2016 was a funny year for us, one which was different from most others. We'd chosen (some may say crazily) to stay in the UK over the winter, but part of the reason for that was a family wedding in April.


So we'd planned to stay until April, then head off to warmer climes. Then we were asked to do some big chunks of house sitting near Basingstoke, for a lady we'd come to know well. We enjoyed looking after her animals so we agreed. The sits were for the last two weeks in May, and from mid-July to mid-August. We also wanted to vote in the EU Referendum, so we arranged our travels accordingly.

As mentioned earlier, we used to live on a yacht and decided to have a holiday on the water. To that end, we hired a Norfolk Broads cruiser in early May, which we enjoyed immensely; it was rather like being in a motorcaravan which was afloat!

 

 

 Enjoying the beauty of the Norfolk Broads

 

We then nipped over to the Netherlands for three weeks, sailing from Dover to Calais, and back from the Hook of Holland to Harwich. We stayed in the Zeeland province and spent far more time just 'chilling out' than we normally would. It made for a very relaxing three weeks, as we normally spend much of our time driving and visiting, instead of wandering and sitting.

 

Touring in the Zeeland province was a delight 

 

On our return to the UK, we toured along the east coast and around the Cheshire area, in between getting various medical issues sorted, or at least, trying to. We knew we'd have to be back in the UK by Christmas (medical stuff again) but decided to grab the opportunity to have a little autumn and early winter sun, by heading down through France to Spain for three months.

 

 

 Enjoying the sun in Northern France

 

We sailed from Plymouth to Roscoff, spent a little time in Brittany, then headed towards Spain, reaching the Benicassim area by mid-October. We planned to head further south, but unfortunately, I tripped and fell, breaking my fingers in the process. As a result, we had to stay in the area for the next five weeks, as I was up to my elbow in plaster. It was my first experience of medical treatment in mainland Spain, and I was very impressed. My Spanish is very basic but medical staff did their best to make sure we understood what was happening. The treatment was covered by a mixture of the EHIC card and our own medical insurance.

 

Broken fingers perhaps, but still smiling!

 

 

Eventually the plaster was removed but by then, it was time to return to the UK, so we drove up through France and sailed from Le Havre, in mid-December. Once again, we spent much of the winter doing various medical things, based around Cheshire. Despite the chilly weather, we wild-camped most of the time and became experts in keeping cosy! It's amazing how much heat half a dozen nightlights give out, to warm the part of Monty our gas fire struggles to reach.

 

And what will 2017 bring? Who knows… but isn't that part of the fun?