We are on the road again. Tonight we are at Briarfields caravan park at Cheltenham. Sound familiar? Well that may be because we were here in the Spring, when we travelled down in brunhilde to see if we wanted to buy an RV. We went home with Hank.
We have returned because we finally reached the decision that Hank is not the one for us.
I shall cut a long story short but it went somewhat like this:
Oh, noooo, the slideout is broken.
Whatever shall we do? We must ask Andy at Freedom Motorhomes for advice, he is certain to have an idea who can fix it and at what cost.
Mr Snail looks up website for phone number…mentioning to Mrs Snail that there are some new vans available.
Mrs Snail takes a look at website out of simple curiosity, mentions in passing that there is a van there that she really likes to look of.
Mr Snail said that he had seen one that he liked too. Then admitted that Hank really is too big for us.
Ensuing discussion revealed that both liked the same van.
An appointment was made, outline financial deal discussed and we set off on Friday afternoon.
And so you find us here, back in Cheltenham.
Now… I know that I have yet to catch up on the trip down to Kippford. I also know that I had plans to do posts comparing Hank and Brunhilde and posts about cooking on the road but… I’m launching straight into a brief summary of this trip, if you will forgive me.
There is not much to tell and few photographs; it has not really been a leisure trip. The original plan was to leave on Saturday morning, stop halfway down for the night and arrive here today. I gave the plan some thought and it seemed silly to sit around for a day just waiting to leave. I suggested we set off from Kippford on Friday afternoon, and just get as far as Metal Bridge. That would leave us poised to join the M6 and get a good start on Saturday morning. The forecast was for icy roads – being 50 miles on already would allow us time to wait for the sun to come up and the ice to ease.
It was an interesting drive. The sky was stormy and dark, with heavy white snow clouds dropping their load in the distance, the whole side-lit by the sun setting in the west. Quite spectacular. At Metal bridge we parked up at the Inn, by the side of the river. It is not an ideal spot, with the noise of heavy M6 traffic clunking over the bridge, and the West Coast main line railway on the other side of the van. We ate at the pub. It was okay. My pudding was better than okay though.
On Saturday morning we got off just as soon as the van was warmed up and de-misted. We were aiming to be at Chelford by around 4pm. There was heavy weather along much of the route. We hit the snow line just below Shap summit and the scene as we came over the top was pretty stunning. Stopping at Westmoreland services to raid the farm shop and stocking up there on good bread and nice cheese for lunch, which we ate whilst attempting to rejig our night’s destination, we also bought steak pie for later dinner (though have still not eaten that!) Coffee was at Forton and we arrived at the Egerton Arms a little earlier than scheduled. 144 miles.
Again, not the best stop for us – we spent the night parked beside a busy A road but there was ample compensation in the form of well-kept real ale and a wonderful dinner.
This morning we wanted to get a good start as Briarfields had asked us to arrive before 4pm. We were on the road before 9am, (and before breakfast!) meaning I had no chance to shop at the Inn’s deli, which does not open until 10 am.
Despite heavy sleet at one point and seemingly unending roadworks, we were here in time for lunch, stopping only once for coffee. 120 miles.
Breakfast never happened. We were both still full from last night’s excellent dining.
Tomorrow morning we go to see the van that we both like. I have no idea whether we shall buy it or not. There are some issues regarding storage space, which may be insufficient, and the bed, which is not a fixed one.
I’ll let you know tomorrow.