Keswick visit

I was out last night with some work colleagues so I decided to head to the lakes today. The weather was appalling with loads of snow and freezing wind. Nevertheless Jack and me got out for a nice walk around although he wasn’t too happy about his waterproof lol He hates having to wear it but as it was biting cold as well as wet I thought it best to protect him.

I notice there was a caravan set up in the place where I normally park. This is a thing I see all over now and as a caravan is a more established sort of setup than a parked vehicle, I know the council are going to be looking at that spot soon and either restricting who can park there and for how long, or charging for the spaces.
It’s sad that the odd few can spoil it for the so many, but I’ve seen this happen in so many places now. Aberystwyth was the last one to be controlled and whilst I hate that the council has put controls in place I don’t blame them. People were parking for weeks on end and sitting out on an evening on the pavement next to their vans, making barbecues and having tea and drinks with their friends.

A roadside spot isn’t meant  to be a campsite, it’s a temporary spot top park free so you can enjoy the locality. If you want to sit out on an evening and have barbecues, go to a campsite! So many motorhomers are fools to themselves and sadly they spoil it for everyone else who heeds the ‘unwritten rules’ of wild camping.
I do know of some alternative sites around Keswick without having to pay the ridiculously inflated car parking prices that the council set, but I’ll never share those sites online, there’s far too many mindless people out there now.

My simple rules for wild camping:

  • Never empty your toilet except in a designated place. It’s not only against the law, it’s pretty disgusting. How would you like 15 litres of week old human waste poured on your drive or in your garden?
  • Never put tables, chairs etc out on public areas. People have to walk past and to see someone making lunch or sitting reading on public pavements is just annoying too.
  • Never leave litter or other ‘household rubbish’, there are always bins available somewhere so carry your rubbish til you find one.
  • Don’t park opposite houses, someone lives there and they don’t want to see a dirty great van outside their window for days on end.
  • Never stay in the same place more than 3 nights maximum. Other people want to park and enjoy the view, move on, come back another time, share it out.
  • Don’t park on the kerb even if the road isn’t level. Lorries do this in laybys and not only is it destructive but it limits the pavement area anyway. Locals who take pride in their area just don’t want to see it.
  • Never run your generator or engine by the roadside. I’ve seen this in Aberystwyth on the seafront and when you’re out for a walk it’s an awful sight and sound. Go to a remote layby if you must, or have a night on a campsite and charge on hook up.
  • Don’t block access to drives, other roads, farm access gates or simply by parking on a narrow road and causing a bottleneck. It’s just plain selfish and you’ll anger people.

I stick to my own wild camping rules rigidly and I take pride in the fact that I can enjoy my particular lifestyle without irritating or inconveniencing anyone else.


Exploring Mestre

I woke early and set off to find a way into Venice. I ended up on Punta Sabbatini which is on the eastern edge of the lagoon. There is a car park which charges €6 per 12 hours for campers, one of the few that does. No sleeping in it though. However about a mile away there is a free car park where a blind eye is turned to sleeping. However signs warn you that if you leave your step out or even a window open that constitutes camping and you will be moved on or fined or both. I have seen a motorhome being towed away so they’re not idle threats. It appears to me that this area of Italy doesn’t actually like motor homes. I have indeed heard before that wild camping is in fact illegal in Italy: they simply turn a blind eye to it most times.

So a sleepover in the car park, then in the morning go to the more secure, manned car park for €6 and pay €18 each for a 12 hour pass on the boats into Venice. Seems like a plan. The journey is about 45 minutes each way so factor that in to your 12 hours. I actually fell over when checking out ticket prices as there was a decorative painted floor and after the rain it was slippery and I went down heavily on one knee. Check out the bruises! IMAG0340

I went back to the van frustrated, in pain and a little down as so many things have gone wrong over the last few months and cost me over £4,000 so far. (Laptop breaking, wheel bearing, rear brakes, lights, brakes fading, money card etc etc etc) Anyway I had a coffee and a nap then opened Google for a long session to see what I could find. I found a campsite that sounded heavenly. Right at the end of the causeway to Venice, laundry service included, free wifi, free electric, it’s own jetty and boat to Venice, and all for only €20 euros a night. I set off sharpish to find it but it appears to have closed down! Nevertheless I found San Giuliano car park and here’s hoping I can access Venice tomorrow.