I woke early again to another bright sunny morning, and after walking the dogs, giving Tiger her milk and medication and sorting out my own breakfast I was ready for another day of towing tuition - it wasn't to be a full day though as the final session of the course was due to finish around 2pm. The morning's format was much the same as before, but this time our practical session had us reversing the caravan onto a 'pitch' between two sets of cones, first to the left then to the right. At first I couldn't get the hang of turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction to where I wanted to go - it seemed a totally alien way of thinking - but once that had finally sunk into my brain I didn't do too badly on the left reverse. I couldn't say the same for the right reverse though - my hands, brain and eyesight just refused to work together and no matter how many times I tried I just couldn't get that caravan into that space without coming close to jack-knifing it or knocking the cones over. Eventually I had to concede defeat so that some of the others could have a turn, and I was pleased to see that Roz did quite well reversing in both directions.
After our lunch break we went back to the car park for another short practise session, then as it was a nice day we all got our folding chairs out of our vehicles and had our final classroom session outside. Then it was back inside for a quick debrief and to collect anything we had left in the room and at 2.30 we were free to go. Back at the site I checked on Tiger, went to retrieve Sophie and Sugar from Roz's caravan - her little girl would have loved to take them both home - then made myself a coffee and spent a while relaxing in the sun outside the awning. Roz and Niall were already packing up to go home, and when it came to hitching up their caravan she called me across, sent Niall to dispose of the rubbish in the bins on the main site, and between us we had their caravan hitched up by the time he came back. And putting theory into practise she was taking the bull by the horns and towing it back home herself.
I didn't have anything to rush home for, so after Roz and Niall had gone I took the dogs for a walk up the lane and along the riverbank before returning to the site and making a start on my own packing up. I left Tiger in her pen as long as I could, and when everything was packed away in the van and the dogs were in the back I took her out and put her down on the grass. She had been an indoor cat for several years and as I knew she wasn't well enough to even think about running off I thought it would be nice to give her a little taste of freedom. And bless her, with lots of encouragement she came for a walk half way round the site with me, following slowly a couple of steps behind me.
When I could see that she was getting tired I picked her up and carried her back to the van, putting her into her carry box for the journey home, then with her pen collapsed and stowed in the back I was ready for off. Forty minutes later I was back home, and with the dogs settled on their beds in the living room and Tiger on hers in my bedroom I made myself a sandwich and a brew and spent the rest of the evening relaxing. It had been a very busy, informative and enjoyable weekend which had given me the knowledge and confidence to tow my own caravan, though for several reasons that probably wouldn't happen for a while. But there was one thing I would have to consider first - getting a motor mover fitted to take care of those tricky right hand reverses!
- Hi! I'm Eunice and I live in Bolton, Lancashire, with my two dogs Sophie and Sugar and an assortment of cats - well it used to be Sophie and Sugar, now it's Sophie and Poppie. I first began camping back in 1997 when my then partner took me to Anglesey for my birthday weekend. We slept in the back of the car - a hatchback - using the cushions off the settee at home as a mattress, and cooked and brewed up on a single burner camping stove. The site was good, the views were great, the weather fantastic and I was completely hooked. Following that weekend we got a two-man tent and some proper accessories and returned to Anglesey two weeks later, then over time we progressed to a three-man tent followed by an old trailer tent, then a new trailer tent, a campervan and finally a caravan. When my partner decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the street - literally - in April 2009 and I suddenly found myself alone after fifteen years, I decided there was no way I was going to give up camping and caravanning if I could cope on my own. This blog is the story of my travels, trials and tribulations since becoming a solo camper - I hope you like it