Tent & Toyota Granvia
Site Reviews: 4
Gallery Images: 3
Day 1 - Saturday
It was raining as I left home at 5am for my 6-hour drive - that heavy but fine stuff that wets you within minutes. I hate driving in the rain but as I couldn't do anything about it I had to accept it, so turning the radio to my favourite station and with my two dogs settled safely in the back I set off. I was heading for Norfolk, and my favourite site at California, just north of Great Yarmouth. There were two reasons for leaving home so early, the main one being that I was driving over Woodhead Pass and wanted to get that part of the journey over early. For those who don't know, the A628 over Woodhead is a very winding single carriageway road used by a lot of HGVs - get stuck behind one of those and there's absolutely no chance of overtaking for miles (unless you want to risk meeting God a lot sooner than you anticipated) so it made sense to travel early and avoid the worst of the traffic. Also the earlier I set off the earlier I would get to the site and start enjoying my holiday.
An hour and twenty minutes into the journey and with Woodhead Pass behind me, I stopped at a truck stop a mile before the M1 for a much needed brew and a bacon and egg barm. Motorway services don't figure in my travels - the food is expensive crap and the coffee tastes like the sump oil from an old banger. Not that I've ever had to drink sump oil but you get my drift. The coffee at the truck stop was decent and came in a large mug, with a bacon and egg barm the size of a small dustbin lid - I only just about managed to eat it all. After taking the dogs for a short walk along the grass verge I continued my journey via the M1 and A57 to the A1, then the A17 and finally the A47.
My second stop was at the Cheerio Cafe on the A17 near the airfield at RAF Cranwell - the large mug of coffee had taken its toll and I needed the loo. On the outside cafe door there's a notice - "The cafe toilets are for customers' use only" and on the toilet door inside is another notice which has amused me for many years - "No tea - no pee!" Certainly short and to the point. So in order to justify using the loo I purchased a can of Coke and a KitKat, then took the dogs for a walk along the edge of the field behind the cafe car park. I say car park, but it looks more like a lunar landscape with rain-filled potholes the size of small craters - not to be reccommended if your car has a low-slung exhaust or you like to keep your pride and joy clean, although the car park at the front of the cafe is much better. By the time I hit the road again the rain had petered out and it was getting brighter by the minute, and when I reached the A47 and the outskirts of Kings Lynn the sun was almost shining. By my third stop at the Necton Diner just past Swaffham it was positively blazing, and really put me in a holiday mood. "Are you ready for the last leg?" I asked the dogs. "Yip" squeaked Sophie, and "Yap" replied Sugar. Am I mad for talking to the dogs? Are they mad for answering me? Who cares? - I don't!
My route to California took me off the A47 at Acle and through several small villages, one of which is Filby - I've never been to that area in August before and I was surprised and amazed to see that almost the whole village from one end to the other was bedecked with flowers. They were everywhere - on bus shelters and lamp posts, outside the village shop, cascading over garden walls, along the roadside and on the village green. The whole place was a riot of colour worthy of a place at the Chelsea Flower Show, and certainly warranted a return with my camera.
I finally arrived at the site - Drewery Caravan and Camp Site - a few minutes after 11am, and after calling in at reception I parked on my pitch and set about putting up the awning. Now for some strange reason, even though the sun was blazing and there was hardly a breath of wind a couple of miles inland, on the site it was blowing a gale worthy of a mention on the BBC Radio shipping forecast. Not very good for erecting an awning but I had to put it up as that was my living space and I couldn't do without it. I have a foolproof method of coping with it in the wind though, and within an hour and a half it was erected, fully guyed and pegged, groundsheet down inside, ehu connected and everything set out. By that time I was feeling rather tired and would have loved a nap, but I can't sleep during the day so I made a brew instead then took the dogs for a walk through the site and onto the beach.
Oddly enough, it wasn't as windy down on the beach as it was up on the site and it was very pleasant walking along in the sunshine. When I finally made my way back 'home' I called in at the site shop to say Hi to the lady who owns it. She used to work in the cafe on the chalet site just down the road, you wouldn't believe I've known her to talk to for more than twenty years but I still don't know her name! I picked up a couple of magazines while I was in there and after having a sandwich and a brew I spent the evening reading till it was time to take the dogs for their last walk and go to bed.
to be continued...
Post last edited on 02/10/2010 22:48:11
I have a very temperamental personality - 50% temper and 50% mental