Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Littlehampton to Normans Bay

One of the advantages of a campervan over a tent is the packing up time. It takes just a few minutes; and if you put things away properly as you go along, it's even quicker. This means that on the morning of departure from a site, we don't have to get up early and rush around trying to evacuate the site before the designated departure time (usually 11 or 12).

So, after an easy camp strike, we headed off for a site in Normans Bay, called so as it's where William the Conqueror landed in 1066. On the way we thought we'd have a stop over in Lewes. We hadn't gone very far when there was an almighty pop from the engine and suddenly we lost nearly all power. We pulled off the A27 and into a pub car park and took a look.

This was the first time I'd seen the engine since I got it back form the garage. It was looking great. I didn't know they were going to re-spray all the engine parts.

Anyway, the source of the almighty pop and loss of power was that one of the spark plugs had popped completely out. I guess because it wasn't put back in properly; maybe because the plugs are very hard to get to. Unfortunately I didn't have the right size socket, so we had to call the AA.

While we waited for the AA, we got a couple of lemonades from the pub which had just opened, and sat in the shade of a tree in the pub garden. I guess if you're going to break down on a hot day, outside a pub is the best place.

When the AA guy turned up, he put the plug back in (I noted the socket size so I could pick my own up at the next Halfords) and agreed that looking at the plug thread it looked like it hadn't been put in properly. We started her up and everything seemed fine.

Whilst we were fixing the van, the AA guy was asking about us and our van. I mentioned that we were emigrating to Oz, and he said "Me too". He asked where we were going, so I said "Perth" and he said "Ha! Me too". So we then got unstoppably talking about Perth, Oz and our individual stories and reason for moving. Ben (the AA man) was married and they were both moving south of Perth after he'd been offered a job as a mechanic. He was going a few weeks before us in October. He is also one of the crazy Oz migrants whose never even been there before; he's just jumping straight in and giving it a go; good on him I say. I think it was about 20 minutes after we'd fixed the van that we eventually decided that we'd better get on, especially seeing that he was supposed to be working. So he took my Email address and said he drop us a message when he gets there and maybe we can meet up when we arrive in November. A new Oz friend and we haven't even arrived. Maybe the almighty pop was fate.

Anyway, now back on the road we continued our way to Lewes; taking it very easy so as not to put undue strain on the engine. It was also a very hot day, which isn't ideal for an air cooled engine. We stopped off at a retail park at Worthing to get some supplies (mainly a spark plug socket) and grab a little lunch in Sainsburys.

No more knocking from the wheels so it must have been been the wheel nuts that were loose before.

Lewes was a lovely place. A nice quiet contrast to Brighton which was so busy it wasn't really enjoyable. We had a walk around, a look in some shops and had a drink and a snack in a cafe.

This was a changing room door in Fat Face.

After Lewes we headed for the the next camp site, Normans Bay. We hadn't booked this one in advance because when we tried to call, no one answered the phone When we arrived we saw that it was very busy, but they did have space for us. They said they hadn't been answering the phone because they've been so busy. It is primarily a caravan and motorhome site, but does allow some tents. It is situated just 100m from the beach.

You can see our van here in the middle of the picture.

Apparently the Camping and Caravanning club own this bit of the beach.

There is a historic brewery in Lewes called Harveys. We bought a couple beers from the Cafe we stopped in. These beers are brewed by Harveys exclusively for sale in this Cafe. They were blonde ales, and very nice and refreshing with our BBQ.

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