So the day starts well. To be fair it is pouring with rain but that doesn’t bother me in my van. I woke at 5.23am. Wide awake. I read for a bit then decided to go for an early shower.
I put the heater on to heat the van up for when I get back.
The campsite is lovely. There’s only one shower but it was lovely and warm and great to get in before everyone else gets up.
There are only 4 other vans on the site and no one is moving at 6.30am.
I get back to the van and there’s no heater working. I figure despite following all the “rules” around these heaters… maybe I didn’t actually switch it on so I try again. I make a coffee and sit down to enjoy it…. But it’s cold… the van that is, not the coffee.
I leave it because you shouldn’t be switching these heaters on and off loads….. they get very upset…. till about 15 minutes pass and I try again.
It’s 15C, I’m in my jammies and I’m cold. I have some cereal and decide since I’m still cold, just to pack up and head back home early. I was going to get my nails done today anyway as I couldn’t get another appointment. I have to be there for 10.30 so I went via the house to see if Craig needed anything brought down.
So toenails done and back down to the campsite. This is where it all goes a bit drastically wrong.
Now I may have said yesterday that Craig wanted to go to this site as they have a wild camping area down by the river. Willy who owns the campsite suggested we could have the tent on one half of the pitch with the van on the other. The pitch is right down on the River Ayr and it’s been raining heavily all night.
I reverse back down the small dirt track and I am so damn chuffed with myself… I don’t need Craig going left a bit, right a bit.. I get to where I want to be and reverse a bit further so I can pull up onto the spot I want to stop on.
Figured I’d be easier driving onto it than I would be reversing. How wrong could I be?!
Abbie the T5 heavy weight camper van slips about 10 inches to the left… towards the river and I am stuck. My cockiness comes back to bite me in the ass big time.
I took a photo after we both had a try but she just kept on slipping sideways.
We called Willy (the campsite owner) and he came down to save the day but honestly it took about 3 hours of hours. I was devastated I caused all that. At the time it seems like the most dramatic and terrifying thing in the world. Instead of staying calm, my anxiety had me in shock, half in tears, half shaking. Ridiculous looking back.
He basically dug her out…. With a shovel and bricks and complete patience.
He almost got her driven out completely when she slid sideways again and we were almost back to where we started.
The “leave no trace only footprints…. oh and loads of dug out gouges and tyre tracks” mantra ringing in my ears.
He decided that he was going to have to go use the quad bike to try and tow her out as digging wasn’t working.
Then starts the…. “Find the manual”…. “Where’s the front towing eye” …. All of which heightens my anxiety levels. You all know how well I react under pressure. We finally find it… a learning curve for us all… and thankfully I remember that I actually have the towing eye itself, in a bag in the back of the van.
So he threw some huge rocks on the front of the quad to give it weight and gently towed her out… Craig driving of course. I was far too scared to have that responsibility yet I felt dreadful for “making” Craig have to do it.
He then tried to tow her back into the correct position… by this time I just wanted to go back up to the main campsite. Or home maybe.
I was all over the place… just like the van.
Willy was so lovely all the time he worked on it. A calming influence telling me it would be ok and that he’d thought it might be worse when I called him…. He never complained.
This is where he left her and she’ll stay for the remainder of the weekend.
I’m puppy sitting tomorrow night so I’ll have to take Craig’s car for that… ain’t getting Abbie out now til Sunday.
So how do I feel…… absolutely shattered, exhausted, fearful, sad, you name any bad word and I’ll own it. I can’t take the “this could happen to anyone”…. I need to use it to beat myself up with.
Yet again I’ve proved that despite my love for camping… I struggle to cope with things that don’t go according to plan.
I’ve ruined the day. I’m stressed to the hilt, at the same time trying to soak up the atmosphere and breathe but I’m watching the dogs every move. Jumping at the slightest thing.
In a bid to get some kind of normality, Craig made a lovely dinner…
He had spicy wings and I had curried chicken breast on rocket.
The location is stunning. The river is much higher than it was last night. It’s dramatic and flowing like fizzing Coke due to the peat in the water.
I am trying to keep calm, trying not to worry, trying not to panic, trying not to snap at the slightest thing. This is meant to be fun….
I’m doing a lot of soul searching today. Questioning everything all because one thing happened that could have happened to anyone…. just not to anyone who would have had the common sense to reverse onto the pitch first. Hey you live and learn and today was a huge learning curve. If the road isn’t tarmac’d I ain’t driving it 🤦🏻♀️🤷🏻♀️🤣🤣
None of the photos are loading but I’m publishing anyway… maybe they’ll come through. Maybe not. It’s the words that matter.
(It didn’t publish so I’m back home adding to this now!)
We took a wee walk further down the track and found this lovely wee hut that he lets out. It’s at the end of the path and so very private with only the river in front of you.
The puppers are allowed off lead down here and they are in their element.
I am, of course, waiting for any possible thing that could go wrong, to go wrong… another dog to appear, people to pass who don’t like dogs, I invent every scenario I can in my head.
None of that happens and we have a lovely evening. Especially when the dogs go to bed and finally I can switch off the ridiculously high alert status.
I am calm though slightly shaken. 🤦🏻♀️🤣🤣 and off to sleep at a 45degree angle!
Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️