Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer at Highland Pines in Belwood

It's about time I update information on our travels!

We arrived at Highland Pines Campground (on the shore of Belwood Lake in Belwood Ontario) on May 7th and will be staying here for the summer season (except for short trips away).

The migration north from Florida was leisurely and uneventful. But we've received more rain in the last few weeks than we experience3 all winter in Florida. And the cold has been hard to deal with! I had to give up my "Florida uniform" of tee shirt, shorts and sandals. The tan is fading too.

Here's our new setting (the van isn't ours - we still have the Smart):

A few notes on technology - WiFi here at Highland Pines is lousy; no signal at the campsite at all. The campground advertises that it has WiFi, but you only get a signal right at the office. I've purchased a high gain panel antenna and will try to pull a signal from the office, but I'm not hopeful. The HughesNet satellite Internet service has been a great benefit! I have Internet access at all times (except when it rains real hard or it's so windy I decide to lower the dish). Although SkypeIn/Out works OK most of the time, the constant one-plus second delay and the occasional network congestion causes some quality issues. It's not easy for the normal telephone user to get used to engaging in a conversation that has a 1 or 2 second delay between both ends; it makes the interchange more like a CB or Amateur Radio conversation. Since I have no phone service other than cell phone (expensive!) and Skype via satellite, Willy sometimes gets irritated by the limited phone functions. That's life on the road!

Satellite TV has been great. But on the way to FL in the fall, I lost access to all transponders on HD satellite 82 and half the transponders on 91 (the 2 Bell TV - previously ExpressVu - satellites). I thought it was the coverage of the satellites in Florida, but nothing changed when I got back north to Belwood. Some testing determined that the problem was the SW44 satellite signal switch. I'll have that replaced this week and should have my HD channels back again (I removed the switch in the mean time so I have all satellite 91 channels back again).

I'll try to post a bit more regularly here during the summer! Time shouldn't be a problem, but it has a way of slipping away.

Enjoy your summer and come visit us at Highland Pines if you want . . .

Dave & Willy
Belwood ON

PS - we're REALLY enjoying the grandchildren now that they're only 10 minutes away!!