We decided to take the bus to this rally. It would come in handy to take us all out on day outings. We were soon on our way after getting the small caravan from the storage yard. We were making good time and only 10 miles from Carsington Water when I realised that we were not going very fast though the engine was going full throttle. The clutch was slipping and very badly. We crawled up a long hill only a 10% one but causing long tailbacks. We eventually got to the top where there was a lay bye and we pulled in and
phoned the breakdown services. The AA was first on the scene. He could take me to the site or home but couldn’t do both. The RAC then came to our
rescue. Not only would they take us to the campsite but would return on the
day of our departure to take us home. So this they did. We arrived on site with the bus on the back of the recovery truck towing the caravan. “What an entrance” John & Anne said. Once on site we set up camp after Anne gave us the welcome cup of tea. We soon set up camp and were settling down to our evening meal. By eight o’clock we were ready for the evening social where John & Anne came in leaving Geoff to follow after him watching his soaps on his TV.
Friday morning was dry bright and warm. We all decided except Anne to do the cycle ride around Carsington Water. “It’s only seven miles” says John. The 1st mile was quite easy being flat, but then we came to the first hill. It was far too steep to ride up so it was shanks pony pushing our bikes. I think that is why they are called push bikes. It took a couple of hours to complete the course and we were soon back on camp
drinking a welcome cuppa tea supplied by Anne.
Later that afternoon John & Anne packed up their camper van and left for home. No the rally hadn’t
finished they were attending a Tramps Ball which had been booked for quite some time. That evening was spent in our caravan listening to Radio Derby whilst Geoff stayed in his caravan watching his television.
Saturday morning was a lot cooler with overcast clouds. Geoff took us into Ashbourne to do some shopping. John & Anne were not expected back on
camp until late in the afternoon. The three of us did the local charity shops before buying the food for the evening meal. On our return to camp we find that John & Anne were already back from home. They told us of the exciting evening they had had on their Tramps Ball. That evening we all gathered into our caravan for our evening meal of sausage & mash followed by pudding and a shandy to wash it down. As there were only five of us on the rally there was plenty left for a second helping. We finished off the evening relaxing and talking about the day we had just had on our bikes.
Sunday morning was sunny but very cold. We all decided to walk to Carsington Water Visitor Centre where there are a lot of interesting shops
and displays. John suggested we cross over the field as it was a shorter route. Yes it was a shorter route but the two styles we had to get over were quite big. One had to become a mountain goat to get over them. We even had to lift the dog over them which were a task in its self. It would have been a lot easier if he hadn’t struggled. John didn’t come with us as he was waiting for his family to arrive. When we arrived at the shops we met up with John and his family. They had come in the car. They went through the shops and in to the exhibition centre whilst we waited outside, as dogs were not allowed in. After waiting for about an hour we strolled back to camp leaving the others to finish their shopping.
Monday came and we decide to take the bus into Matlock. It took just over an hour to get there. The first thing we did was to check the time the bus went back. The next bus back was the one we had just got off. There was one in four hours time so it was decided that we would look around the town have some lunch and get the 4 o’clock bus back. It’s only a small town and we had done most of the shops within 2 hours. We did the few charity shops and the souvenir ones as well. We found a small inexpensive cafe where we had our lunch then we strolled through the park admiring the lovely floral displays. Anne and Ian sat on the park bench whilst John Geoff & Linda walked to the far end of the park just to kill time
before the next bus came. We thought of having a ride on the Peak Steam Railway but when we got to the railway station we found that the trains don’t run on a Monday. It wasn’t too long before we had to make our way back to the bus station to catch the bus back to the campsite. It soon arrived and we were on our way back to the camp. I’m not sure if the bus was faulty or that the hills were too steep for it but it did struggle up them. It took ten minutes to climb a 1 in 12 hill at a speed of 3 MPH. We eventually got back and spent that evening in our caravan just chilling out. It had been quite a tiring day.
Tuesday was the day we were going home. I called the RAC for them to come and take us home. Within the hour they had arrived and within a half hour we were whisked away with our bus on the back of the recovery truck and the caravan swaying merrily side to side. We didn’t have time to say our goodbyes properly but everyone knew what was happening. It was a good weekend although we couldn’t do the Tissington Trail on our bikes. But never mind. There is always next time. Thank you to Geoff and John & Anne for looking after us. We have the bus repaired and hopefully we can spend the rest of the year trouble free.