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?’
‘Is it that one?’
‘Is it that one?’
’Did you check the number plate?’
‘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.’
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.
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.
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.