Follow the amateur Caravaning exploits of our trips away commencing March 2011 when we took receipt of our new Swift Challenger 565 caravan, together with previous tales of our site visits commencing 2007.
Monday, 7 May 2012
The plan was to visit Morn Hill CC Winchester for 5 nights and then on to the Avon rally at Yeatheridge farm for 4 nights, near Witheridge in Devon. The weather forecast for the whole period made depressing viewing with heavy and persistent rain forecast, and their prediction was spot on! This was our first trip since August, so the nerves kicked in early. No problems were anticipated as we now kept our van in storage, but when we tried to connect our new single pin socket connection from van to car, it wouldnt fit! We huffed and puffed for some time (15 minutes) but in the end had to request the assistance of the guy on duty, who informed us that he had come across this problem before (the inner pins of the socket on the van had rotated out of alignment) and was out of sync making it impossible to connect to the car, great start. His comment that he had seen people struggle for hours trying to resolve the same didnt help one little bit! Eventually with the aid of a chisel, we managed to rotate the pins to match with the van and made a successful connection, and we were off. An uneventful journey of 2 hours passed by quickly and we arrived we believed just in time, ahead of a downpour, so we could set up in the dry, only to find the site closed for lunch from 1230 to 1330!! We had never come across a CC site that closed for lunch, given this was the usual time encouraged for both departures and arrivals! We therefore had to spend an hour awaiting their return before we could do anything, with dark clouds gathering rapidly. Despite the site being sparcely occupied, the past and predicted rainfall restricted available pitches as they were all grass. Just as we set up on the pitch allocated to us, a far more protected pitch directly opposite was vacated. Having received permission to move we once again set about reversing the process we had just gone through and moved across the way, and set up again! And then it rained and didnt let up for 24 hours! Winchester was a great City to visit and we spent some good times exploring. We set off one day to visit Highclere Castle (where Dowton Abbey was filmed) only to find it well and truly closed, only opening on the rare occassion to visitors, so beware perspective visitors. A few opportunities to enjoy brief moment's of sunshine presented themselfs which we took full advantage of, and then we were off to Witheridge. Another unevenful journey, was thankfully experienced. A good time was had despite the awful weather, and the rain sodden pitches proved quite a challenge to set up and depart from, with sloshy mud everywhere. It resembled scenes from a Glastonbury Festival! Not being able to put up the awning greatly restricted our space available on both sites, so much so that I informed wifey that if the same weather is predicted for out next outing (Broadway) then I would seriously consider cancelling!