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Published: September 9th 2010
I can't say that we were sad to leave Barnsley. I would say that the fact that we were on the road by 10am says a lot about how eager we were to be at our next destination. We were staying on a site called Callow Top. We have visited it many times before in a tent but this would be our first time in a caravan. It has its own traditional pub which brews its own award winning ale - nothing to do with why Andy enjoys visiting - honest!
We had been especially looking forward to coming here this time as our good friend Mandy and my god son George were visiting for a few days. They are from Shrewsbury so this would be the last chance we had to spend some time together before we ventured abroad.
We arrived to baking hot sunshine, not something that we have been used to on this trip! We set up and enjoyed a nice cool cider sat outside for once.
We had to meet Mandy and George the next day. She had been given directions and somewhere easy to meet us. We set off for the meeting place
which was Meir roundabout just outside of Stoke and about 25 miles from the campsite. Mandy arrived first and called and told me to look out for the McDonalds and Travel Lodge that were near her. We arrived at Mier roundabout and were worried that there was no Mcdonalds and no Travel lodge. We carried on to the next roundabout but there was nothing here either. We drove up and down the A50, but there were none of the things that had been described to us. Mandy then gave us the postcode to Mcdonalds. Somehow we were 15 miles away. Checking the map I was sure I knew where she was and started to direct Andy accordingly. The satnav had other plans and decided that we needed to go up a country road that was only just wide enough to fit the car. “NO, NO DEFINATELY NOT, DON’T GO UP THERE, I KNOW WHERE WE ARE GOING” I shouted as Andy turned anyway. For some reason he had chosen this to be the first time he would trust the satnav, convinced that it was taking us on some short cut. After miles on this tiny road the satnav announced that
we had reached our destination. I struggled to believe her considering we were parked on a mud track entrance to a farm! We then had a long 'discussion' about what the point was in giving me the map if Andy did not listen to my directions. I also reminded him of the last time he turned down a country lane against my advice and ended up on a single track road with a caravan on the back and two very angry farmers on tractors with trailers trying to come the other way who had to drive over a hedge to get round us (these are memories I would rather not re-live). He decided that he would trust my map reading. I do have my map readers badge from brownies after all!
We finally reached Mandy and George 2.5 hours and 70 miles after we left. We had not only been sent to the wrong roundabout but had been sent to the wrong county. It turns out that they were just 12 miles south of the campsite and that we need not have gone to Stoke after all. Believe me Stoke is not somewhere you want to visit if you
don’t have to!
After a slightly stressful afternoon we relaxed at the campsite and had dinner. Then George played at the park while we unwound in the pub beer garden which overlooks the playground. George challenged us to a race round the beer garden, which he won, then we all headed back to the caravan for a game of snakes and ladders. The next few days were spent going to the park, going to the arcade and playing snakes and ladders - which I didn’t win once! Then on Thursday morning after a lovely few days we had some rather tearful goodbyes before heading back to Peterborough.
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