What a great relaxing feeling being back in the country and away from the sprawling mass of London.
A bit of a recap of last couple of days, in London, essentially very cold and miserable, wet and not getting above about 9 degrees. ( so not surprised we were not sorry to get away).
An easy train journey down to Hereford, through very traditional English farming countryside and the quintessential English towns and villages. Oilseed Rape just coming into flower now so yellow paddocks that really stand out. Seems as though it has been a very wet start in the south and midlands with alot of standing water still about along with cereal crops looking pretty yellow.
Arrived in Hereford with Neil ( Motorhome dealer) meeting us off the train. A quick trip out to his yard and we meet Miss Stella, ( It is real after all), Bit of paperwork and a quick ( too quick in retrospect) and we are out the gate.
At this stage I should say that unbeknown to us and not on sales add for Miss Stella is a solar panel ( after I have trudged this @#$%ing brown paper parcel around the world and through early morning underground crowds).
FOR SALE :
1 portable solar panel, In unused condition and still in original packaging .
Well traveled, will not be returning to NZ.
So let the provisioning start:
200pds of bedding, towels, kitchen etc, and 100pds of first grocery shop, will do for now. Fill up gas bottle and get a second then off to find our campground. Navman up and working, actually worked well through Hereford and the Lucksall Camping and Caravaning Park is about 10min out on the banks of the river Wye.
To easy ( of course it is), the road we are travelling out has a sign for a low bridge and we have no idea what height we are. Not wanting to turn Miss Stella into a convertible we do the turn down a side street and reverse direction ( just remember Miss Stella is Left Hand Drive) against all advice of Navman. Gut feeling was actually right and soon got onto another road that got us here. First experience of campgrounds on this trip and we have missed the check in time, ( sounds incredibly familiar to Canada a couple of years ago). No problems ring afterhours number get in and park up.
This is where we find that the retrospective anaylsis of the shakedown and first inspection of Miss Stella may not have been quite good enough. We have no hook up power lead ( bought a new one from camp store) and the leisure battery is not fully charged.
Seven o’clock arrival and we have to unpack everything, so plug in so have at least got lights, go to turn on the gas to get heater going (still only about 6 degree’s) and the regulator has been screwed into the bottle wrong and it leaks ( thanks young Calor Gas salesman) add to that I dont have my “man bag and toolkit here” so cant fix this problem now.
Plastic wars again as we unwrap everything, make up the bed, ( smell it, realise it smells new shoppy, decide to put them all through a wash and dry cycle in the Laundry ( 10pd excursion).
A bit of a brief unpack of Kitchen, ( this can wait until tomorrow), and decide some food and a hot cup of tea would be a good idea, ( remember previous statement about gas not working). Thinking caps on, microwave unwrapped and 2 x cups of tea ex microwave coming up along with Frenchstick, cheese, chicken and tomatoes.
Linen finally dry about 11 o’clock so bed made up and get the frightening feeling that a summer weight Duvet might not cut the mustard tonight. Hot showers and then cover the bed with jackets etc.
Awoke after a really good nights sleep ( warm as well) to a lovely sunny morning. Decided to spend the day here and get things sorted out in Miss Stella, all the little stuff and the big stuff like why the hell is the battery not charging, and why the gas heater and water heater wont work.
Answer 1, fuse blown in battery charger ( fixed)
Answer 2, leisure battery drops below 10amp and the gas system doesn’t work as fans don’t go. ( fixed as above).
Several “discussions” with the dealer guy is seeing him appear sometime this afternoon with a new hook up lead, another battery as this one still seems suspect, and a Jack and Wheel Brace ( yes as I said before our initial inspection may have missed to odd thing).
Been a good day though I pretty well have worked out all the little things of what make Miss Stella tick, and given them all a pretty good going over. I must say I was impressed with Her on the road last night, ( even with the wheel on the wrong side), all feels and sounds really good. As of now we have running hot and cold water, gas all working, on Hob, water heater and cabin heater and fridge as back up, 12v system is working but probably need a full days charge on battery ( hoping guy is going to give us a second), toilet is all set up ( for emergency use only, as it is a 17 litre cassette type.. Cupboards are somewhat allocated and packed, beer and wine is in the fridge ( along with cheese and salad veges) ((this may become a reoccurring theme)). A walk down the river bank then into the bar to take advantage of the WIFI. And because you dont want to get guilty feeling about using their WIFI, a beer and cider.
P>S, a hard decision reached this afternoon, the solar panel that has emerged from the brown paper package is not being sold as previously advertised , as have found this afternoon it charges the leisure battery as quick as mains power.