|Getting over depression at the "Ken Dodd" exhibition in Liverpool
Ken was a great comedian from Liverpool
Guilty conscience speaking here.
I left the summer trip unfinished. My apologies.
What happened? After this ramble there is the blog post I wrote but didn't publish.
Why? The last 2 years have been amazing, we loved the little motorhome and it had everything we wanted. When it came time to sell we expected another loving owner to snap it up at a reasonable price and we would return to the US happy.
What actually happened? We left ourselves 6 weeks to advertise it and sell it which we thought would be plenty. To get a ballpark value for it we visited a dealer and asked them for an offer. It was very low, which to an extent we expected from a dealer. At least we now had a rock bottom selling price and anything above that was for the better.
How did it go? Well the advert was placed on Facebook Marketplace and we immediately got a call from a very Irish guy who definitely wanted it for his own use and would be happy to pay our full asking price. His brother was in our area and would call us the following day. Next day another very Irish guy called saying he was the brother but his name wasn't what the first guy told us. When I asked about that he said he was the first guys OTHER brother! Could he come see it. we OK'd that but then he said it would be all cash and he offered us half of what we were asking.
We weren't interested and he got belligerent, I finally just hung up on him.
Next day we got another phone call from another Irishman who wanted it so him and his mother could do some touring, he really liked the pictures and would pay our full asking price. Then he asked if I'd been contacted but the first Irish guy. ???? When I said I had he asked me not to mention his name if the first guy called back again!
Naturally this latest Irishman was going to arrive the next day to look at it and would have cash. But only half of the asking price.
Starting to sound familiar?
We just hung up on subsequent Irish callers!
A few people came and looked, one had to sell his van before he could buy ours, another found some rotten wood that we had never noticed. Another was definitely buying it and would get the deal done when he got back from vacation.
It all fell thru. We stayed with my sister for a week and house sat while she went on a cruise and her kitchen got rebuilt. A few days before we left we went round to the dealer and accepted his offer.
We were pretty crushed for a while. We had considered storing it again and going back again in 2024 to take it across into Europe for another summer, but when we added up the cost of airfares, safety inspections, taxes, insurance etc it would have cost about the same as we would lose just selling it to the dealer.
When we sat back and looked at it from an economic standpoint we did well. What we lost wasn't too bad considering we had it 10 months and used it every day. Last time we did something similar back in 2017 we had a crappy motorhome that broke down all the time. We cut our trip short just to get rid of the thing. After that we worked out that it cost us about $1000 a month for the use of the MH.
This time we had 10 months of fun, saw everything we wanted to see and more and when we added up the cost it came to...... About $1000 a month!
If we had tried to do the same renting a MH it would cost about $1000 A WEEK! Renting a car and staying in hotels would have been about $2000 a week, and we wouldn't have found all the great pubs to camp in either!
So looking back at it 3 months later we realize that we did really well and enjoyed the whole thing. It didn't cost us too much and we are thrilled that we got to do it.
Now back to that blog post I failed to publish, please read on.
|We came close to keeping the MH for another year.
Beware that you need to buy tickets a year in advance otherwise you wont get in
So what do you do when you have achieved all your ambitions and seen/done everything you wanted to see?
We were puzzled too! We sat and looked at the map book and at the “Wiggly Line” the sketch of our route so far.
We decided that seeing how we’d come up the East coastal route we would go back down on the West coastal route!
|Once a fishing port Whitehaven is now a pleasure boating place.
One place I used to drive thru twice a week when I worked in nearby Barrow in Furness in the early 70’s was the town of Ulverston.
A quiet little town with a famous son, Stan Laurel of the Laurel and Hardy comedy duo was born here and they have a very amusing statue of them in the center of the town.
|Stan (left) was born in Ulverston.
Of course we stayed back at Arrowe Brooke Farm which has become our go to spot.
We both felt tremendously deflated. We had achieved all our ambitions and seen the places we had wanted to see. It was the end of August and we had timed things to allow 6 weeks to sell the motorhome before we flew out.
To give ourselves a lift we called our friends Graham and Ellaine who live near Lincoln and invited ourselves over to visit them for the August Bank Holiday weekend.
|We had lunch in another great pub in Lincoln
|Barb and Graham at the car show
Before we knew it we were heading back to Arrowe Brooke Farm.
|Liverpool docks, now a recreation area.
We stopped at a couple of large motorhome dealers to get an idea of what the dealers might offer and to our surprise they all came up with exactly the same low offer. There must be some kind of national pricing guide like Kelly Blue Book in the US as all the dealers came up with the same price, including one who made us an offer sight unseen!
We put ads on Facebook Marketplace and on a Swift Owners Club website and waited for the offers to roll in.
Now a really depressing time started. We had all kinds of flakes and chancers calling making ridiculous promises and crazy offers. One messed us around for over a month and we even drove 100 miles for him to see it.
|Leasowe Castle on the Wirral
|Superb interiors, the castle is now a Hotel.
|Living in the rubble while Jackie cruises
|A side trip to the seaside resort of Colwyn Bay in Wales.
In addition we bought it in peak demand (Spring) and sold it in the low demand period (Autumn). We could have stored it for the winter and come back next spring to get the maximum price but we would have had to pay for another set of air fares, a rental car, hotels, insurance, road taxes, safety inspection and any repairs needed for that, plus winter storage.
We calculated that to come to about $6,000. If we added that to the offer the dealer had made we came up with about what we hoped to sell it for in the spring. So while we didn’t come away from it with a lot, it ended up costing us about the same per month as the one we bought 6 years ago when we toured Europe, and this rig was 100 times better than the previous one and it didn’t break down all the time and leak when it rained!
We came to terms with everything and packed our suitcases.
Dinners with friends and relatives filled several days then we left Jackie’s after a final roast dinner with my 2 sisters, a visit Sally and the grandkids and another with Barbara’s brother and sister in law and went off to spend a few days exploring Manchester.
|Sally and Alan live on a canal boat.
The swans come pecking at the hull when they want feeding.
They are VERY insistent
Today Manchester has become quite a trendy place and it was full of little restaurants and bars. We did the usual Hop on Hop off bus tour first to find out what we should see and decided to try the Museum of Science and Industry.
That turned out to be a bust! There used to be 3 separate halls but when we got there we found the Air and Space hall had closed years before and a second hall was shut for rebuilding, leaving just the textile hall.
That was quite interesting as it showed the incredible wealth the city had accumulated by importing cotton and exporting woven cloth and manufactured goods as one stop in what is know as “The Cotton Triangle”.
For those that don’t already know, that was the system whereby slaves were bought in Africa, transported to the US and sold. The profits bought cotton which was shipped to Liverpool and Manchester where it was turned into cloth which was shipped to Africa and sold, with the profits buying more slaves.
The rich got richer, especially as they also controlled the factories and shipping companies.
A sad time for mankind but thankfully one that has mostly been eradicated now.
We had some great meals and visited a few nice real ale pubs. Sally had decided to visit our place in Arizona while we were still in UK and we would cross at the airport so we managed a couple of hours at her hotel.
Before we could blink we were getting a taxi to the airport at 6am for the flight to London and the onward segment to Phoenix were we were picked up by our friend Ed and dropped at our place in Casa Grande.
And that as they say was it!
|The final complete "Wiggly Line" that everyone seemed to enjoy!