Another one from HRH

Sunday May 11th 2014,

Dear All,

I thought maybe you might like an update of the “Journey according to Lesley!”

Since I was last on here we have travelled through Greece, I have had more than my fair share of Greek salad trying to counteract the more fattening dishes of Kleftico/Stifado/Souvlaki/Gyros etc., and then into Gelibolu in Turkey.

We had an abundance of washing by this time lurking “under the bed”, when I expressed my concern about this to WCG he considered it for a moment and then said, “two choices, a) throw it out of the window; or b) set fire to it;” neither of these options were taken! Hence it is still lurking quietly.

The qualities of “Wild Camping” are varied (this means no site – just parking up! I didn’t know this myself until just recently). On the plus side you are able to get into the towns and cities easily and have the diversity of choice when it comes to supermarkets, shops, restaurants etc. On the negative side there is no electric, shower and toilet facilities. We obviously have shower and toilet facilities on Plodd (apparently the toilet is now referred to as my throne!) but it is nice to have more room and use a hairdryer. Whilst in Gelibolu, taking a shower, hair covered in shampoo suds – the water trickles to a halt! Yes you’ve guessed it we were out of water. You can probably imagine the long line of expletives used about this! (You know what I mean Jenny, takes me back to boating days).

Anyway, in between the Wild Camping we have stayed at the Perfect Hotel in Varna Bulgaria, which was simply ideal. The room was huge, I did post some pictures on my facebook page, and I would like to thank them profusely for the upgrade to VIP Suite and their hospitality. I have taken to referring to Wild Camping as “Fly Tipping” as Delboy would say!

We have met some more characters on the way, Ditjon Xheka at DePaul was invaluable for her help deciphering a menu written all in Greek. Kumsal Restaurant in Gelibolu we more than gratuitous, Dave used their internet incessantly trying to access information required for our visas and we had some lovely meals with dessert and fruit gratis.
Vlad in Varna, Bulgaria was our saving grace for April, as we took heed of the satnav Haley (satnavs name) she took us the wrong way and Plodd was forced to go round a one-way system which was very narrow. Unfortunately WCG took off a wing mirror on a parked car, (although I got the blame for not looking! Lol!) Vlad sorted it all out with the owner of the vehicle and then let us park on his fore-court which turned out to be 12 days all told as we were waiting for our passports.

We have bought some souvenirs en route – not the usual tat, fridge magnet or costume doll, but things we can use in Thailand and look back on with affection when we are in our dotage. We have also been given things by people, and Vlad gave us a lovely little wine carafe which will have pride of place on the bar where we will sit and think of his kindness. Daves promised we will return to see him one day. Im actually using this in the fridge on Plodd and this morning was awoken with “Bloody hell, cant get to the milk now for the sodding wine!!”

My nerves are on edge now as we endeavor nearer the Ukraine and will be more than happy to have it behind us. We have been in touch with the Foreign Office who are not stipulating to stay away and it would be thousands of miles to go around it as we didn’t apply for visas for Belarus.

Some of the borders have been easy, actually most of the borders have been easy. Got blown a kiss and a wink by a customs official in Bosnia so “Not lost it yet girls!” Plodd set the alarms off in Albania in the scanner, so customs got on board to have a mooch around. This only took a few minutes and we were off. Two miles down the road we were stopped at a police checkpoint, they asked Dave to open the side door and were very interested in what Plodd used to be. One of the officers asked Dave if she was bullet proof, when he said he didn’t know he pulled out his handgun and said, “shall I try?” At this point I was horizontal in the cab! Lol!

We have eaten on Plodd in the evening a few times now watching television, and whilst staying in Varna I downloaded Top Gear Series 12 Episode 8, this was all about Vietnam. If you get a chance to watch it do so, WCG and I were there some years back and Id forgotten the views – its very much like what we are witnessing on this trip.

Songs sang on Plodd: 1) I met a girl in Gelibolu!
2) Plodine, Plodine, Plodine Plooooodine im begging of you
please don’t take my VAN!

Most used items on Plodd: 1) European/World Map
2) Two crystal wine glasses.

Most annoying things on Plodd: 1) “Its under the bed”
2) The accelerator!!!!!!!!

Things we would like to have on Plodd: 1) Swimming pool
2) An occasional table (for the wine!)

Again we have experienced a whole different array of cuisine, yesterday evening Dave had Bouillabaisse which had the fish head sitting proudly on top practically winking at him, followed by roast Goat. When it was put in front of him he moved it politely to one side and asked for a “doggie bag” – the smell was horrendous. So we both tucked into my very sensible order of roast pork! Next doors dog was delighted with his goat!!

The weather has been extremely changeable, one day T-Shirts and Flip-flops the next day a fleece and boots, (we have vowed that we shall have a bonfire in August with all the clothes we are sick to death of). This could prove to be one big bonfire! Some Romanian couples were camping close to Plodd and got washed out with all the rain last night. They must have had to “up camp” sometime in the night and have moved to slightly higher ground. I felt very sorry for them.

We are currently in Constanta in Romania and met Veronica in the Irish Pub on Friday evening where they were playing Alex Cortiz, Magnifico Album, she told me of this, so today I will attempt to buy it to play on Plodd as we travel. (You might want to try this album out for the restaurant Blu CDA, or Marco Kwizeen).

We had dinner in Marco Polo fine dining establishment and were served by Cornelious who explained everything on the menu. I asked for something spicy, I really miss my hot Thai dishes and she had the chef make me a very tasty Chicken dish with Chillies-quite delicious!

We walked down the beach today at Mamaia, Constanta which is a length of coast which separates a Lake and the Black Sea. They were cleaning the beach ready for the influx of holidaymakers expected in the next few weeks.

Today the weather is glorious, Ive just done the dreaded washing and it is now hanging between two trees gently blowing in the breeze, makes me want to buy a hammock! (although Id probably roll out of it).

So, hope you have enjoyed reading the “Gospel according to HRH”. I shall be back in a few weeks with tales of the Ukraine, hope they are not too harrowing!!!

NOTE TO SELF: Is the “Lard-Arse” look “IN” for Spring/Summer 2014?

Ermmmm……I THINK NOT!!!

Les xxx