Our Big OE 1981/82

Peter & Debra’s Big OE to Europe – Oct 8th to Oct 30th

Exploring London. Purchasing our Kombie van. A brief trip down to Cornwall and then up to Scotland (brrrr) ….


Diary Entry – Oct 8th
We prepared ourselves for the trip to London in the morning and then had to wait for 1 ½ hours at the hotel before being taken to LA International Airport. On arrival at the airport, we checked in and then waited for another 1 ½ hours before boarding the plane. The plane was scheduled to take off at 6.30pm US time but it didn’t take off until 7.00pm, which we expected. The flight was the worst so far, uncomfortable, bumpy and screaming children the whole way.

Diary Entry – Oct 9th, 10th & 11th
Bus from London airport dropped us in a part of London that we didn’t know (Knightsbridge) and after it started to rain, we decided to check into the first hotel we came to which turned out to be The Rembrandt Hotel. It cost us 28.50 Pounds per night for 3 nights. We were very disappointed in the hotel. Spent the 3 days walking around London checking out the sights.

Deb and Big Ben.


Houses of Parliament.


Buckingham Palace.


Knightsbridge Square.


Trafalger Square, London – pigeon pooping on Deb’s head (just kidding).


Diary Entry – Oct 12th
Checked into the London Akoara hotel for 2 nights. Very pleasant hotel. Went to the Hungerford Car park and sorted out a suitable van.

Diary Entry – Oct 13th
Went back to the Hugerford Car park and offered Linda and Noel 700 Pounds for their van, which they accepted. Rung the Aldersons and then the Hydes. Borrowed $1,200 from Andrew so we can go to Europe for the winter.

Diary Entry – Oct 14th
Linda and Noel picked us up from the hotel and left us at the Hungerford car park after we paid for the van. Spent the rest of the day getting Spanish Visa’s and arranging insurance and tax for the van. Slept outside car park.

Diary Entry – Oct 15th
Arranged for Portuguese visas and purchased a quilt and hottie for the van. Had a chat with a girl from Northern Ireland in Julies Pantry. Slept outside car park.

Diary Entry – Oct 16th
Picked up visas from Portuguese Embassy then make a successful attempt at getting out of London.Started at 2.30pm on a sunny afternoon and stopped south of Horsham in West Sussex. Had an embracing encounter with a car park building.

Diary Entry – Oct 17th
Raining all day. Drove through West Sussex, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and stopped in South Devon for the night.

Diary Entry – Oct 18th
Through Devon to Cornwall and very small roads. Camped just past Polperro. Nice weather.

Axminster, East Devon. 1st night at a campsite with our new Kombie van ‘Ludwig’. There’s Deb coming back from the shower room.


Nightstop between Polperro and Fowey, Cornwall. Trying to get the washing dry!


Ashbourne Caravan site. In a paddock with the cows. Had to be careful where we stood!


Diary Entry – Oct 19th
Raining, windy and squally all day. Drove down to Lands End and around the coast to St Ives and free camped. Too foggy all day to see anything

Diary Entry – Oct 20th
Rain and sun. Out of Cornwall and into North Devon and Somerset. Camped just out of Bath. Hard work to find a spot to camp.

Diary Entry – Oct 21st
Sunny and cold all day. Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Staffordshire, Derbyshire. Stopped Ashbourne for night. 70p on farm. Hard work again to find a place to camp. Finding it difficult to sight-see as it’s very hard to find places to park the van in the old towns.

Diary Entry – Oct 22nd
Late start ½ past 10am. Manchester, West Yorkshire. Stopped in Skipton for a break then onto Settle in the Yorkshire Dales for night-spot at Farmpark. Weather great. 0C tonight.

Diary Entry – Oct 23rd
Short trip today out of the Yorkshire Dales into Cumbria in the Lakes District. Stopped at Keswick at a campground. Walked into town and moseyed around. Weather cold and misty.

Diary Entry – Oct 24th
Out of Dales and into the Southern Uplands of Scotland. Weather 8C but no wind, so not to bad. Camped at a campground in Lannark.

Lanark – Scotland!


Diary Entry – Oct 25th
Slept in, not feeling very well (Peter). Started off ½ past 10am. Drove straight to the M8 and M9 and picked the right turnoff to Grangemouth. Arrived at Arine Chisholms at ½ past 12pm. Weather very cold and sunny.

Diary Entry – Oct 26th
Drove from Grangemouth to Stirling for the afternoon and looked over Stirling Castle. Very hard frost and rain in the afternoon. Still unwell but coming right.

Diary Entry – Oct 27th
Took van in to be serviced before trip over to Europe. 39 Pounds. Spent the rest of the day relaxing at Arines.

Arine & Tilly outside Arine’s home in Tummel Place, Grangemouth, Scotland.


Stirling Castle, Scotland.


Views from Stirling Castle.


Arine & Peter enjoying a happy moment.


Edinburgh Castle.


Diary Entry – Oct 28th
Left Arines at 11.00am and drove to Edinburgh via motorways. Looked at castle. Picked up two parking tickets. Stopped for night south of Jedbough at layby. Miserable weather. Looking forward to some sunshine in Spain.

Diary Entry – Oct 29th
Started off at 8.00am for London. Drove on motorways. Very windy. Arrived London 7.15pm. No problems getting into London apart from a circuit of Trafalger Square. Mild evening 11C.

Diary Entry – Oct 30th
Drove to Ramsgate and found we had to go to Folkstown to catch a ferry to Boulogne. Drove there and camped outside ferry terminal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.