The Course of Caravanning Never Did Run Smooth… but today, Mr Cock Up taught us a very important lesson!
We arrived back in Portsmouth at 18:30 on a golden October evening and were first off the ferry! Marvellous. All we had to do was drive for an hour or so to Verwood, get pitched and relax for the evening.
But the course of caravanning never did run smooth and tonight, we learnt a very important lesson;
WRITE DOWN THE NAME & ADDRESS OF YOUR CAMPSITE!
If you simply rely on the campsite being programmed in the Sat Nav, you might find that the campsite is not, in fact, listed.
Then you might find that your husband can’t remember whether he made the booking with the Caravan Club (CC) or Camping and Caravanning Club (C&CC). Obviously, you can check both websites, but then you might find that there are three campsites in Verwood and your husband can’t remember the name of the site that he booked either.
He might claim that he has a confirmation e mail on his phone, but that is no good if there is no phone service. He might have written down the phone number of the campsite and the booking reference (but not the name) in his diary, but without phone service, that is also no help.
You might stop a few times and find that you have phone coverage, but then discover that when you do get through, it is just an ansaphone.
Then you might find that his phone battery dies and, knowing your husband’s stance on Social Media and photography, you might not want to mention that your phone is already dead from trying to take a picture of Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower to put on Facebook, so that service or no, YOU can’t check e mails or make any calls either!
One option is just to go blindly to your destination town (Verwood) and drive aimlessly around narrow country lanes in the dark with a 7m caravan, hoping to find the correct campsite by accident.
By now, if you have an in-car charger, your husband might have managed to charge up his phone sufficiently to find an e mail from a caravan site in his inbox. You might look at it and say “It is just a publicity e mail and the phone number isn’t the same as the one written in the diary” but your husband might disagree and say “Why would we have an e mail from a campsite if it were not a confirmation? And they sign off from the list of all the attractions in the local area by saying that they are looking forward to welcoming us!”
So you might go there and find that a lady comes out and asks you what on earth you are doing hauling a large caravan up her drive in the middle of the night. You might look hopeful and say something along the lines of “I think we have a reservation here tonight…” and she might look in the van and see your 4 beloved pets and reply “You definitely don’t. We don’t take dogs!”
But then, there are good Samaritans in the world and she might call on her husband and his mobile phone, all the while complaining about the terrible phone service around Verwood and find a campsite with a phone number that matches the one in your diary and give you directions that you can’t remember to get there and then by a stroke of luck and a few arguments about which roundabouts you had to turn right and which you had to turn left, you might find yourself at the ‘Verwood Camping and Caravanning Club Site’ and understand completely why your husband couldn’t remember either the name of such a campsite in Verwood or whether it was a CC or C&CC site…
And the lovely, lovely owners might open the gate for you even though you were supposed to arrive before 8pm and it is now nearly 9 and lead you on to a nice flat pitch where you don’t need to level the caravan.
Then, all you have to do is pitch the caravan in the dark, walk four hyperactive dogs who have been on the ferry and in the van all day – and really wish that you hadn’t given up alcohol!
We might be back in Blighty but Mr Cock Up had certainly not finished his reign of terror.
Join us next time to discover how it came to pass that we returned to the UK as OUTLAWS!