Well the previous night's finger crossing for nice weather didn't exactly work as the day arrived cloudy and grey with short intermittent showers. By late morning I'd had enough of being in the tent so I packed the dogs in the van and drove down to Asda in Yarmouth to get some shopping and put some diesel in the van. The supermarket is only a short walk from the port and as I'd never been to that part of the town before I decided to take a look and see if there was anything worth photographing.
In short, there wasn't much there at all - what had once been a very busy fishing port with ships berthed along the whole length of the docks was now devoid of everything but a handful of boats and an area of industrial units across the far side of the river. One ship did catch my attention though; I didn't know what sort of ship it was but it was seriously big and a very eye-catching red so well worth a photo.
With a handful of shots taken I went back to the supermarket, got the supplies I needed then drove round to the petrol station for some diesel before heading back to the camp site. I'd gone less than two miles when I glanced in my wing mirror and saw it - smoke pouring from somewhere at the back of the van. And with the smoke came an awful realisation, but surely I couldn't have - could I?? I pulled into the side of the road and turned off the engine, and a quick look at my Asda receipt confirmed it - I'd just put forty quid's worth of petrol in my diesel tank.
The thought that I could have done untold damage to the engine made me feel like crying but that wouldn't solve the problem so I picked up my phone and rang the AA. Unfortunately a misfuel wasn't covered under my membership - it would cost £220 to get it sorted out but I was five miles away from the camp site and I didn't have my bank card with me, however the very nice man at the other end of the phone said he could invoice the amount to my home address and I would have two weeks to pay it after receiving it. That would do for me, now all I had to do was sit and wait for someone to rescue me.
It was less than an hour later when a breakdown truck arrived and my poor van, with the dogs still inside, was winched onto the back and we were driven back to the camp site, then not long afterwards an AA guy arrived to deal with the fuel. It took him about half an hour, during which he told me that as I'd stopped as soon as I saw the smoke and had the sense not to turn the engine on again it should be okay, as older vehicles can take a bit of mistreatment where new ones can't. He left me with ten quid's worth of diesel in the tank, the instruction to fill it right up as soon as I could, and a huge sense of relief that the engine hadn't suffered any damage.
Of course it was just my luck that while my mishap was being sorted out the weather gods decided they would paint the sky blue and send down the sunshine so the afternoon turned out really nice, but after all that had happened I wasn't really in the mood for going anywhere else just then so I took the dogs down on the beach and we spent some time just mooching about at the water's edge. In the evening, with nothing worth watching on the tv, I went to visit my ex's older sister Jean who lives just a mile or so down the road from the camp site, and I spent a very pleasant couple of hours having a brew and a chat with her and her husband John.
Thinking about things later on I just couldn't believe I'd managed to put the wrong fuel in the van that afternoon but then I realised why. At home the Asda petrol station where I always fill up has the diesel pump on the right hand side and when I got out of the van at the Yarmouth Asda I'd automatically picked up the right hand nozzle not realising that the diesel one was actually on the left - and the fact that the pipes and the handles are different colours somehow just hadn't registered with my brain. It was a very costly mistake which fortunately turned out okay, but it's a mistake that I certainly won't make again.
- 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