2015-06-04 to 2015-06-09: Belgium - 608 Km
We decided to have a long weekend away with Belgium as the target. Good weather was forecast (with a chance of thunder and lightning on the Friday) so all the omens were good. Music practice had been moved to Wednesday this week, so we had the chance to be away from Thursday until Tuesday.
2015-06-04: Home to Bergeijk 147 Km
With no particular place to go, we headed for Dutch or Belgian Brabant, but we did have a plan to stay the first night at the mini-camping in Bergeijk. We arrived and there was one place free so we took it. Nice spot in a small, friendly campsite with plenty of room to open the awning and sit outside. Roast vegetables on the cob, together with ribs and a bottle of rosé made for an excellent meal. Timber had walk between fields and saw a hare and scared an owl at 04:30 but then slept until a more reasonable 08:30.
There was a lane outside the camper field which led to a recreation area based on four largish ponds; excellent for walking Timber and ourselves. Also for taking pictures.
2015-06-05: Bergeijk to Schimmert 164 Km
We'd emptied the clean water tank in order to fill it up prior to leaving home, so the foul water was quite full so we wanted to empty it before we went much further. We couldn't dump foul water at the Bergeijk site so we had to find a services and tried the NKC dump, water, WC site in the motorway services near Nederweert, which was excellent and so with empty tank we went looking for places in Belgian or Dutch Limburg. Tried one in Nollekes Winning but it was already full and they still expected another 7 campers. Where they were going to fit in I don't know but it wasn't for us so we went to Rekem by the canal but that was full too, and very cramped. After that we had a look round Rekem, "the prettiest village in Belgium" at some stage. Forbidding place, not friendly looking and hot in the sun.
Went to Schimmert in Dutch Limburg, and there was plenty of room and so we found a nice spot under the trees and set everything out. A thunder storm was forecast for the evening so we had a couple of beers at the bar and ate earlyish with sausages and roast vegetables on the Cobb, after a quick walk to the village to get some BBQ lighters.
The thunderstorm happened late and mostly missed us but it was spectacular in the distance. Dog walking was a quickie round the woods behind Ruby or a long walk through the fields around the village, which was very nice.
So Belgium had escaped us again, but we were determined to try again with a couple of tips from the NKC book.
2015-06-06: Schimmert to Reusel - 114 Km
Reusel is not in Belgium, but we tried at a couple of camping places but they were huge and very busy. We travelled through sme nice towns but we didn't find any particularly attractive camping places so we decide to try on just over the border in Reusel. The place was full but there was a spot for us, but no electricity. That wasn't a problem so we took it. Very friendly people; the owners as well as all the fellow campers. Lots of conversations as we were in a place through which everybody passed at some stage.
We decided to stay another night as nice weather was forecast, but we were offered a place with electricity and close to the dog-walking area.
The weather turned out to be hot in the sun but with a nippy wind so we, of course, got nicely sun/wind burned but enjoyed the day doing nothing much except walking the dog and reading.
There was a reasonable little walk for Timber, and I could extend that by walking between fields and around some roads to form a reasonable circle, including persuading him to cross 't Plankebrugske after which the Minicamping is named..
Tried to grill a steak but the wind on the cob was cooking it too slowly, so we reverted to a pan-fried steak and salad which was really nice with a bottle of red and a couple of beers.
We got a call from Chris, eldest son, who had a couple of days free and fancied throwing his tent on his motorbike and wondered where we were. We made arrangements to meet at a campsite he found at Oosterbeeks Rijnoever, on the banks of the Rijn near Arnhem.
We rang to book, to be sure and all was arranged.
2015-06-08: Reusel to Osterbeeks Rijnoever - 124 Km
Left after a leisurely breakfast, having had the usual middle of the night outing with Timber. Stopped off in Eindhoven having seen that there is a foul water dump place in the Park and Ride near Veldhoven. Worked well and didn't need to pay to get out of the parking place.
Arrived in Oosterbeek and we were shown a camping place where we could fit the camper and the small tent Chris would bring. Very nice spot with a view over the Rijn, including the classic cows paddling in the water, and walks along the bank in both directions.
Chris arrived and set up his tent next to us.
We were next to an old brickworks hat was all collapsed and given over to rabbits who were brave enough to come and graze in front of Ruby well within range of Timber. Either he didn't see them or he didn't care as I was expecting him to tow the us along in pursuit at any minute.
We used the Cobb again and went for a sunset stroll along the Rijn.
In the morning I walked to the village to have a look and Chris prepared to leave for another night somewhere in Germany, and we prepared for the trip home.
2015-06-04 to 2015-06-09: Belgium - Conclusions
A very enjoyable few days away, although the failure to camp in Belgium was a puzzle. There seemed to be either stopping places in car parks, which were cheap and (therefore) full, or huge camping parks with everything. We came away with the impression that we liked the mini-campings that take campervans, and we should probably look further in websites in Belgium to see if there any to be found.
An item of equipment that needs to be added to the inventory is a windscreen. Apart from that, we were pleased with our time away.