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post #1 of (permalink) Old 23-09-2008, 13:30 Thread Starter
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A week in the Mazda Bongo, Devon and Cornwall Tour.

Hi Guys,

I arrived home on Saturday Evening after spending a week touring Cornwall and Devon. Highlights included a meal at Gidleigh Park (pretentious and snobby - not my cuppa, but food was to die for), several of Rick Steins places, much more relaxed and casual, equally good food, and seeing the sun go down on Lands End. Overall had a fantastic time...

Now, the Bongo
It was interesting, and I remain convinced I want to keep her, I clearly need to rectify my usage somewhat. I will keep the problems short.

1: Damp after sleeping upstairs - every morning we woke, the mattress felt damp as did all covers. Not good, as each night, the bedding would be damp from previous night, and the problem would multiply. This KILLS sleeping upstairs for me for the time being.

2: Toilet requirements whilst sleeping upstairs. I use an Ikea mattress, 2 duvets, several pillows and share the space with my wife. Small dog at our feet. I need the loo on average twice throughout the night, just a pee. You can imagine the hassle getting down, out, back and in. I need to get EVERYTHING other than mattress to TOP section of bed. I then need to FOLD the mattress over towards the back, to enable the latch to be opened. Then reverse on my return. Not fair on my wife, who would otherwise sleep like a baby.

3: The space again was a killer. We had a suitcase each (I tried to keep clothing to a minimum, and my case was HALF the size of my wifes). I had al my camera kit. We had several other bags - things like picnic set, dog food, walking boots etc. We also had a foldable suitcase style table and bench. Bedding too needs brought down if driving. In short, the entire back area on the right of the factory cube was FULL. This really gets on my goat, as getting to the fridge and sink etc is almost impossible.

4: We gave up sleeping upstairs on day 4, and used the driver and passenger seat, folded down, which connect to the middle row of seats, which also fold backwords. Much warmer, no damp, but not as comfy as the mattress, and much harder to tidy in the morning. Something has to give I guess.

On the plus side, the Bongo looks and drives great, we had no issues navigating so VERY HAIRY ROADS, and had loads of space around our van and awning on the various sites we chose. We saw roughly 7 or 8 Bongos a day on our travels, compared to maybe 1 or 2 VW campers - I was shocked.

In short, I will keep the BOngo for smaller trips, and as a van for trips to and from places like Ikea. For the longer and more demanding holidays, I will use the new Motorhome once here.

Here are some of my favourite photos!!

1: Torquay at Night

2: And again

3: Torquay Prom

4: Retirement Street, possibly Padstow

5: Bongo Sunrise

6: And another

7: Gidleigh Park, £12 a pot of tea, £150 for LUNCH - Once in a lifetime food though.

8: More Gidleigh

9: My Dog, Basil, attempting to look aristocratic. I love this wee fella.

10: Plain Sailing

11: What a fatty!

12: Dun Dun! Dun Dun! Dun Dun, Dun Dun, Dun Dun, Dun Dun!

13: Shark Attack! Swim for your lives....

14: A long way to go for a pint!

15: Don't let the sun...

16: Go down on me...

17: Deep Purple

18: Almost time to head home...

19: The Days End, at Lands End

Overall, all things considered, a fantastic time was had.

EdinburghCamper is offline  
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