We used the oven for dinner, just heating up a couple of small pizzas, but it took an age. We let it heat up for twenty minutes, then it took another fifteen for the cheese to melt. An hour later we figured we should just eat the food whatever state it was in. The pizza’s were cooked, but I suspect that the cooker is running cold. I’ll see if there’s anything I can do with this one (an old Belling 3000) before we look for something else. There’s always the microwave/oven route if we find ourselves on hook up more often. There’s a shelf available for a small nuke oven.
We started the night rather badly. My better half pulled a muscle climbing into the over-cab bed, so I made up the couch into a second double and we slept spread out around the van. Interestingly it works quite well. The dinette turns into a further single bed, so theoretically we could sleep five in here! I’m not sure I’d like to try it though. It’s very roomy for two. I think you’d have to be very good friends to sleep four adults in this little space!
We woke up a couple of times with the intense cold that greeted our first night out. It’s mid-april and summer it most definitely ain’t. It wasn’t cold enough for the boiler to dump its water (it’s got some kind of temperature sensor to protect against frost damage), but my nose certainly felt it! A few minutes of the heater on full blast and the van was nice and toasty again.
The beds were surprisingly comfortable. I’d taken some advice from the fun forum and got a memory-foam topper for the mattress. I’ll need to do the same for the second bed if we plan to use it regularly.
The interesting thing for our time in the motorhome is how deceptively large it feels. You can sit in about 9 different positions and it gives you the feeling of seeing the space anew each time. Then if you drop the bed down, you get a vista over the rest of the van, or if you’re in the kitchen area, you’re looking back down the length of the van in another new direction.
Outside, the motorhome appears much smaller than when on the drive, dominating the house and car, but out in the wilds it’s in its element, and feels very mobile.
We rose late and I got to test out the kitchen again for breakfast. I’m really pleased with the kitchen arrangement. The grill and hob work great and I’m impressed with how efficient it all is. We managed a full english breakfast as if at home. Washing up takes a little more ingenuity. We use kitchen towel to clean the plates off, then do each item of cookware or tableware pretty much one by one in the tiny sink. It gets done, but it’s nowhere near as ergonomic as cooking.
Next up – shower-time. I’d turned the hot water on as I got up so there’d be water for dishes and showers. The boiler has a nice electric option for when on hook-up, so that saved on gas. The bathroom is small, but it all worked rather well. There’s a curtain to pull around you, and you end up standing in this odd vinyl windsock of a contraption while you rinse. It works though, and nothing got too wet in there. Half an hour with the window open dried out the shower curtain afterwards.
If we were staying on site for longer we’d hang the towels on a drying rail outside, but we’re on a schedule today, so the towels get draped over the chairs in the lounge area where the sun dries them out in no time.
We drove to Bakewell, figuring that after half-term, the place might be quiet… Instead it was like a mosh-pit in the town.
We’d arrived on market day, so the car park was full to bursting. Indeed – there was a red sign announcing that the car park was full, but as cars were coming out, we figured we’d try our luck. We managed to find a space in no time and after a very short walk, were sitting in a pub near the river inside ten minutes. Score!
After a pleasant afternoon, we headed back to the van to plan our next step. One thing we’ve found with booking the Certified Sites in the Camping and Caravanning Club book, is that people are seldom around when we call for a same-day last-minute pitch booking. We quite like the freedom of heading to an area and then deciding where to stay – or even whether to stay. Of course, these certified sites are usually working farms or other rural businesses, so we’re calling during the working day. In future we’ll have to plan a bit more carefully, calling ahead – maybe days or weeks in advance to book sites. It’s something to bear in mind anyway.
We found a site near Whaley Bridge and the owner said that there was room for us and that we could arrive any time. An hour or so later, we’re on the site overlooking a lovely derbyshire valley and brewing up.
There’s no hookup or facilities here other than waste disposal and fresh water, again too far for the van to get to. I’m going to need a long hose and maybe think about a grey water caddy if we can’t drive up to these waste disposal areas…
We’re off hookup, so it’ll be interesting to use the gas heating. The fridge seemed to fire up fine, so that’s a relief.
Anyhoo. The wine is ready and I’m being called upon to produce lamb-burgers. Later there’ll be The West Wing on DVD. Life is good.
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