6 May 2024

Awaycation Summer 2024

Another box ticked. Having to decide where to get Reggie's passport and worming done.

The choices were Cavignac where we did it in 2022 or Buchy where it was sorted last year.

In the end Buchy won out again. It's in easy reach of the channel and there are plenty of Camping-Car Park areas around for an overnight. 

Last time we went up to Incheville after Buchy, but this year try somewhere different.

We have six nights after Zaragoza to look at before we get to Buchy. We leave Zaragoza on a Wednesday.

The appointment in Buchy isn't until 4pm on the following Tuesday.

I am thinking of maybe one night at Canfranc Station but maybe stop there and have a look around and then aim for an Aire in France. 

Photo by Antonio Orga.


Zaragoza to Canfranc is only about three hours. Plenty of time to look around and head off through the Somport Tunnel.

There's no hurry as we have a few weeks to go...

5 May 2024

Kilometerfresser 2024

April. I managed 12 miles. It's hardly worth having a bike. 

I spend too many weekends away in the motorhome. Do I feel guilty? Hell yes.

By the time I get to go to Assen at the end of June I'll be like a beginner. I have done so few miles recently I will be a liability to myself.

Currently 98th.

2 May 2024

Cheers!

Thought we'd try this. Bought in Waitrose Hythe.

Not bad but the first sip has the taste buds exploding!!!

Polarsteps App

It seems many bloggers/vloggers are using this app to show where they have been. I thought I'd download and install it for the Awaycation that starts very soon.

It's easier to use than Travel Boast as it is easier to find places using the search facility. 

The app does seem to have a "live" update option and you simply (I think!) start a route/plan and it uses the gps etc to map roughly where you are going.  

I have done a few tests and it seems to work for entering where you have been but not tested the "live" system.   I have deleted all the tests as they were just to see what the map looks like.

But. I haven't found how to animate the journey. I don't think it can do that.


https://www.polarsteps.com/PaulDevall

29 April 2024

MyRouteApp Update

The navigation upgrade hasn't been doing too well. 

I spent a few days mapping the early days of our upcoming trip to Spain into the app before I paid for the upgrade.

What the **** have I done? It didn't work. 

I have already blogged about the offline mapping problem. The maps wouldn't download to the SD card in my phone. This was fixed, in part, when I tested to see if the maps would download to the internal memory. It's not the solution I would choose, but I have enough internal storage to cover it.

The next problem has been the sound. The mapping works very well. I can plan routes with multiple waypoints and download to the phone and then navigate. It works really well. Except there's no voice. Why?

Most of my tests have been done in the car. We have a Nissan Juke. And there lies the problem.

On Sunday I did a test in the motorhome. The sound worked. Just a short run to Dover to get LPG. We had barely left the house when the voice chimed up. 

At the time I was happy it had but had no idea why!

This morning I made my way to my volunteering job at Kent Greyhound Rescue and set the route in the app. Nada. No voice.

When I came to drive home, I reversed the route....

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What's the difference between the Moho and the car? The Nissan "infotainment" system! My phone automatically connects to the system. 

With the route in the navigation I disconnected from the car, and the voice started!  

I tried the connection again and selected "Bluetooth" but there were still no voice messages. Disconnecting immediately and the  voice instructions started.

I have tested it three more times and that is the solution. I have passed this onto the technical support at MyRouteApp.


Awaycation Summer 2024 - Espa√Īa

Whilst I was concerned with the MyRouteApp problems, blogged elsewhere, I was in a quandary.

Give up on MyRouteApp Navigation and simply go through the maps in Google Maps and enter the coords into the Ohrex?

I leant towards the latter. So using MyRouteApp,  where waypoints display the coords, I was able to create "favourites" in the Ohrex.

With MyRouteApp seemingly fixed, I returned to the holiday planning. Once Sandaya confirmed the booking for three nights in Valencia I started looking for routes towards "home".

There are eight nights after Valencia to be filled. 

I still want to call in or even stay at Canfranc Station. 

My brother Neill and I stopped off here for a look around and lunch after the Somport Pass on the way to Morella  in Arag√≥n in September 2022.  In the motorhome we will be taking the Somport Tunnel!

The massive old station was a building site as it was being transformed into a luxury hotel. It was closed and behind fences. It's now open and to the south of the station they have built a motorhome Aire.

The Aire isn't a free one and is supposed to have EHU. Some reviews from earlier this year said that the EHU wasn't connected.

To get there nice and early we need a stop between Valencia and Canfranc. 

So I am looking at an aire or site in or around Zaragoza.  We have stayed at the municipal site in the city before. That was back in December 2022. It was freezing. Hopefully, in May it will be warmer! It was quite expensive but secure and the facilities were good and clean. The bar/restaurant was open but only for drinks no food.

One night around Zaragoza reduces the right to seven nights to travel up through France.

Once in France I think we will be staying in Camping Car Park aires. But where?

That's all for this blog.





28 April 2024

A short run out for LPG!

Today's jaunt for Molly was to the BP petrol station by Dover Western Docks.

Essentially to fill the LPG bottles and maybe a snifter of diesel. But also to give MyRouteApp Navigation one last chance. I set a route and it worked. We had sound. 

We are off the Spain in just over a week and have been seeing Facebook and YouTube posts about how cheap diesel is on Spain. Plus that it's getting more difficult to get LPG due to some change on Spanish or EU law. Whatever!

Hence the massive 98p spent on LPG today. 

As for diesel. It was 159.9 per litre so I decided to make sure we had enough in the tank for the drive to Portsmouth and the Brittany Ferries shop, and enough to find some cheap diesel ⛽ in Spain!

As usual the pump clocks over the amount you want. Trying to stop firstly at £30, then £35 led to £40... Eventually I stopped at £42.02. Add the 98p and it's a round £43!!!!

So today we have managed around 30 miles. As it was a part fill the Fuelly app won't give a miles per gallon until the next full tank. That will be Repsol or Cepsa?

Once back home I got the Bluetti AC70 out to make sure it is fully charged. It was still showing 100%. I charged a few camera batteries to give it something to do.

After watching Arsenal win the North London Derby again the vermin known as Tottenham Hotspur, I took the dog for his walk. 

Near where we live is the replica sound mirror. The real one is up on the Roughs. It's almost 100 years old. The replica, ironically, was cast in Germany. The mirrors are the fore runner to radar!

Now back to planning the Spain routes.

25 April 2024

Awaycation Summer 2024 - Spain

I have finally had confirmation from Sandaya that the three nights I have booked in their Valencia campsite have been confirmed. 

It's taken a few days but I expect they have loads of bookings coming in online and they have loads of sites in their group too.  I was going to book with ACSI but for that rate you get the smallest pitch. It's only a few euros more to have the larger pitch and with the "three nights for the price of two" offer it works out at about €25 per night including EHU and the dog!   Not too bad.  

For now I am going to simply print out all the stuff we need on the trip and get it fixed to my clipboard!  :)

There is a lot to do. This week I went around the van and checked all the doors that might rattle and hum when we are on the road.  Some sticky backed felt pads seem to have firmed them up and taken up the play in the doors.  

We also bought a mattress topper. When the bed is made up from the bench cushions it is a little "firm". Hopefully the topper will make it a little more comfortable.  

It's amazing that it fits perfectly. We measured it before we went and what they call a "double" in UK fits. We tried it as soon as we got home from Dunelm.

A double is traditionally 4ft6" wide and 6ft6" long. It looks as though that's the bed we have! Maybe we didn't measure properly!

MyRouteApp Navigation - Update

I had some replies to my ticket logged with MyRouteApp and also on their users forum.  None of them were all that useful until around 10pm BST tonight. See previous blog linked below...

"Have you tried installing a map, any map, onto the phone and not using the SD card....?"

The answer to that was no I haven't.

I use the SD card on the Motorola G50 for music and photo storage. Anything taken on the phone camera goes to the SD card.  I have around 60GB of music there that is an amalgamation of Amazon Music downloads and the entire iTunes library off the laptop. 

I have no problem downloading from Amazon Music if and when I buy a new album on MP3. Photos are stored without any errors.

So it never occurred to me that there could be a problem. 

There obviously is a problem though, as I tried to install "England" using the menu in the MyRouteApp. I switched off the SD card option in the app.  

Instead of it flickering on the download arrow it worked.  It took about 3 minutes to download the 746mb England maps. Pretty quick I think.  

So I downloaded Spain at 1gb and then onto France which is in total 2gb. I checked online for the new regions and chose all those that come from the Spanish border in the west up to Normandy and across to Pas-de-Calais/Nord.

In all it must have taken 20 minutes!  Not the 11 hours to do nothing from overnight last night. Of course, now I need to find out how to delete map sets I no longer need!!!


I tested a few of the routes we will be using on the Awaycation next month and they didn't fail with unable to create the route error message. Looks like fingers and indeed toes will need crossing.  

I will try the offline navigation tomorrow on my way to the greyhound rescue when I go in the car.  ūü§ěūü§ěūü§ěūü§ě

23 April 2024

MyRouteApp Navigation

I have been using MyRouteApp, and its predecessor Tyre, for about a decade. I use it mostly to create routes for the TomTom 410 that I use on the bikes and have done for many years.

I decided that as an alternative to the Ohrex satnav that we have been using in the motorhome for two years, that I would upgrade to the Navigation add-on in MyRouteApp.

An upgrade a year or so ago means that with Gold membership I can plan routes that take into consideration the overall dimensions on Molly the motorhome to avoid low bridges and narrow roads. That's the theory.  

The Navigation uses Here maps. It was a simple job to sign up and £15.95 later through PayPal the navigation button on routes in the app on my phone lights up.

I have a test route planned that will take me all of two miles into Hythe to the catholic church's car park! I will give that a go.

What has proved far more difficult is to download the offline maps from the app onto the phone. All the buttons seemed to be greyed out. Whether this is by design I have no idea. I have logged a call.  For my use at the moment I only need Spain, France and the UK.

When I click on the France download button it flickers briefly and that's it. I have decided to reboot the phone and see if that makes a difference. I have had to turn off the VPN just in case!  

More to come I guess.