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  • Writer's picturemebesidethesea

And we’d been doing so well ...

Updated: Nov 28, 2019

Let’s not go too far, we said, it will be nice to set up before it gets dark. Well, the best laid plans never do seem to succeed and so our first night wild camping unfolded like this ...

Setting off from Torbay, full of confidence ...

There are some roads without restrictions where you can stay the night in a motorhome so long as you don’t abuse the privilege or interfere with local residents. We chose such a location, recommended and reviewed on various sites, in a nearby town. Feeling fairly smug on finding a space, switching on the gas, water and putting the lights on, Mr. B went to turn on the heating. I was in the bedroom when I heard an expletive, followed by lots of sighs and glanced around to see poor James staring helplessly at the control panel. Mr. B is very resourceful and usually excellent at problem solving so at first I wasn’t concerned. It was getting chilly so I lay on the bed under the duvet, keeping out of his way with every faith we’d be warm and cosy in no time at all. Well, it did take time, two hours in fact, as I was getting colder and layering up with coats and blankets, James was becoming increasingly frustrated. He read every handbook, asked for advice on several forums and was encouraged by the great response he received although sadly, none helped. As a final resort, he began dismantling the bench seat to gain access to the boiler (he is a plumber - so not as extreme as it sounds). He had a final glance at the control panel and uttered another expletive, most out of character. Unbelievably, before he even touched the boiler and after two hours of refusing to switch on, the warning light went off, the error code disappeared and the little flame symbol miraculously appeared. The temperature in Ada rapidly turned from arctic to tropical but Mr. B told me to like it or lump it because he wasn’t risking switching it off! I’m proud to say, despite being in easy distance of Daddy Cool’s cosy spare room, giving up and trying again the next day was never an option.

Finally, much later than planned, we settled down with two Waitrose vegetable lasagnes and toasted our new life with the bottle of Prosecco that Gavin from Geoff Cox Leisure had sneaked in our fridge.

Another thing we hadn’t planned for was Storm Sebastian, it’s a good job we like the sound of the rain pitter pattering on the roof and we don’t mind being rocked to sleep!

All in all, it’s nothing short of a miracle we survived the night. However, when we woke up and sat, eating breakfast looking out of the window at a stunning view and planning our route for the day, the nightmare of the evening before was already receding and the grins were back.

Breakfast with a view ...

Back on the road heading to our first Britstop - find out where next time ...


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