterthought. At least a 3rd are dieing there. Very worrying. Government main priority to “Protect the NHS” NOT surprisingly to “Save Lives” PPE (new vocabulary along with social distancing) meaning Personal Protective Equipment

Shortage of ventilators for the critically ill in many parts of the world.

Refrigerated trucks for the dead outside hospitals in the USA Italy Spain China and more. Sadly mid May UK becomes 2nd highest number of deaths in the world behind the US and highest in Europe 35k by 18 May although ONS figures show 3k higher (never explained rationally)

Panic buying sets in and we have limits on toilet paper disinfecting supplies, paper towels, staple foods (Eggs & milk become issues, definite supply chain issues as farmers say they are throwing away litres of milk) hand sanitizer Flour is hard to get because the packaging comes from China and borders are closed , interestingly not in the UK until 18 May announcement (and then not for allegedly selected countries Eire & France. Weird and inconsistent)

Manufacturers distilleries and other businesses switch their lines to help make visors, masks hand sanitizer and PPE , Multiple hand washes per day becomes the “New Normal”, even allowing post to sit on the door mat for 3 days, the time for Covid19/Coronavirus to go from packaging

Fines are established for breaking lockdown rules Initially £30 then increased to £100 although some debate about whether or not the police can enforce them

Stadiums and recreation facilities overseas open up for the overflow of Covid-19 patients.

Public Park areas turned into caravan parks for stranded tourists to self isolate

Press conferences daily from the PM and other government officials (Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty becomes bit of a hero, Chief Scientist Sir Patrick Vallance the opposite after his Herd Immunity idea). Daily updates on new cases, recoveries, and deaths . Initial idea in March was < £20k deaths good target , by mid May it was £35k+

Government incentives to stay home. Barely anyone on the roads initially by mid May almost back to normal yet the death rate continues to rise steadily

People wearing masks and gloves outside . Mid May advice changes from probably not a good idea to YES it is a good idea. Especially on crowded public transport and narrow shop spaces

Also took months to lock down our borders (mostly) and that was only for airplanes, ferries and channel tunnel still OK… Hmmm!

Essential service workers are terrified to go to work with good reason

Medical field workers are afraid to go home to their families , some great folk live in caravans in the front garden to protect their love ones. “Key worker” is another phrase to enter the English language. There is a national clap every Thursday evening 8pm for NHS & Care workers. Sadly teachers who kept schools open o mind the children of Key workers seem to have been overlooked. Also true of Boris’s 5% off for NHS & Care workers buying new homes in what he hopes will “kick start” the economy

A 99 year old WWII veteran Captain Tom Moore raised £33 million for NHS charities walking 100 lengths of his garden before he turned 100. His target was £1000. People from all over the world donated to his cause.

319K deaths globally so far.(19 May 2020)

This is the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, WHO declared March 11th, 2020.

Why, you ask, do I write this status? One day it will show up in my memory feed, and it will be a yearly reminder that life is precious and not to take the things we dearly love for granted We have so much! Be thankful. Be grateful Be kind to each other - love one another - support everyone , and enjoy your garden and your grandchildren and families and friends everywhere

We are all one! Despite what a US president may think!


To see a "where in the world" slideshow with some of the questions you will get, CLICK HERE





Phase 1 - March to May-Ish
Phase 1 - March to May-Ish
Phase 2 - Mid May
Phase 2 - Mid May
Phase 2 - Reality
Phase 2 - Reality

By keef and annie hellinger, Oct 18 2019 03:44AM

Motorhome trip No40 : Oct 14th- 17th 2019


NOTTS->Greetham, Rutland and Surrounds ->NOTTS 247 miles


This was our second trip to Greetham after a failed attempt with Craig and Edie in August because of too much rain.


Having packed last minute stuff we headed off initially to Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire where we did the Treasure Trail quiz similar to that which we did in Whitstable. Sadly it was raining so a brolly for our walk around the town and parks was essential. The trail quizzes are a great way to get to know a town better and although we had been through Melton on many occasions it is not a place we really knew. It is a lovely place with many blue plaques celebrating the famous, especially Thomas Cromwell, Anne of Cleves and Henry VIII amongst others. Ye old Pork Pie Shoppe for which Melton is famed allowed us to buy at a reduced price a huge chicken, ham and pork pie, just so yummy!


By the time we got back to the van after our 2 hour quiz it was very dark and what can only be called a dramatic storm, which sadly was to continue for the rest of the day and night causing some rural flooding. Back at the van we had pre made sandwiches and some of our lovely pie.


Then it was onto the campsite at Greetham. Although we have been there before in November 2017, Blog 120 (CLICK HERE to view) we had forgotten how to get to the site as the SatNav coordinates don’t work. Luckily whilst pulled up opposite the Plough Inn Terry from the Camping and Caravan site rang as they wished to close early because of the weather and gave me great directions. It was almost 5pm. We will not forget if and when there is a next time. We were on pitch 25 for 3 nights,in the adult only area. All pitches have all 3 services i.e electrics, drinking water and drain for your grey waste, there is a mixture of grass and hard standing pitches


We went out each day, the weather being slightly better on the Tuesday and much better, indeed some sunshine on the Wednesday and typically full sunshine on the way home on Thursday.


We visited amongst others Apethorpe Palace, Northamptonshire – closed after English Heritage sold it to a French Aristocrat for a snip, Peterborough Cathedral, Cambridgeshire, Rutland Water, Eyebrook resevoir, the River Eye (very swollen), Lyddington Bede house, Lyddington, Rutland plus lunch at the Old White Hart , yummy and most of the villages in south east Leicestershire, the best of which in our humble opinion are Great Easton, Tur Langham and Carlton Curlieu.


All in all a very relaxing 3 days away in our lovely Wendy house.


If you would like to see the slideshow of our fun please CLICK HERE, thanks



Best Chicken, Ham and Pork Pie Ever
Best Chicken, Ham and Pork Pie Ever


Peterborough Cathedral
Peterborough Cathedral



By keef and annie hellinger, Sep 9 2019 06:51AM

Motorhome trip No39 : Sept 6th- 8th 2019


NOTTS->Swiss Farm Touring and Camping, Henley-on-Thames ,Oxon->NOTTS 290 miles


Almost 260 years around the table and 30+ camping years under our belts collectively , you could call us the Master Campers *smile*


We visited Swiss Farm Touring and Campsing with our dear pals Pete and Joy. A very well laid out site with good amenities, camping ground for tents, café and swimming pool (heated outdoors). If the weather had been warmer outside I would have gone in but on Sunday morning chickened out as 10c but it certainly warmed up later in the day.


We were on hard standing pitches 37 & 29 respectively on the same row but sadly not adjoining as we had rather gate crashed their weekend away and booked later, also we were on a 6m(etre) pitch and Pete & Joy on a 7m pitch. The lady on reception however had done a good job of getting us reasonably close.


After setting up we all walked into town , about a 20 minute walk at my slow pace. A lovely old market town on the river Thames with some amazing architecture. We had a few bevies in the 3 Tuns pub and a good catch up. In between it bucketed it down, just glad we were inside. Henley seems to have more pubs and dogs than people and the dog of choice for how shall I say this , “the somewhat wealthy” is the pug, not the most beautiful dog in my humble opinion. Stands back to deflect hurls of abuse *smile*


We then strolled down to the old river bridge sandwiched between the angel and red lion pubs, see what I mean about the number of hostelries and surprisingly they are all still trading, great views, great stories, great pictures.


We then moseyed back to the site along the edge of the boating Thames, well as best we could. Between Henley and Hurley is the Leander club, home of some very famous rowers. More chatting and supper of lasagne, garlic bread, salad followed by cheese and bikkies and some good wine, #bliss


Saturday we made our way back into town for a slightly longer explore and a bit of retail therapy. Asquiths world famous TEDDY bear shop was a real hit. Amazing animals in there as well as the very expensive Stief bears under lock and key. We then strolled along some of the back streets , half timbered houses, Georgian palatial abodes down to the river and back up to the Angel Inn on the bridge where we had lunch and ale / wine / soft drinks. Pete Joy & I had seafood chowder and very good it was too. Annie had terrine salad and rustic toast. The place was packed!


Bit more shopping as we strolled back to the campsite, sitting outside for a bit until the chill set in. Lovely evening BBQ steak, halloumi, kebabs, burgers salad and cheese and bikkies. Yummy! Thanks Pete & Joy.


Sunday after breakfast of croissants, pack up time and fond good byes until the next time. We went via Beaconsfield in search of Annie’s granddads grave in the historic Jordan’s Quaker burial ground 1688 and with the help of John in the Quaker meeting house found it easily. After that we returned via M25 / M1. All in all a lovely weekend and would recommend campsite and area. We will be back


If you would like to see the slideshow of our fun please CLICK HERE, thanks



Friends lunching, Angel Inn on the bridge, Henley on Thames
Friends lunching, Angel Inn on the bridge, Henley on Thames


Portrait time
Portrait time





By keef and annie hellinger, Jul 15 2019 05:11PM

Motorhome trip No38 : 12th-14th July 2019


NOTTS (home)->Sherwood Forest Holiday Park, Nottinghamshire ->NOTTS (home) 59 miles


A fab time with all the family at the campsite, in a lovely setting with many amenity blocks and playgrounds for the grand daughters. Also a lovely raised stream walk around the edge of the park backing onto Sherwood Forest. Outside the far end gate is a fishing lake and inside a duck pond and stream for kids to paddle in.


Nearby is Sherwood Pines and the Sherwood Forest steam railway and associated playpark both of which we visited.


We camped on pitch 1 and 2 at the far end of the park, lovely large grass pitches but the place was heaving , not a slot left so well done to Craig for booking. It was the first time they had put up their 8 person tent with awning so that was a fun family experience with all chipping in. Mostly good weather except overnight Saturday. We had lasagne and garlic bread for Friday eve, BBQ Saturday and lunch old at the nearby fab Dog & Duck Inn in Kings Clipstone.


We did the Gruffalo orienteering course thru the Sherwood Pines woods with varying degrees of success… the girls loved the assorted wooded play parks, and minus granny and granddad they all did the Green route cycle track.


It was so nice having Doug and family over from Singapore to be able to do this.


If you would like to see slideshow of our fun please CLICK HERE, thanks


If you wish to see the rest of the fun we had whilst they visited CLICK HERE






By keef and annie hellinger, Jul 6 2019 04:38PM

Motorhome trip No37 : May 5th – July 3rd 2019


NOTTS (home)->Faroes & Iceland via Holland, Germany & Denmark ->NOTTS (home) 5257 miles


What a fantastic 2 months away, scenery to die for, lovely people, couldn’t have asked for better weather in Iceland, as an example the preceding June it rained non stop for 28 days. We had 16 consecutive days of 24 hour sun. You get used to the sun falling and then re-arising moments later. It just never got dark in either the Faroes nor Iceland so it was really weird when returning to Germany via Denmark when it did go dark.


Besides 6 countries, 5257 miles by road (wendy house was amazing up some of the mountain sides) , snow, sun , fog, polar winds, more sun we also spent 7 days at sea so it was like throwing in a mini cruise as well on both Stena lines Harwich-Hoek Van Holland return and Smyril lines MS Norrona from Hirtshals top of Jutland, Denmark to initially Torshavn in the Faroes then Seydisfjordur, East Iceland return. Smyril line is a Faroese owned passenger and cargo ferry / transportation company.


The ferry goes right past the Shetlands, indeed when we were younger it did stop there but as not enough traffic now Smyril stopped it. Bad news for Brits as you now have to go all the way thru Europe to get there!


It is worth saying that the Faroes has 18 islands connected either via Ferry, Bridge or undersea Tunnel. Some we weren’t able to do especially Sandoy… ferry over subscribed and the far north islands as the tunnel at 3.1m was a little too low for comfort when taking the van thru. The Smyril line provide you with a booklet for download of the Faroes campsites. A selection of our fave places where Gasadalur on Vagar, Torshavn campsite views of Hestur, Kaldbak on Streymoy,Vestmanna, Gjogv on Eysturoy, Hosvik, Saksun (both Streymoy),Vikings at Leirvik, Trollanes on Kalsoy. See the pictures to get a feel. We loved it , a week and a half is probably enough but you are guided by the ferry timetable! Also glad we went there 1st before Iceland, I think on balance it’s the right order.


Iceland is a magnificent place to visit. Absolutely bowled over by it. Apart from my scary 2nd day morning climbing over the mountain out of Seydisfjordur in driving snow and winds where you could barely see the road, much less that it was surrounded on both sides by frozen lakes… it was all a joy! Get an Iceland camping card if you are staying more than 2 weeks, sites are plentiful in the east, south west, western fjords and the north… not so in big stretches of the southern coast. Sites are not great but mostly adequate with the exception of Reydarfjordur, Isafjordur and Siglufjordur which are wonderful. If you are not using the card it can be very costly. Reyjkavik for example is not part of this scheme and about £39 / night. Take as much canned food, rice, pasta etc with you that you can fit in your van to control your expenditure. Sadly whale watching for us at Husavik was off, foggy and blowing a hoolie! A selection of our fave places were Reydarfjordur (east) and areas out to Nordfjord, whole of the western Fjords, Vatnajokull NP, Jokulsarlon Lagoon Icebergs,Porshavn (north),many of the lovely fjords and Waterfalls, the Kerfla active volcano area (north west) , Siglufjordur (north),Husavik (north), Grindavik (south west) and as a city Akureyri. See the pictures to get a feel.


If you would like to see the slideshows of our fun in the Faroes please CLICK HERE, or for Iceland please CLICK HERE thanks


For the videos please CLICK HERE


The calendar here shows our day by day activities / whereabouts… enjoy x


Siglufjordur, North Iceland
Siglufjordur, North Iceland




inside the van (panorama) gjogv, esturoy, faroe islands
inside the van (panorama) gjogv, esturoy, faroe islands


funningur - lovely village, esturoy, faroes
funningur - lovely village, esturoy, faroes