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A nightmare night-time jaunt

It was clear that I had to get off of the hill. I was also aware that it would likely be a bit of a mission. Michael and I had researched garages nearby. There were a couple in the Aylesford area that had the equipment needed to lift the truck. I decided that I should make my way there and get parked up somewhere within easy reach of the garages; somewhere that I could leave my caravan safely that was also safe for Rowan. It also made sense to leave late at night. The road is a busy road and I needed to do a U-turn onto it from the layby. The manoeuvre would potentially cause traffic chaos. It would be better to make the move in the middle of the night when traffic is practically non-existent.

We had spotted a bit of waste ground on an industrial estate. It was in a corner, out of the way. It would only take ten minutes to get to. Once settled on a target, I relaxed.

Eventually, around midnight, all aboard, I attempted to move the truck. It took a bit of effort, but managed to pull off out of the layby and onto the road down towards Aylesford. In no time, we were turning into 20/20 Business Park, the industrial estate settled upon.

But, of course, things are rarely simple! The waste ground that I was aiming for was out of bounds. I simply couldn’t get to it. The road leading to it was packed with cars from the huge power plant it evidently belonged to. Loads of signs were everywhere and a security box at the entrance convinced me that investigating any further would be pointless. I found somewhere to stop so that I could have another look at the satellite map. I found another potential spot on the other side of the estate. I headed over and soon found that it was a definite no go. I spent ages scouting, but nothing doing.

I found a safe place to stop, then got back onto the satellite map to search again. In the end, I was getting frustrated, so decided that I would head back over the other side of the river where there is a large car park on the north bank, by an old priory, and where there is also a farmer’s market. Michael and I had looked at it before as a potential place to stop for a night or two. It wouldn’t be somewhere that I could leave my caravan, but it would do for the night. I could at least get my head down. So off I went.

Ten minutes later, and now raining, I was facing the car park entrance, unable to go forward. Heras fencing blocked my progression! The car park was temporarily closed. To make matters worse, a raised central reservation leading to the entrance meant that turning around was not an option. I would have to reverse back, in the rain, with barely any visibility, and a dog-leg to negotiate in order to be able to get a turn enough to get out and back onto the highway. I had another peruse of the satellite map.

After a little wander to scout the area, I decided that I had no alternative but to make my way to a little spot that Froggy had spotted a few days back, when he had come to offload the excess weight from the truck. I reversed out of my predicament, then headed through the village of Eccles. At the end of the road, I turned left, then left again along a road that passed below the village of Burham. I noticed one of those brown tourist signs that directed one to an establishment called the Butcher’s Block Pub. The lane headed towards the village of Burham. Intrigued, I stopped, and a quick reccy revealed off-road parking on both sides of the lane. It looked promising. I turned up the lane.

It had been my intention to go as far as the car park on the outskirts of the village and use the said car park to turn around, so that I was facing back down the lane. However, the car park turned out to be far too small and full of cars, anyway. Looking ahead, it was obvious that continuing on through the village was not going to happen, so, I had to reverse. I reversed back past the cars that were parked alongside the lane. I looked at the field. It looked pretty solid. I stopped, got out and had a wander onto the field. Yay! Solid, firm ground. I could do a U-turn here easily. By the time I was finally parked up, it must’ve been at least 4am! What was supposed to be a quick ten-minute jaunt had turned into a four-hour nightmare mission.

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