Starting mileage: 14741 km
Day started: 7:30
Day ended: 22:30
Well, we’ve survived the first day 😛
I sincerely hope this was the hardest – and craziest – day of all that are ahead of us. Everything we did was done at the last minute. Waking up at 7:30, we’ve spent the next three hours bringing all our belongings down to the camper; to make things a bit more fun, the lift was broken. The cleaners were scheduled for 10:30 – we met them on the stairs going down with the last of the bags 🙂
Off to say the last farewell to our favourite places in London: Maltby Street Market and Kiraku restaurant. Last two scoops of La Grotta ice cream, last banana tart from petite douceur, one last cup of coffee from Monmouth’s… and last piece of ebi fry from Kiraku, the best ebi fry this side of Japanese Sea. We stock up on coffee, bread, cheese and olive oil – like proper travelers – and we’re back home at 4pm.
We still need to repack things enough to be able to move the car. That takes us another hour. Time to wash the car before the road – did I mention we’ve parked under the lime tree last night? Yeah, smart 🙂 Honeydew makes for great honey, but not so good on the paint if left for too long.
Washing the car proves how leaky it is. She is, after all, a 40-year old vessel 🙂 So leaky in fact, we blow a couple of fuses and spend the rest of the day struggling with indicators and emergency flasher. Good thing all repairs in this car can be done with a screwdriver, a spanner and a Haynes manual. The indicators eventually start working just as we get off the motorway; we wouldn’t want to drive the narrow roads of rural Kent without them!
The campsite closes at 8:30pm. We finally arrive at 8:25pm 🙂 We manage to connect the gas bottle (a first time for everything), fill up the water tank, figure out how to lock the sliding door from the inside (not as easy as it seems) and at about 10pm we sit down to our first – and last – cuppa of the day. PHEW.
On the up-side, it didn’t rain at all since we’ve left London!
Romney Farm is just a big empty field in the middle of an even bigger empty field, but it’s run by a very nice couple and has excellent facilities – clean showers and toilets, a fridge and a microwave for everyone to use. For the price, this close to London, it’s good value.
There’s a weather front sitting right across the Channel right now, and at night the van creaks and rolls in the gale speeding across the flat Kent fields like an old ship. But with all windows shut, the inside of the van gets warm quickly. She may be leaky and old, but she keeps the warmth inside well. And it’s supposed to get sunnier as the week goes on.
One fuse replaced.