Posted by: glenswatman | April 11, 2007

2004 Xmas letter

“Edelweiss” 8 Newtown.  Market Drayton.  Shropshire.  TF9 1JU.  England

Phone 07761 078025 (SMS text only when out of UK)



Time once again for my Christmas letter, “doesn’t time fly” and definitely quicker as you get older.  (An interesting thought in the year that Steve celebrated his 50th birthday!)  We still have the travel bug and visited many countries during the year beginning in Mildura, Australia where we housesat over Christmas and New Year.  From there we headed to Melbourne area to join our friends Bev & Norm.


February was spent exploring Tasmania, Billy (our pop top campervan in Australia) was certainly stretched to the limits coping with our wet gear on the few rainy days that we had.  Received the shocking news that Steve’s sister Netty’s husband Alan had died of a heart attack aged 46.


Mum flew to Melbourne to join us for 3 weeks in March and we did a bit of a tour with her up to Echuca then around the Melbourne area.  We returned to England together at the end of March.  Big mistake for us as the weather was still poor and Charlie (our motorhome in England) had a leaking roof.


It was great to see family and friends again and we had our grandchildren Daniel (6) and Natasha (3) with us for a lot of the time.  However our time in England was marred by van problems.  Our patience and budget were stretched to the limit getting the gearbox repaired and a new roof fitted.  It took until the end of May to get it all sorted. 


I had my sinus operation at the beginning of June – a total failure after all the waiting.


A highlight of the year was David getting married to Donna at the end of that month, no real surprise as they have been living together for over 6 years.  Not only did we gain a daughter but also 4 more grandchildren, Warren (16), Lincoln (13), Chelsea (12), and Daryl (10). 


Early July we finally left and picked up Bev & Norm at Gatwick before taking the late afternoon ferry to France.  Over 11 weeks we did a grand tour of Europe taking in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, France, Spain and finally into Portugal.  Sleeping arrangements varied with Bev & Norm either sleeping in the van with us, in a tent at the side or in accommodation with us parked outside.  


We had always planned to do something memorable with Bev & Norm for Steve’s birthday.  We couldn’t get to Malta where niece Lauren was getting married but ended up in Dominican Republic.  With 1 ½ days notice we got 2 for the price of 1 at the 5* all-inclusive Bahia Principe in Punta Cana.  The trip coincided with our 29th wedding anniversary and we celebrated this in style whilst wallowing in luxury.  All went well until the 4th day when we were hit by hurricane Jeanne.  There was a lot of devastation around the resort and service was somewhat disrupted but we all survived safely.  Put a bit of a damper on Steve’s birthday as the gourmet restaurants were all closed.  You could say his birthday holiday was a real blast.   


Back in Portugal Bev & Norm left us to return to Australia via London.  We then spent 6 weeks exploring the west coast then along the Algarve finding superb beaches with overnight parking.  Really enjoyed Portugal and although the Algarve was very touristy we still found some great hideaways.


In November we headed into Spain to catch the ferry from Cadiz to Tenerife for our fix of winter sunshine.  On our first circuit of the island we were disappointed to find that almost every available spot on the coast was either developed, in the process of being developed or inaccessible.  Mount Teide was very impressive and on our second run down the east coast we found a couple of nice spots to park up near naturist beaches.


Our intentions are to take the ferry to Grand Canary then Fuerteventura where Claire and the children will join us in January (whilst Daz continues his university course).  We sail from Lanzarote back to Spain on 6th April and after that will let destiny takes it’s course. 


As always I will be starting a new list of people who want to receive the E-mail diary so let me know if you do.  It’s always good to receive E-mails and hear your news so do please keep in touch.


So Merry Christmas and all the very best for 2005 when we hope we will get chance to see you during the year.


Lots of love from Steve and Glen



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