Our first trip out was a bit of a roller coaster of emotions. Good bits, bad bits and the bits in between.
FRIDAY: The day of tears and doom
Packing went remarkably well on Friday morning, although after some small issues with legs and jockey wheels we set off rather later than planned.
First lot of tears were mine at trying to get the caravan out of the drive. Numerous attempts with both the husband and the lady from across the road trying to instruct me. We got out though…eventually!
On the road. Towing was definitely not my favourite. Kept forgetting to breath. And panicking when the car juddered everytime I set off and “shunted” when I stopped. Cue more stress. And a few tears.
Missed various turns so the simple and easy route turned into one involving very narrow country roads. I’m very glad the babies were both asleep in the back as they may have learnt some interesting new vocabulary if awake.
We arrived at our campsite. With a massively ovetheated car. More tears. Trying to get in our alloted space. More tears. Thankfully the campsite owner came to our rescue and drove us into our spot.
Next came a bit of teamwork to get us all in and warm and hook all the necessary bits up.
Must confess that here I had a bit of a moment. Build up of stress I guess. But there was a definite moment of “we can never go camping again as it’s killing my car and I can’t reverse in an empty bloody field. Everything is going wrong and I want to go home” and yep…you guessed it…more tears.
By now it was tea time. Hit with the realisation that we couldn’t find a lighter. The husband tried lighting it from the gas heater, declared we would eat cold chilli, eventually went and asked the caravan next door (who gave us some very, very old and not working matches), went to try the cigarette lighter and came back victorious having found a lighter in the glove box. Score…tea was underway…
But of course the toddler shunned tasty chilli and wanted toast. Daddy dutifully set about making toast.
But then Disaster Struck! Husband went to check the toast. Popping noise and a fireball shot out of the grill. Poor Roy wasn’t too seriously hurt, but has singed all his hair (beard, arms, hands, eyebrows, eyelashes, the lot) and burnt his nose and cheek. Poor man went in to shock (tears all round!) and the rest of the evening was largely spent with him recovering.
Saturday : The Day of Rain
We slept ok. Kept surprisingly warm by heaters and ALL the blankets, although the tiddler insisted on getting her hands out of every blanket so her tiny hands were cold. Adlibbed breakfast of fried bread (no way we were going near the grill!) And then ready for the day. It rained non-stop all day, but we persevered and went to wander round Clitheroe. Lunch at the Castle and then off to soft play (a dry indoor way to get rid of toddler energy)
Thankfully we’d packed our old George Foreman grill, this proved useful for tea and Sunday breakfast.
Saturday night was wonderfully chilled out though. What we needed after Fridays drama. Games were played…
And crochet was crocheted…
.And it was lovely.
Sunday: The Day We Came Home
A leisurely morning with sausage butties and lots of nice family times.
All packed up and absolutely dreading the journey home. We said we’d take it super easy and stop whenever the car overheated. We were also having some mystery issues with indicators, assuming the bulb has gone (can’t win with these electrics can we?!) We unscrewed with a knife (must pack a screwdrive) but the bulbs were encased so we couldn’t easily get to them. So on the way home there was some sticking arms out of windows! And a substanial detour due to me getting in the wrong lane and ending up back on the motorway.
However, the drive home was still a bit white knuckle BUT it was so much calmer. No wheel spin, less shunting and no overheating until it came to maneuvering back up the drive.
Thankfully my dad was on hand to do the reversing. How many people does it take to park a caravan? 5 if you count the one who was watching the babies. Unhooking and pushing up the drive was the answer…the man from across the road helped this time.
Will reflect more in a few days and work out what needs doing and fixing before next trip.
This was always a test run anyway so stuff was bound to go wrong, so I shouldn’t be disappointed . But we are all agreed that we mostly enjoyed it and we are looking forward to our next trip, whenever/wherever it may be.