Travelled: 454 kilometres from Lydstep in Wales to Dunstable in Hertfordshire.
Visited: Walked part of the Pembrokeshire Path (free)
Stayed: The Hungry Horse (pub) Dunstable (free with dinner) N51.87623, W0.50515
As our wildcamping locations in Wales had no internet access, we are a few days behind in our blogs, so I’ll catch you up. I’ll try and incaptulate the last few days and get up to date. We have had some wins and losses but where still enjoying the adventure.
We had stayed overnight in a lovely wildcamping spot near Lydstep, along a lane behind the youth hostel. After speaking to a local fellow walking his dog we headed east toward Caldey Island on the Pembrokeshire path for a walk this morning. The scenery is again beautiful but perhaps not as majestic as Molygrove.
Our visit to Wales for this year is done, we have a Chunnel train to catch on Thursday morning and we start the long drive East. I have been looking to replace our existing 1,000 watt invertor with a larger 2,000 watt version. I have been negotiating with someone at Dunstable, north-west of London so it’s the Chunnel via Dunstable.
Travelled: 346 kilometres from Dunstable in Hertfordshire to Farthing Common, Lyminge (near Folkstone)
Visited: Canterbury (well kinda)
Stayed: In a lay-by on Farthing Common, Lyminge. (free) N51.12283, W01.05133
The day starts well enough, the coffee machine doesn’t know itself, with all that power. The new (second hand £200) invertor is installed and running, it will run the microwave and vacumm cleaner etc. Need to be careful of the Hymer’s batteries however.
We call in to visit our Aunty’s in Wildhill, then hit the Tesco’s supermarket for those things more difficult to find in Europe. Soon enough we are stocked up and roll our dice on the M25. As usual its a mad house but its moving all the way to Dartford and soon enough we turn off for Dover/Folkstone. We lunch at a service area, as its still early afternoon decide to take a detour for Canterbury, thinking we can kill a couple of hours visiting the Cathedral.
There is motorhome parking just outside the walls and we soon find a spot. I get out to check the park’n’pay sign to a strong smell of diesel. Walking around the front of the Hymer I see fuel dripping on the ground ! Obviously the tour of the cathedral is not looking good and either is our expensive train trip to France tomorrow.
I restart the Hymer fuel flow on the ground increases, not good. Turn it back off, quick Google search, there is a Fiat dealer in town, got the address and we are off spreading a trail of diesel as we go. Arrive at the dealer, quick chat to the service manager. Both their hoists already have motorhomes on them and neither can be moved. Long story short after almost an hour he states they won’t get to it today. We discuss the situation in a co-operative and constructive manner and eventually one of the mechanics recommends MD Truck and Bus at Folkstone. He rings for me, yes they will look at it, good. The bad is it’s 10 miles away, what the heck nothing ventured.
We arrive in a cloud of smoke (the diesel spraying back on the exhaust). Service manager is waiting, states one of the pits will be vacant about 7-8 pm they will look at it then. Are you still operating at that time of night ? I ask, yes we work 2 shifts here. So we return to the Hymer and have a glass of wine and beer and try not to think about it. Then we cook dinner and wait.
At 8pm they ask me to drive it over the pit, and they are stripping it to see where its leaking. 30 minutes later, the good news ! A split injector waste return tube, they can repair it ! 45 minutes later we drive out £130 poorer, but very happy !
Just to finish on MD, what a huge enterprise. They are the primary importer of Volvo Trucks in the UK. They prep 6-8 trucks a day before they go to dealers, they have 3,000+ trucks on lease to various companies, doing all the servicing.
We found a little Wildcamping spot a few miles away on Farthing Common and headed there for the night and hopefully the ferry tomorrow.
Travelled: 346 kilometres from Lyminge, England to Schiedam (Rotterdam), The Netherlands
Visited: The Chunnel £189, The E40, A10, A14 and E19
Stayed: Dedicated motorhome parking on the canal in the Schiedam district of Rotterdam, €7 per day. N51.91949, E04.39384
A short drive to the Chunnel station at Folkstone, the system is seamless. However for the first time we note the French Border Post is staffed and they check and formally stamp our passports. We have crossed several times and it’s a first.
Driving onto the train at 10.40 am, we roll off at 12.25 French time (move the clock foward an hour). We drive the rest of the day on the wrong side of the road, through France for a short while, Belgium for a few hours and then into the Netherlands. The roads are amazing but the weather keeps me on my toes and Pam on edge. It drizzles or rains 10-15 minutes every half hour until we reach Rotterdam. The Hymer is running perfectly, no leaks or even the faintest smell of diesel.
Its been a long day, we head for the Schiedam as it was one of our favorite spots last year. On one of the canals, with a lovely view, there is a tasty little turkish takeaway place nearby for dinner….we are done.