Not being especially familiar with North Somerset I looked at a map and decided that the shortest and easiest route to Stowford Farm Meadows campsite was along the A39 even though the satnav suggested a different way.
So off we set.
Well how wrong I was. When we left the motorway and started along the A39 all went well. The further west we went, the road became more tortuous and the inclines steeper. The van struggled to get up the hills. The hills seemed to go on and on. In fact there were several occasions when I seriously wondered if we WOULD get to the top.
Much of the time I was inching up in FIRST gear. I would try second gear only to feel the van coming perilously close to stalling. This I did not want to do as I was convinced that once the van stopped a hill start would be impossible and somehow I would have to turn it around and go down the hill. Not something I wished to do.
The relief at reaching the top was quickly replaced by concern about the brakes. Going down was just as difficult with the road twisting and turning precipitously.
“Would my brakes hold” was a silent mantra. I went downhill almost as slowly as going up. I stayed in second gear to use them to reduce the speed of the van. Upon reaching the bottom I breathed a huge sign of relief hoping that that was the last of the hills.
Little did I know that this scenario was to continue until we were just a couple of miles from our destination: AND: Little did I know that the road was going to get WORSE‼‼
Some of the bends were so steep and sharp that I only JUST made it round them and it was extremely fortunate that I did not meet anyone coming down. Just thinking about this now brings me out in a cold sweat. At the time my breathing was exceedingly rapid. I held my breath as we crept round the bends. My breathing was short and sharp as I coaxed the van up. I took big gulps when we reached the top. This was repeated going down the other side. My heart was racing non stop (a quick way to a heart attack) and my palms sweaty. When was this going to stop‼!
The miles crawled by slowly oh so slowly. After an interminable time and countless hills we only had a few miles to go. The road ahead looked quite flat. We could see the buildings of a village. The campsite was not far from the village. Had we done it?
Then oh no up ahead I could see that the road started to climb. It was only a small incline and at the top was the entrance to the campsite.
Yes we had done it and NEVER NEVER NEVER again will I go along the A39 even in a car. I am just so thankful that I had a motorhome and I was not towing a caravan. Anyone towing a caravan would not have made it.
In fact I now remember there being signs warning caravans not to proceed. At the time I was so intent on getting up and down the hills the significance of these signs escaped me.
Needless to say I did not go home via the A39. I followed the route indicated by the satnav. Sometimes the satnav is right.