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WEEK 2 4th to 10th June 2022

Ahrbruck to Braubach (via Hennef) – 96 miles

Saturday 4th June 2022

The celebrations of the Queen’s platinum jubilee are talked about all over world, even with our limited German we can pick out the odd word on the radio as we trundle through Germany. 70 years! Whether you are a royalist or not you have to agree that it’s quite an acheivement and one that is highly unlikey to be acheived again, well at least for a good few years yet.

Our second week away starts with us still in Camping Denntal. The weather is due to change with the threat of some rain, heavy rain. It’s still warm though, quite close in fact. No matter, we are in a good safe place on our quiet little pitch next to the stream.

A ‘deadly’ grass snake

After yesterday we decide to just stay local. While it’s still dry we set up with our table and chairs and just lounge around near the van. It’s actually quite warm and sunny so we keep the beer and the water flowing. A very relaxing day.

Whilst having an afternoon tea by the tiny stream, Hayley happens to look into the water only to cast her gaze on a grass snake! There he is just sitting in the water making his way down stream. Something you wouldn’t normally see on a Satuarday afternoon.

Sunday 5th June 2022

Well it has finally arrived, the rain. We wake up to it pattering on the roof, it’s quite gentle though but constant. After the rain we get all the winows open for some fresh air, it’s still quite warm. We have a simple breakfast followed by Del prepping for his departure to the UK. While there is a break in the rain it’s off for a walk, just a short one though as the sky looks heavy with more rain to come.

Del is packed and ready to go on his 5 day trip to the UK for a bit of work, the van is stowed and Hayley is providing an excellent taxi service to a hotel near Cologne/Bonn airport. The flight is early in the morning.

It’s a short drive, 50 minutes. Hayley has booked a hotel through her regular hotel supplier, Hotels.com, however upon arrival the hotel is closed, shutdown, empty, no one there. No one has been there for a while. Frantic phone calls take place, it’s getting late and Hayley needs to do the drive back to Camping Denntal. With no result forthcoming to solve the problem by hotels.com, Del does a search and eventually finds a hotel 400m from the airport terminal and arranges an Uber to get him there.

We are both are angry and frustrated at the situation but after a while Del bids Hayley farewell and off she goes, her and Jess for the drive back to Ahrbruck.

More woes for Del as it takes almost an hour for an Uber to arrive.

By 7:30 both Del and Hayley are finally at their respective destinations. Del is right next to Cologne airport to be up at 04:00am for his early flight while Hayley has Jess back by the stream, up on leveling ramps and settled in until Friday the 10th June when she will pick Del up near Cologne.

Airport themed hotel, The Moxy Cologne

Monday 6th June 2022

Del is flying into Manchester today and then taking a train to Blackpool for the Red Rose Awards 2022. Hayley is staying here in Camping Denntal as it’s a lovely place with good laundry facilities which should keep her occupied.


*** Hayley’s week ***

It just rained all day!

Doing things on the van take a lot longer than they do at home so quite a few hours of the days are taken up by doing all the washing that we’ve accumulated so far and other exciting jobs like emptying the toilet! It has to be done. Luckily the van is stocked up with food and drink so my spare time can be spent reading and catching up on paperwork. On Wednesday it rains, but it rains all day, it never stops.

I have acquired cabin fever by the end of Wednesday having watched 3 films and listened to a backing soundtrack of the constant drumming of the rain on the roof.

Its a better day today, it’s Thursday and seen as I’m so close to Phantasialand with nothing esle to do, I have decided that I will go there again. It is such a famous theme park and I’m lucky to be near it, so I pack up Jess and off we trundle. I have a great day again even though it’s much busier than last week. Shame Del is not here to carry my bag.

I did have a great day, enjoyed my drive there and back. It’s nice to be back by my little stream. Picking Del up tomorrow.

*** Del’s Week ***

Ryan Air flights now require a 3 hour check-in, so for an 08:00 I need to be at the airport for 5am, so up at 4am. Great can’t wait. The hotel Moxy is nice. It’s themed like an airport which is interesting.

I get to the airport as requested, a bit early, 4:45am, by 05:15 I’m at the gate! SO much time now to kill. What was that all about. To kill time I watch a the movie A time to Kill, very good. I start a Woody Allen film, Manhatten Murder Mystery. Very funny.

Manchester Airport is, not to put to finer point on it, a dump. It’s filthy, travelators don’t work, carpet held together with gaffer tape. There are now homeless people sleeping in the terminal building. International airport my eye! Blackpool is no better by the way.

I like these chaps though
Before…!
…and after

A good few days work with some good friends in the Winter Gardens Ballroom for a show that I have done every year now for six years. Not much sleep, early starts, long days, late finishes. You can see last years event on my lighting blog.

I can’t wait to get back “Home” to Jess and H, back to the countryside and figuring out the interesting nuances of other countries. Pfand anyone?

Friday 10th June 2022

It’s Friday the 10th and my flight to Cologne is on time and quick. Hayley has asked that I make my way to a town called Hennef, 20 minutes east of Cologne where she will pick me up in an Aldi car park!

There are many things I can say about our Hayley and one of them is that nothing seems to phase her. She has been in Germany on her own, driving the van around, dropping me off in the middle of nowhere and picking me up. Hayley and I have met up with each other in so many countries around the world. She just does it, gets on with it, a natural. I’m very lucky. She is a real star! Thanks H xxx.

We keep in touch by text and sure enough, and on time, Jess is in the Aldi car park in Hennef and we are off on our trip again. We are driving east.

Germany is sometimes a tricky place to find spaces, the most difficult are the sites near rivers, poeple love them so you have to be quick to get a spot. We find a site called Green camping which is made up of numbered pitches and a wild camping area. We opt for the wild camping with a slight view of the fast moving Rhine.

It’s great here but a little tight to move the van around. Everyone is friendly, they smile and say ‘hallo’ when they see you. We have a good night here.

Its great to be back…! Everything is right in the world…

2 Comments

  1. Tony & Janet Stewart

    We’ve just received 2 weeks’ worth of travel blog from you, which as usual has made great reading. Thank you. We love seeing the places you visit and your resulting adventures, mostly very good, apart from the hotel fiasco! We know how you feel regarding the fuel as we’ve just paid 2.07 per litre on our trip away! Like you, we prefer to re-fuel when we’re down to a quarter full, and it cost £125 to top up! We need another holiday to recover now!

  2. John Knight

    Hi Both ,
    Good to see your united again after Dels Blackpool break . Hope your getting some better weather now ( as we are promised over the coming days ) . Stay safe and keep rollercoasting along xx

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