Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Carry on caravaning

Last week Lee and I enjoyed a lovely break in the Lake District. We spent five days in a luxury caravan in Flookburgh. I am converted to caravans now. When I used to think of caravans I would instantly imagine a small tin with tiny windows on wheels, rocking in lashing rain. Inside the room is damp and drafty with a gas fire glowing through one flickering bar. At best, nights spent shivering under blankets and duvets with bed socks and jumpers, at worst, nights with the additional layers of bobble hat and gloves. How wrong I was, caravaning has changed and for the better. The caravan we rented was a static caravan, two bedrooms, a toilet, bathroom and large kitchen, dining area and living room. The fire was huge and central heating (oh central heating!) adorned every room. The design was ingenious; cupboards and storage throughout with modern fittings and a large shower, all fitted in a small but perfectly formed wee hoose.

It was a fun week and so hot that we even managed to have a barbeque. I liked the caravan park; the walks around it were pretty with stables near the touring caravans. A holiday is what you make but a nice 'home' for the week makes all the difference. Our 'Vendee 500' was certainly comfortable. And what a strange name. Traveling down to the Lake District, we shouted out the name of every touring caravan that passed. Rusty or luxury they never fail to make me giggle. The manufacturers have chosen adventurous names, often implying that they are breaking new ground, discovering unseen parts of the planet - Voyager, Marauder, Swift, Challenger, Prestige - I imagine they are little spaceships rolling along the roads. I am surprised there were no Starship Enterprise tourers. My least favourite names are the ones that sound so middle England, like small towns in rural counties - Chichester, Windsor and Worcester. How uninspiring. The caravan I liked best was an older model, swaying along the M74, clean and slow, like a lumbering can on wheels - the Wanderer. I believe that name captures the essence of caravaning don't you?


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