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    • Day 90

      Reise nach Belgien ..

      September 20, 2019 in France ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

      Auf der Durchreise ...ein Stopp zur Übernachtung an der idyllischen "Somme" 💫🐢🦢🕊️🐟🐾

      Der Name Somme geht auf keltische Ursprünge zurück. Die Römer nannten den Fluss Samara. Die Somme wurde weltweit bekannt durch die Schlacht an der mindestens einer Million Toten und Verwundeten eine der blutigsten Schlachten des Ersten Weltkriegs 🥀Read more

    • Day 48

      Formerie to Cappy

      November 23, 2022 in France ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

      We both woke up at 7:30am to a toasty warm Wanda. We had the electric fire running all night on low again and that kept the temperature at a steady 17°c.
      We had nowhere to be today so it was a slow start and it was still raining steadily outside so we were in no particular rush to do anything.
      That gave us a chance to check our phones and see if there was anywhere else to go rather than go to Arras, because even though it’s a beautiful city we have been there before.
      Fortunately while I was checking on Komoot and park4night I found an airè that was camping car for our card. Situated in a mon village as it’s called in France (it’s actually just an enclosed campsite) that was close to the river Somme and had beautiful canal walks and bike rides on hand.
      I never thought I’d convince Ellie we should go and then she turned to me with her phone and said “What about this place?” and showed me a picture of what I had just found.
      Our minds were made up and we dumped off the grey water and filled up with fresh and left Formerie at 10am for a 65 mile journey to Bray de La Somme and the village of Cappy.
      The rain was relentless all the way and the roads were like rivers. Luckily there were no motorways but driving through the side roads mud was just running off the fields making the roads a chocolate brown colour. It was disgusting weather.
      We finally arrived at Cappy at 12:30pm, it was still raining and we let ourselves in through the barrier with pass card. There’s 25 pitches for motorhomes and they were all free, nobody else was here. There are also several static caravans here that are privately owned with little gardens around them. They are all empty.
      We had the whole place to ourselves.
      The pitches for motorhomes were all grass and some had wire on the ground to stop vehicles sinking. I pulled into one that was drive in and drive out and we realised it wasn’t level and also really bumpy so I said I’d move to a better pitch. I saw a flat one over the little hedge to my right so I pulled out and reversed it in and no sooner had we stopped and Wanda Sank.
      I tried to pull out again but the wheels just spun up. Then I tried rocking us out first in first gear and then in reverse and first. It was no good Wanda wasn’t going anywhere.
      Ellie wasn’t to worried and said it would stop raining soon and it was meant to get windy but I knew that wouldn’t help us and if we couldn’t get ourselves out we would need to find help from someone and I didn’t fancy our chances of that either.
      We had a coffee and then I put on my waterproof jacket and hat and Ellie put in her coat and we got the max tracks off the back for the first time.
      There’s a reason why all those soldiers got trench foot in the Somme in the First World War and we were about to find out all about it.
      The max tracks were useless because as soon as the first layer of soil was lifted it became a thick, gloopy, slippery clay and we now knew we were in trouble.
      We set off looking around the camping village for some wood to put under the wheels to get traction. Fortunately we found some large pieces of OSB board behind one of the caravans so we stole 2 and then returned to Wanda. Feeling hopeful.
      I decided we would try and jack wanda up so I put the jack on a piece of wood to stop it sinking and lifted the front left wheel. Once the wheel was lifted we could see that Wanda had sunk about 8 inches. We slid the wood under and lowered Wanda and the wood just cracked but I thought if we could do the same on the other side we would get enough traction to pull ourselves out.
      We jacked up the other side and did exactly the same and then tried pulling ourselves out but it was useless, we needed a different plan but all the time we sat there the back with all the weight in was sinking further.
      We made the decision to empty half of the water. That’s 50 litres but obviously the only place it can go is on the grass which will make it even more boggy.
      We went back to the caravan with the wood and stole 2 more pieces and then I jacked up the back drivers side but we had sunk about 10 inches already.
      We decided to not even attempt putting the wood under and I returned back to the Caravan and found some broken bricks. I put those under the wheel and now the back was level. We tried again but still the front wheels just spun and smoked. There just wasn’t enough traction on the wood to pull us out.
      I then returned to the Caravan and got a paving slab, rejacked the front passenger side and put the slab under. All the time I was jacking Wanda I was laying or kneeling in the mud and now I was absolutely caked in it. It was in my boots, on my trousers my jacket was covered and so were my hands. Ellie had splats if wheelspin mud on her face, one arm of her jacket was caked in it and so were hands. She had also cut her thumb and managed to get blood on her face. Mixed with mud she looked like something from the walking dead.
      We managed to get the slab under and then we tried again but Wanda wasn’t budging, so we went back to the caravan and got 3 more paving slabs, at this point I made a joke that if anyone else turned up we would say we’re building a patio because all we needed now was a barbecue.
      I jacked the front up again and we managed to get a paving slab under the other wheel and to help keep us moving I put the other 2 infront of those so if we did get going we could keep moving.
      I tried again and we would go forward a little and the roll back so I managed to work up a nice rocking motion and when I reached maximum rocking speed I pulled forward. The wheels spun and I turned left and right fast to get maximum pulling traction and slowly but surely Wanda crept forward until we got to tarmac.
      We had made a right mess. My tools were covered in mud, Wanda was covered in mud, we were covered in mud and it had taken 2 1/2 hours to get free.
      It was now 4pm and all those lovely walks or bike rides we were dreaming of weren’t happening.
      We drove Wanda up to the fresh water point and refilled the fresh water tank. Then we hosed off the max tracks and hosed off Wanda.
      We decided we wouldn’t park on the grass and chose to park on a turning circle and use the closest electric point. Once we were hooked up I put the hot water on and we both took our wet and muddy clothes off sat infront of the diesel heater.
      It had been a right ordeal trying to get Wanda out, an ordeal we don’t want to experience again.
      After dinner I had a shower and rinsed off all the mud and then we sat down to relax for the rest of the night.
      Hopefully the rain will have stopped tomorrow and we’ll be able to go for a walk along the Canal.
      Read more

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