Francine and I enjoyed our (re)discovery of the so-called New Forest en Angleterre so much last September that, after what feels like a desperately long and dull winter, we decided to return for another visit. Our timing appears to have been good; our journey was made largely in sunshine, albeit still slightly feeble sunshine it being only halfway through March and technically not quite yet spring, and not only was the sun shining but even the normally nightmarish English roads were relatively quiet, though not as quiet as the delightful roads of la belle France, of course. Nonetheless, we arrived at Setthorns campsite after a blissfully easy trip.
We’ve pushed out le bateau and upgraded to a select pitch. Select pitches provide a little more space and a wooden bench table pour faire le pique-nique. Another difference with the select pitch area is that it is planted with mostly deciduous, broad-leaved trees rather than evergreen conifers, so the area allows more sunlight through to the individual pitches now that the trees are devoid of leaves. Having selected a select pitch and set up Guillaume to the accompaniment of our traditional installation beer, we settled down on our select wooden table to a pique-nique of pâté and toast washed down with another beer. Contentment set in.
The only slight blot on our otherwise perfect day was caused by our badly behaved caravan, Guillaume. Last year, in France, he had begun misbehaving in that his on-board water pump “decided” to run every 15 minutes or so to re-pressurize the on-board water system. Judder, judder, judder, went the pump, irritatingly. The pump is pressure activated – dropping pressure (normally when you turn on a tap) kicks the pump into operation. Since we were not turning on a tap every 15 minutes, I feared a leak in the system. The cause was eventually tracked down to be water trickling back out of the van’s water system inlet and into the water container whence it had originally come. This shouldn’t happen. At Guillaume’s recent service, I asked for a non-return valve to be fitted to fix the problem. Regrettably it seems to have scored a big fat zero on the old fixometer – water is still trickling back into the water container. Clearly the non-return valve is not non-returning. Merde alors!
Back to our French solution of turning the water pump on and off manually. This is how vans were 30 years ago. The more complex a “solution”, the more ways there are of its breaking down. Isn’t technology great?