Summer, Where did it go ?

Well here we are still in the UK and the weather has reverted to it's norm for this time of year. Rain, rain and more rain. Where did the sunshine go? Earlier in the year, back in March our UK pals were regaling us with how hot it was here, hotter than Sicily, where we were at the time. We just smiled and said, wait a few days then call us again, it cannot last. Sure enough we were right. People keep asking us why we want to spend most of our time abroad, I think this weather answers the question. The UK is beautiful when the weather is good, second to no other country we have visited, but we  really do need some sunshine.
Anyway sitting here in the van, another rainy day I decided to pay tribute to our little Scooter, nicknamed Hannie the Honda. She has just had her third birthday and is our main mode of transport when on camp sites abroad. What follows is a little summary of her travels. Hope you enjoy it.

In Portugal.


 “Hannie”  is the nickname we gave our little SH125 Honda scooter when we purchased her from Grantham Honda in May 2009.

She replaced our previous SH125 which was stolen earlier in the year and wrecked by hooligans.
She has her own garage in the rear of our Carthago motorhome and travels around Europe with us. She is our main source of transport for trips not suited to either the van or the bicycles or indeed our feet and enables us to get to the start of walks which we could not otherwise reach. A classic example is the Algarve. We  managed to walk the entire fifty miles of the cliff paths by taking the scooter to the start of the section we wanted to walk and then walking out five or so miles and back giving us a good ten mile walk, then the next day starting at the outward point and doing the next ten. Moving the van only when the distance became too great to be viable.
Our first winter was spent in La Manga, southern Spain. We then spent a few months in Portugal before returning for the summer to the UK.
Since then Hannie has returned to Portugal in 2011 with us in our new Carthago for winter and then on to Croatia for the summer. WE then crossed back to Italy and took in Rome on our way south. Finally we spent five and a half months in Sicily during which time she travelled on some tracks that really were only suitable for goats and performed admirably.
Now back in the UK for the summer she has been back to Grantham Honda for a thorough check up and service, well deserved.
From leaving UK in June 2011 the Motorhome  covered 7500 miles. The scooter did 4500 miles.
In Portugal she climbed up to 2000 meters in the mountains up to the snow line/ In Croatia she took us across the border to Mostar in Bosnia, where our van insurance did not cover us. Likewise to Kotor Bay in Montenegro another 120 mile round trip in temperatures often in the high 40s and never missed a beat. All this and 105 miles to the gallon.
What a girl !
Many Motor homers pull cars on trailers but for flexibility you cannot beat the Scoot. Especially in Italy where you can park absolutely anywhere, even in the centre of cities with no charge, often impossible to get a car anywhere near.
The following pictures do not really show just how bad some of the terrain was but give an idea. We often had to get off and walk her through sections of road which had literally slipped off the mountain side especially in Sicily where “Landslip” takes on a whole new meaning. The main road around Taormina disappeared overnight taking the road and train line with it.
Here are some shots of her in action.

 The English Lakes 


San Vito lo Capo, Sicily

Some Great roads

With pals for the day