Stolen!

Seal, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
This is not how I felt at the end of this journey.

Oh dear readers, are you sick and tired of hearing how we get it so badly wrong every time we travel or are you smugly pleased that it’s not you, that you’re not in this script?

‘It’s not here.’

‘It must be. Have we looked down here?’

‘Yes.’

‘Is it that one?’

‘No.’

‘Is it that one?’

‘No!’

’Did you check the number plate?’

‘YES!’

‘Maybe it’s in the workshop.’

‘Of course it’s not!’

‘Where is it then?’

‘It’s been stolen! Bl***y h***! It didn’t have any security fitted. The insurance won’t be valid.’

‘Surely the site has security and insurance,’ but I was talking to thin air as himself had gone looking for a third time in the same place hoping our new caravan/travel trailer/RV would magically appear.

I beetled off in the opposite direction to the storage facility office. Himself overtook me and burst through the doors.

I was reminded of the time our VW Golf disappeared overnight from its parking place in the little hill town of Vejer de la Frontera in Spain. The police had picked it up and plunked in down in a car park a 10 minute walk away. We were told the town council wanted to plant a palm tree where it had stood or were they playing a joke on los Inglés?

Meanwhile . . . . ‘I can’t find it!’ himself blurted out to a startled-looking receptionist who didn’t know who he was or what he was talking about.

A competent-looking woman with a clipboard stepped out of the office and stated calmly, ‘I’ll just see if it’s where I think it should be.’

Should?

She vanished out a side door and we stood dumbly uncertain for a moment then raced after her back to where we’d been looking. And there it was – all twenty-six feet of it. We must have walked and driven past it six times.

‘It wasn’t there five minutes ago,’ I said blithely to her. As her worry lines creased into a smile I realized that she’d been concerned too.

And that was just the start of the day.

We couldn’t get the hitch to engage or the jockey wheel to disengage. I would explain what that means but you’d glaze over and go find something interesting to read. Suffice it to say that a five minute job took an hour.

The journey was OK-ish but I was increasingly hating sitting on the wrong side of the vehicle. In our big American left-hand drive truck on roads originally for a right-hand drive horse and cart my driver was in the hedge and I was sat in the middle of the road. Every time the central cat’s eyes dunk, dunk, dunked under the truck wheels when the road narrowed I knew the caravan was encroaching at least a foot into the oncoming traffic – not funny on a blind bend. I got dizzy from holding my breath and my back is permanently kinked from leaning to the left to avoid imminent impact.

Chevy Silverado in its natural habitat.
Chevy Silverado in its natural habitat – wide road and on the right.

We made it to within five miles of our campsite and got lost. Himself stopped to read a sign that stated “Vehicles over 45 feet prohibited.” We are 45 feet, four inches. How do you turn a 45 foot four inch rig around on a single track road? You don’t. You swear loudly and repeatedly and carry on.

Looking for somewhere to just pull off the road and hyperventilate a bit we found ourselves parked outside a country post office – ideal for asking directions you’d think. They were lengthy, complicated and wrong and included a single-track humpback bridge with an S-bend. I closed my eyes and hoped not to hear a screeeech on the flint stone walls as we snaked through it.

There was, of course, no signal on our phones or the SatNav.

I’m not sure how we eventually found our way but we were leading a long parade when we turned off the road to the campsite six hours after leaving home for a 70 mile journey that became 95 miles – some of that excess in reverse.

Arriving tetchy, prickly, jittery, hungry, thirsty, weary and crabby we could have given the Seven Dwarves a run for their money. Attempting to set up on site we couldn’t get anything to work – electricity, gas, water, leveling, heating, fridge, cooker.

Chevy, caravan, Norfolk
A room with a view, but at what price to our psyches?

We blamed the dealer, the caravan, the campsite, the locals, the whole of the county of Norfolk and their roads and naturally each other for our woes but all the issues were simply down to our diminished mental capacities. I’m sure you could think of another word for it.

Though now washed, rested, warm, fed and as calm as I’ll ever be I’m not sure I want to do this anymore.

Sunset, Cley Church, Norfolk
A sunset to make it all worthwhile.

80 thoughts on “Stolen!

  1. Great post Carol, I was jetting down from WA when you posted (missed big brother Charles this time). Look at it this way, at least there are two of you to blame! I’m not sure I could ever drive those roads comfortably. When I visited Susanna, she and Sue did the driving, but I constantly felt WRONG pulling onto the left side of the highway and expected crashes every time!

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    1. I can understand your aversion to driving on the “wrong” side of the road and expecting head-ons all the time! I’m used to it after all this time but feel I should have a steering wheel in front of me when I’m sitting the right!
      Did you see the tulips this year?

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  2. I cannot imagine the level of frustration and stress the two of you were under! At least you made it and in one piece 🙂 I hear stories from my dad since him and my mom RV 365 days a year and some stories are more like horror stories – YIKES! We have had our fair share of adventures with our truck and camper too – never a dull moment – ha!

    Take Care and Enjoy Yourselves – Take a Break 🙂

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  3. A scary tale Carol. We have a tiny (and I mean tiny) popup -and the car and rig are about 23 feet. Because of the small wheelbase it’s an absolute bear to back. So generally, my rule is if I don’t know that I can pull out, then I don’t pull in. Once we were driving on a very narrow road with canals on both sides and suddenly, the road was closed (there hadn’t been a sign). There was no way to turn around, so we just unhitched and turned the popup by hand (oh yeah, I forgot to say it weighs about 700 lbs. You won’t be doing that with your rig. ~James

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    1. My fear James is that we’ll get stuck like a rat up a drainpipe. In five years of RVing the closest we’ve come was last week in Norfolk. I have to say himself is missing the wide U.S. roads and big garage forecourts that we frequented for turning around. Those lanes were so narrow that we couldn’t have turned the caravan around with ten men much less one man and his feeble navigator. Should we downsize?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Actually saw that happen, James, only with a Jack Russell terrier chasing a rat. The rat escaped. The dog had to be cut out of the pipe! I have visions of us retiring to the country, stuck down a narrow, dead end lane, taking taxis to the local town for shopping and using the truck for a study or spare bedroom.

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  4. Oh my goodness I laughed the whole way through. Giving the seven dwarfs a run for their money. Hilarious.
    I use your post as an example of why Dave and I never got into camping or RV ing. I imagine there may have been a homicide should we have taken it up. 🙂

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    1. I showed your comment to himself and he said, “Of course it’s down to my good nature and patience.” I laughed so hard I choked on my still recuperative red wine. I’ve had to bite my tongue so many times it’s amazing I have more than a stump. Ah, life in a small box. Don’t want to do that again full time.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. … and you think my lifestyle is a little on the extreme side!!!!

    My fortitude would not be strong enough to handle a caravan pulled by an American truck in Britain. I’d be a weepy mess being shovelled out of the truck. Whew … I’m stressed having read about it and might need a little *something* to settle my nerves 😉

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    1. My phone has a mind of its own and refused to send my response to your comment on Whoohoo! What a nerve! Anyway, nice to meet you too. I expect you have a few tales to tell with all your travels. I sailed in the West Indies many years ago but himself only likes things with wheels on them now. Hence truck, caravan, etc.
      Safe travels to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my! That sounds worse than our experience getting high centered on a boulder in Anza Borrego desert a couple of months ago. At least we were in the middle of nowhere and there were no other vehicles to contend with!

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    1. I don’t know Laurel. I was cringing with you all the way in your boulder tale. We did have a run in with a post in someone’s driveway but we won that little contretemps. The post died.

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  7. Love the sunset! And having driven around the lanes of Norfolk I feel your pain – and no I wasn’t in a huge American Chevy dragging an even bigger caravan! Why on earth don’t you just do B&B or SC like ‘normal’ people? Much less stress 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh come on Jude. We’re not normal. Got the caravan now. Got to use it. We’re hoping that driving the left hand drive truck on the Continent will be easier. I might just hide in the footwell. P.S. Cley next the Sea church tower in the sunset.

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            1. Wondered how I’d missed it. Don’t think I knew you then. Lovely photos. You really did have a good tour round. And that big 4WD that came whizzing around blind bends? That wasn’t us. Himself took it veeery steady on the lanes.

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  8. Oh my. Yes, I can say I’m glad it isn’t me. That does sound like the experience from H*^&% for sure. I had no idea how much went into this whole RV thing! And just leave it to you two to be 4 inches over the legal limit. Hah! Speaking of legal limit…..Am glad alcohol is always there for you…..in this case, I think even I might have had a bottle….or two!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Miracles can happen, huh? But am serious….if ever there was a time to imbibe, that had to be it!

        (Also just wanted to mention….I really love your writing style…..very tongue-in-cheek meets flabbergasted and most amusing always).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you very much Torrie. I just relate what happens. If you were me you’d probably be afraid to leave the house! Still, nothing much interesting would happen if I sit at home on the couch.

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  9. Well, you said you didn’t want to do that anymore before you left AZ. So you can imagine my surprise when another trailer/caravan was purchased. Remember; it’s an adventure 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. ‘Merican vehicles er made fer ‘Merican roads. Like the day I drove a mile down a narrow lane in a German walled city only to see it go thru a hole in the wall too small for my Chevy😜

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