After picking up our caravan last weekend, this bank holiday weekend was the first time we really used it. Work finished on Friday, Aunty and I jumped into the car and drove to the caravan storage park to collect the van. The connection to the towing bar went relatively smoothly, once I had remembered to engage the wheel on the caravan mover after standing there with the remote control, pressing button and nothing happening.
Aunty did a very good impression of an airline cabin crew checking all the cupboard were closed and nothing could fall out, then we were off trundling along the motorway to Pitton Cross on the Gower.
Everything went smoothly on the M4, until get came to a couple of narrow squeezes on the Gower. We thought we had got away with it until parking up and Aunty pointed out that one of our high level brake lights on the back of the van was missing with leaves in its place.
We’ve stayed here before, but in the tent, we’ve now upgraded with the caravan. The rain on the way down was pretty unrelenting and the although the field doesn’t look too bad it was very wet. Setting up the levelling the van was fairly easy though, especially as I remembered to engage the mover this time to get it into position.
The first challenge was to get the electricity working. We did everything that Bill told us on the handover, I even read the handbook, which is unknown for me to do. Eventually I walked up to the office ashamed at my failure thinking I’d been stupid. Aha, I was not stupid, but the electricity had tripped out on the connection post. Phew..
Then it all came to a halt with the awning. We were given a free awning with the caravan, which when it’s up goes along the whole length and sticks out almost 3 metres. We should have be alerted to the upcoming problems when the only instructions we could find were a crumpled piece of paper with line drawings. After an hour and a half we gave up for the evening, put it back into the car, went for some fish and chips, and opened a bottle wine in the van.
We’ve got more lights in this van than Star Trek Enterprise. The central heating also works well. At one point we were both having hot flushes and had to turn it off. Ohh – winter camping here we come.
So Saturday morning was clear with sun. Fortified with breakfast and a couple of cups of tea I set too with the awning again. I will not be beaten by an inanimate object! An hour later, my opinion of the design flaws of the dratted thing had not changed – but it was up. And then it started raining again. I’ve already started to look for inflatable awning on the internet.
Despite the rain we did a little exploring, mainly to see if there is another way off the Gower so we still have all our lights intact when we get home on Tuesday. But one thing I can say, and Aunty will vouch for this big time – being in a caravan in the rain is so much better than being in a tent in the rain. My mate Paul will know what I’m taking about there. We had a week of enduring monsoon proportion rain while we were walking Offa’s Dyke a couple of years ago. It was a little wet in the tent.
The view from the window wasn’t any better this Sunday morning. But tomorrow promises to be much better.
This is what it should be like here! This is Rhossili Bay when we were here last year! Maybe tomorrow, he mutters whistfully.