We're a sociable lot on brazilianvwbay and we like nothing better than getting out and about in our Kombis, no matter what time of the year. We're not fair weather campervan owners!! The VW season normally kicks off for us with the Volksworld Show at Sandown Park, but seeing that is not until the end of March, I wanted to get a group together earlier in the new year so we could get our BraziBays flexing their King and Link pins!
For some years now we've convoyed on the Continent, and we'll be doing it again this summer. It's always fun and we create a bit of a stir on whichever roads we travel along. As many of us on the site, I'm lucky to live close to some beautiful countryside, perfect to get a group of BraziBays out and exploring. So the date was set – Saturday 21st
February – and I planned the route. I wanted to encapsulate a decent amount of the Surrey/Sussex countryside but also throw in a mix of activities along the route.
The day started with a 10am meet on the southbound carriageway of the A31 at the Hog's Back Cafe. The weather had been pretty awful for a few days before, but the sun turned up just in time for our day out. It was cold but dry so perfect for a Kombi Konvoy!
Members of the BraziBunch had come from all directions to the meet: Reading, London, Southampton, Dover and even Dorset! We set off in a south-westerly direction …..
Because we're passionate about our campervans, I thought it would be great to meet another group with a similar zest for their leisure activities. I'd contacted Lasham Gliding, just north of Alton, and they invited us to visit their airfield and Heritage Centre. We kombi-konvoyed for about 40 minutes to Lasham, parked the BraziBays up in formation and went into the clubhouse for a cup of coffee.
Outside, the gliding club were making the most of the decent weather. The planes were being launched via both a powered tow and an elasticated tug, which is fascinating to watch. The angle at which the gliders get launched into the sky via the latter method is quite incredible. A tow up into the sky seems much more civilised!
After our beverage break, we were led by Gary, Marjorie and Paul from Lasham around to the other side of the airfield where they had brought a vintage glider out of storage, specifically to be part of a photoshoot opportunity. We lined up in a circular tarmac area and got snapping!
The bunch was then shown into the Lasham Heritage Centre – a custom built hangar filled with the most amazing display of vintage gliders.
Marjorie talked us through the various types of glider flown through the years. Early gliders were often colour-coded, much in the same way as our BraziBays, however the move from wood construction to fibre glass meant that most modern gliders are white. I suppose they could always be vinyl wrapped! As you can see from the photos, there wasn't a lot of room to spare, and every glider in this hangar is still flown at some point during the year.
Nice one kiteman!
Amazingly this bare-bones glider is flown regularly by one of our hosts Gary. Up to regular gliding heights – rather him than quite a lot of us!
Then it was time to head back to the vans for a spot of lunch in the clubhouse.
… and an opportunityto watch some members of the gliding club do their thing!
Just gone 2pm we boarded the BraziBays and took flight to the Devil's Punchbowl at Hindhead for a brisk walk around this natural crater in what remained of the sunshine.
The final stretch of the route took us through some amazing Surrey/Sussex scenery, through beautiful villages, up and down some 'interesting' gradients and ending up on the single track road that led us to The White Horse in Graffham.
As expected, the venue turned out to be the perfect place to end our day: plenty of parking for the BraziBays, a stylish pub with decent grub. I'm sure we'll be going back!
________________________________________________________________________________Max SportsKombi - The Bay Racer