Week 1 - Getting The Caravan Moving

Week 1

Sunday/Monday 13th July 2015

Well, we is off, we is back on the road.

I did say I would not talk about the actual journeys in this years blog but having just completed the trip from Little Henham to Exmouth (on our way to Scotland!!) I felt I have to mention the crowding on the M25 (aka England’s largest free carpark), the M3 with roadworks for its entire length - yes you did read it right - the entire length, and the A303 going from two lanes to one lane and back again so often the traffic was at a virtual standstill, and the bit going past Stonehenge was absolutely abysmal. I can remember my father complaining about the A303 back in the 1950’s, so in 65 years, no change there. Still when we arrived we found a very pleasant pitch on a CL (certified location) - Pound Lane Site -  in a very picturesque village, the rain had stopped and we spent a very pleasant evening.

Monday saw us first at “Outdoor Bits” the company who were to fit the SOG system. When they looked at the caravan they declared the correct SOG for our toilet would in no way fit in the space available.

Great. Had we just driven 250 miles in the wrong direction for that information?

The man from Outdoor Bits scratched his head and suggested we look at putting a “remote” in. A “remote”, as the name suggests, is where all the gubbins are installed separately to the toilet and connected with a hose. We found the ideal place for the installation in the bottom of the fitted laundry basket and three hours later we were starting our journey to Scotland with the new SOG Type 2 system installed and functioning.

We travelled less than 100 miles to our night stopover Hortham Farm a CL just outside Bristol.

Tuesday 14th July 2015.

Despite having a super-dooper new Garmin Camper 760LMT-D sat-nav (one of my new toys bought from Aldi while “on special” at £199.00) we took the wrong direction not once but twice. The second time we managed to turn off the M5 onto the M4, no problem off and back at the next junction, but the first, less than a mile from the campsite, took us into a new housing estate - I had to do a three point turn to get out.

It was a long and tedious journey to Blackpool, as are all journeys that take you over two hundred miles up the motorway, but we reached our night-spot in time to drop/pick-up kit at the lock-up and do shopping ready for a sharp start tomorrow. We had picked this particular CL as it was at the back of a pub - Birley Hotel - with what was, the last time we visited, a good restaurant. It was still pretty good we had roasted Sea-bass linguine - delicious.

Wednesday 15th July 2015

Another day, same motorway, still going north but at least the motorway scenery is better once Preston is south of you. For those motorway services fans among you we stopped at Tebay Services. It has to be the best motorway services out there, most of it is, of course, like every other services but it has a unique fast food outlet, unique in that it sells superb pies with proper chips, and a superb farm shop that sells the most delicious fayre. If you visit make sure you give yourself plenty of time to look around.

We arrived on the outskirts of Carlisle to a CL - West Brightenflatt - where R&F have been ensconced since the end of June.

No cooking tonight Rosemary has cooked her Yummie Curry for us.

Thursday 16th July 2015

Last year Frank installed a string of led’s under his van. Not only did they look - like, really really blow your mind, cool man!!, but are a boon when trotting to the facilities in darkness hours. We, and by that I mean Frank, with me in a watching and trying to look intelligent role (you failed - Ed.), installed a similar system to our van today. It looks great.

Friday 17th July 2015

It’s been a windy old day, it started cloudy and wet but finished very windy with the trees behind us chucking lumps of tree at us - the worrying part is the forecast says it’s going to be worse tomorrow with winds up to 55mph.

Saturday 18th July 2015

The forecasters were not wrong about the wind. It’s been blowing a hoolie all night with rain landing like bullets. Twice we received a bang on the roof that frightened the life out of us when we thought one of the large trees behind us had blown down and landed on us but on both occasions it turned out to be quite small pieces of tree that had landed on the roof, albeit with some force. I’m glad we were not towing today - or I should say planning to tow cos’ there is no way I would have been prepared to move with that weight of wind around.

Last update - Thursday 3rd December 2015.                                  © S W Ghost 2015