We set off from Bury around 11am stopped for fuel and Trish seat belt catch broke. So Trish switched seats to the dining table seat (fitted with seat belt) until we got to Stockport. The GPS was taking us in circles so we pulled over on a back street where Steven fixed the GPS destination and with a few tools stripped the seat belt latch, and with some epoxy glue and tape fixed the seat belt to work better than a new one!
Our destination of Newark was chosen not for its history but rather because it is where a Hymer Motorhome dealer is that happens to have an refillable LPG cylinder in stock. We are going to modify the gas system to use refillable LPG bottle (similar to system to those fitted to LPG cars) that can be filled from the LPG pump at the garage.
This is important as the bottled gas systems used on the continent are different in each region and also different to the Calor gas exchange bottle system used in the UK. Once we cross the channel the UK Calor gas bottles currently fitted cannot be refilled. We have two full 11kg butane and a full 9kg propane bottle as a backup however have little idea just how much gas we will use. Particularly important for heating as we head toward the Arctic Circle. Being able to top up the gas at petrol station with LPG when we refuel should overcome this problem.
The drive through the Peak District was pleasant, we stopped for a cup of tea and admired some valley views and decided we would return and spend some time here when on a lap of the UK later in the year.
We passed a Tescos that had double spaces free at the rear of the car park so took advantage of this and stopped for supplies to stock up the MH for the next week or so.
We arrived at the Smeatons Lakes camping and caravan park on Trent river at around 5:30. Steven’s toe has become badly infected just behind the toenail and the antibiotics prescribed while we were in Windborne have had no effect. After checking in with the site warden ‘Trish’ Steven asked about a doctor in the area. Trish took one look at the toe and said ‘ I will set something up with my doctor’. We parked the MH and a few minutes later Trish (the warden) came over and said she had arranged for Steven to see a doctor and would get someone else to watch the gate and take him straight over. How’s that for service!!!
We have a pitch right next to the lake and this was our first chance to get out the table and chairs for dinner outside!! Oh, and we now have beer and wine onboard!! Took a pleasant late evening stroll (still quite light here after 9pm) along the nearby Trent river, past the white swans and the very English private fishing and no public access signs along the river and then back to the MH.
We stayed and extra day here so Steven could install the new LPG system. In the afternoon on the way into town we found a large secure truck parking area where we could park the MH. It had some facilities WC and a Cafe. There was another MH parked there near a grassy patch and we got chatting and it seems if you pay at the machine for a day $3.00 they have no problem with you staying there overnight. They park here all the time.We plan to stay here tomorrow night. We spent the late afternoon walking around the town centre.