Friday 5 June 2009

Motorhoming Lessons Episode Two

Guest blogger Mrs Snail continues her story:

....... so having arrived at Bowkerstead Farm, we discovered the area we should have been camping on was out of bounds, however, we were welcome to stay where we were - parked among the farm machines, was that OK? No thanks, it wasn’t. We were out of there like snails on gravel.

We drove until we got a phone signal and consulted the site directories we keep on board. A few phone calls later, a site was found the other side of Lake Windermere. We gingerly retraced our steps along the narrow road then found ourselves on an even narrower and steeper one down to the Lake Windermere ferry. Now in fairness, there had been warning signs about length and weight of vehicles allowed on the ferry however we were within these so we thought we would be OK. As we approached the ferry, the road dipped down steeply to the loading ramp and, worryingly, there were lots of gouges on the road surface. Husband did an emergency stop as the man waved us on. “We’re going to ground the van” husband yelled. “They usually do!” replied the man cheerily. Husband inched forward whilst I watched the rear. “Stop” I bellowed as our rear overhang was about to acquaint itself with tarmac.

Have you guessed where this is leading yet? Yep, that’s right, we had to turn around again, unable to get to the intended site.

Wearily, we once more negotiated the steep narrow lane far enough to get a phone signal. Out came the site directories again – was there a site this side of Lake Windermere? Couldn’t see anything. Fortunately, a Tourist Information booklet hurridly grabbed the day before from Ambleside TIC came up trumps. On the first page was Skelwith Fold Caravan Park. “Any chance of a touring pitch tonight for two knackered motorhomers?” “No problem” were sweet words indeed.

Skelwith Fold Caravan Park was a little marvel. Mainly a static site, with a recently developed touring area. We liked it so much that we stayed more than the one emergency night. Husband particularly liked the grey water disposal area (isn’t it strange what blokes get excited about??) For a long time he’s said that that a long thin grate running side to side that the van could be driven over would be the best for motorhomes and this is exactly what they have there, a metal grate you drive over, open your release valve and bingo! That was him well happy.

So – lessons learned?

LESSON 1 – never believe what you read in the magazines. Always check when you make your booking exactly what facilities are available and what access is like.

LESSON 2 – if you have a motorhome with an overhang DO NOT attempt the Lake Windermere ferry.

LESSON 3 – always obtain as much information as possible in advance about anywhere, especially local information.

LESSON 4 – if you’ve longed for a dream grey water disposal area – go to Skelwith Fold!

The moral of this story? No matter how many times you do something there are always new things to be learnt.

Mrs Snail

Above image: Lake Windermere. Copyright 2009

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