Romantic memories of a camper
I've been a keen camper for as long as I can remember. Luckily for me, when at 17 I met the woman who was to become my wife, she was quite taken by the experience and has always been fully committed to our various holidays and adventures. Admittedly, some of those adventures are better viewed with hindsight.
After six or so years under canvas I took the plunge and purchased my first motorhome, a 1976 T2 camper van.
This 'bus' had been well looked after, even rewarded with an overhaul or two on its journey towards finding me.
For the most part we were happy exploring our home county, Kent. We often set out to go further afield but whenever I checked the map before a weekend away I realised there was another village we hadn't driven through.
Before I knew it we'd found such a network of brilliant spots closer to home that we rarely crossed the border to West Sussex or beyond!
Towards the aisle
The purchase of a classic VW ticked a few boxes for me and by chance rather than intention our camper became the backbone to our wedding.
Bedecked with flowers and ribbons our bright yellow motorhome was my taxi to the church where I met my soon to be wife who had been dropped off in a stretch VW Beetle in bright gold!!
We opted to split our honeymoon into two parts, and the day after the ceremony our friends and family were waving us off from the hotel as we drove away in our camper, now decorated with even more memorabilia and a chalk sign on the back reading 'just married'.
Every holiday in a motorhome or caravan starts the moment you set off, and this was no different.
Aside from various waves, toots and beeps we went about our slow trip from Kent, over to Hampshire and down toward the Isle of Wight.
Having been to the island for festivals in the past, the opportunity to spend a sleepy summer's week puttering and walking around the different sites was truly exciting.
The closest we came to disaster was our last day.
Having spent the morning packing our awning away into the camper I was distraught to learn that I'd somehow drained the battery over the last night to a point where a simple bump wouldn't get me started.
In a year of owning a vintage camper I'd experienced various breakdowns and most unwanted costs from time to time, but this one felt much more painful. It was our honeymoon after all.
Like any prepared camper I had documentation for my breakdown insurance close by, and within an hour a man in a bright yellow van of his own was tinkering around in our Volkswagen.
New battery and alternator fixed we where soon on our way, drama over!
A great couple of years in our camper and the lesson on being prepared for any trip where you might be at home or abroad are fairly obvious, but even more so when you have a new bride to get back to the homestead!
By the way, we're still married and there've been many more miles on the camper since then!