This was our second weekend out in the caravan since its repair it was the weekend of April 15/16/17/2011 this time we travelled to Horsley Caravan Park East Horsley Nr Guildford Surrey, the journey was uneventful till we get near the site. These places always seem to have a little sign right opposite where you have to turn into and most of the time it is covered by a piece of shrubbery, this happened to us again a mile after the SatNav had said “you have reached your destination”. Obviously we had missed our turning, so now the mood had changed up till now Valerie (my wife ) had done a good job but why had she missed the sign? The excuse I am no good at map reading is not good enough she has a pair of eyes, her reply was some what not lady like but I forgave her. So a few enquiries from some locals set us on our way but finding a turning space for a caravan is no mean task sometimes you may have to travel miles before you can turn, this time I was lucky and found a large opening which informed everyone DO NOT TURN HERE , they must have known I was coming to stop everyone else,so I was lucky there was no one in my way and back we went. Coming the other way the sign was visible even Valerie spotted it.
Horsley Caravan and Camping Club site had nice fishing lake bang in the middle, the staffs were very friendly and we got a good spot. There are many Caravan associations but we find the Caravan and Camping Club the best, the sites are always clean they do not allow any rowdy behaviour and the pitches are quite large, there may be an area where kids can play but this is normal well away from the caravans. Some do have little halls where people can gather as yet I have never seen one in use but am told Christmas and New Year a few sites open and are inundated with vans and the hall are filled. The toilets etc are housed normally in a relatively new brick building on this particular site there were 3 showers for men and the same for women, plus lots of toilets and section for chemical wastes some have washing machines and dryers. There is no charge for using the showers but some have that terrible push button instead of a proper tap system but all in all good place. The more commercial sites are totally different they have bars, restaurants, swimming pools etc but with that comes rowdy behaviour several years ago we got on one of those sites just a day before the kids holiday when we arrived there was just 10 caravans within two days there was 500 a mini housing estate.
Now I know a lot of you are thinking all us Caravan people are anoraks well far from it, you see and meet people from all walks of life with an assortment of equipment. This weekend was typical around me we had good size Camper Van, a small Rascal Camper where the attached an awning, several small new caravans, tents of all sizes and shapes, there was one suitable for one person and other twice the size of my caravan it took him hours to erect. I am one for home comforts and easy life, so my Compass Rallye 650 is ideal, takes 20 minutes to set up another 20 minutes to set Porch awning up and we are in. Inside we have Oven, Fridge/Freezer, Microwave, shower(not big enough for me) and toilet (not to be used for big jobs) and of course most important of all TV, DVD etc. Caravan and Camping people are very friendly, polite and helpful, everyone acknowledges each with a Hello or good morning, if you have difficulty setting up there will always be some there to help. I wish I started year before I did but I do not think I could cope with 3 kids in the caravan as well no matter how much I loved them, to me caravanning is an adult pursuit. Valerie has just reminded me that we did take the kids when I had a Ford Camper back in 1983, now I know why I sold it,I must have been mad.
On Saturday we had a drive into Guildford, well as far as the Park and Ride, these are marvellous £4 return to the City Centre is the best way to get to a major town you do not know and the marvellous thing is only car drivers are allowed on non of those horrible pedestrians who can not afford cars are allowed. I am sure these bus companies hire drivers from the same agency that supplies drivers for the airports, all love driving at a break neck speed, enjoy throwing you around the bus and breaking hard plus they all have a face like a smacked cows rump. The city Centre is cobbled and hilly quite a pleasant place but full of up market shops, restaurants, coffee shops etc so quite upper crust but at the same time there were several tramps sitting around the place. I particularly enjoyed the street artists one was playing a saw have not seen that for 30 years, coffee was good but expensive. The City Centre was a wash with foreign languages and maybe 25 years ago one would have thought that unusual and exciting but today your thoughts go to what has happened to the English, why does everyone serving have an Easter European accent and I saw a multitude of women is strict Moslem garb, I find this worrying. One thing is for sure Caravanning is very much an English tradition you do get the odd Dutch, German, Belgium and French but 99% of the time all you hear is English thank god.
Sunday we rejoined the National Trust and had a walk round the grounds of Hatchlands Park thoroughly enjoyable, done the bluebell route brilliant display but can see them in our own chestnuts woods. Always on these walks you will get some one who will latch on to you, this time it was a couple with greyhound same age as us were real National Trust Campaigners and told us all about the different places to go plus told us all about their ailments, mind you I can bore for Britain when it comes to talk about my Knee and hip replacement and now I have a should injury plus nerves in my elbow are trapped and my hands are beginning to waste away, so who am I to talk. On the way back to the Camp site tried to find a pub we travelled for miles without any joy when we did find one it was full of vintage sports cars and we could not park.
The weekend finish by having a nice steak meal, a few gins and watching Lewis on the Box , can not wait for next weekend Easter we will be at one of my favourite places Romney Marsh