We decided, as we are allowed to camp in our one room with slimy green walls, that it would be great fun and quite symbolic to sign the Compromis on my birthday actually in the house and I made all the arrangements for the journey.
Three days before said birthday the day was here at last (Friday) Mr F. spent all the morning, whilst I was at work, unloading all his work equipment from the van and loading it up with as much as he could fit in of things we wanted to take, struggling in gale force winds and hailstones to get 8 x 4 sheets of hardboard on the roof rack and getting them covered!
At 4pm we set off to the ferry port (gales forecast!) running late and no traffic could get off of the island on which we lived due to an overturned lorry on the bridge! I rang the ferry company to see if there were delays due to the adverse weather – yes at least 2hrs! It did give us time to meander and, once the traffic had cleared, we arrived at the port by 7.30pm. During the journey to the port a warning light came on in the van!
On arrival at the port we were told that the boat was delayed, due to the weather, until 9.30-10.00pm. A further announcement said now delayed until midnight! Yet a further announcement said crossing cancelled, due to the boat hitting the car ramp when trying to dock! We had tickets returned and headed for home at 11.30pm!
During the homeward 2 hr journey it was evident all was not well with the van’s electrical system, the lights were getting dimmer the further we went, but they just about lasted until we were about 1 mile from home. As we were going through a well lit area and could see our home on the other side of the bridge we, foolishly I guess as we had breakdown cover, decided to push on (we were now very tired and very down because of the cancelled crossing).
As we passed a little side turning I saw a police car coming out into the road we were on, sure enough the blue light flashed and we were stopped! Mr F. said “Look mate I know I’m in the wrong, we’ve just had a God awful journey down to the ferry, had the boat cancelled had to return home and we live just over there, so if you’re going to book me will you just get it over with as I’ve had it for today!”
Fortunately we had happened upon a decent policeman who, apart from giving us a ticking off, agreed to follow us along the road to be our lights, Mr F. turned the key and there was an ominous “click” we weren’t going anywhere! When the policeman realised he kindly rung the breakdown company for us (no mobile phones for us in those days!) By then it was 1.30am and we sat in our van looking across the river towards home until the breakdown van arrived at 2.20am and we frightened the life out of our daughter and her fella, who were dog sitting for us, when we arrived home, her thinking we were in France by now! We finally got to bed at 4.15am! Another day tomorrow!
We were up early the next morning, in spite of our late night (morning!) It was the alternator, we located one and Mr. F. and daughter’s fella fitted it, sorted out a new crossing for early next day (Sunday) rang agency to tell them we would be in on Monday now.
Early night to leave at 3.30 am Sunday morning
Next instalment to follow…
Blog by Fruitcake