Sunday, 12 October 2014

Gawpers, Spectators and Well-wishers


As you may have realised by now, we have a very unusual motorhome. It’s American, it’s got slide-outs, it’s got a retro-look chrome truck-like front end, it’s quite big and it’s gold coloured.  In fact the name Dutchmen Dorado loosely translates as the golden traveller. And it causes quite a a lot of interest most places that we go.

Our Van png1


We’ve seen a few similar and most of those were at the RV show in Stratford and with such a large gathering of RV’s you might expect to see some.  But on our travels peoples reactions are quite amazing.  So we have now given these inquisitive people a collective name – they are GAWPERS.  We love to watch the Gawpers; some sidle up pretending not to look; one little girl, as we turned the corner on the campsite alleyways on the Breda site shrieked “O…… M……. G…….  – mama come see!!!”; some simply come up to us and ask questions; some take photos; some kids and dads stand discussing “Wow look it’s got bits that come out the side”; one old man brought his stool and sat there looking; but the ones I like best stand there, for ages, just gawping, totally blatant.  We love it, whenever we spot someone we say “Gawpers ahead”.  Oh dear have we really got nothing better to do with our lives. We actually love our van and enjoy the gawpers, so if you see us about, don’t just stand and stare, come up and say Hi – we don’t bite, well the smelly one might.

Spectators and Well-wishers

As I’ve said above, having nothing better to do, people on campsites are usually pretty chilled and hang around busy doing nothing, so there is nothing better than to spend time idling away about 20 minutes watching the poor sods who are arriving or leaving; having to squeeze through tight spaces; negotiate trees and bushes; ground the back end; mis-understand their partner’s instructions and end up shouting at each other; the occasional bang or crunch .   We all do it; watch the caravanners take 3 hours to set up, when motorhomers can be sitting down with a chilled beer in about 20 minutes. Sometimes a crowd will even gather for a bit of banter or sport.

The other day, I watched a caravan arrive. The man was driving and the wife was giving directions.  I’m not sure what signs they had agreed, every couple has their own, but as he reversed his caravan onto the pitch, her effort to advise him that “darling it’s time to stop now”  was to furiously bang on the side of the caravan.  Like he was going to hear that sat at the wheel of his 4x4 – hilarious.

Then you also get the well-wishers who think that you need help.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned them before. They wave and give you directions, little motions that it’s safe and you’ve got plenty of room.  Well thank you, but if I think I need help, I ask my husband to get out and check.  I haven’t got a clue what their little gesticulations mean and it’s not their very expensive and precious home that they are kindly settling onto a pitch.  So thank you but no thanks.  I suppose that’s why most of us just stand and watch!

Where is this going you might ask, well leaving the Campsite Eden in Peniscola we had a bit of a conundrum.

Firstly we had to get off the campsite and we were really packed in with narrow alleyways, 90 degree turns and a lot of trees.

As usual, before moving off or manoeuvring our van, we discuss the intended plan.  Now the easiest way was to pull forward (minding the trees of course), do a bit of “wiggling” and go down the alley way that was almost in front of us. This  would then put us in a perfect line for the barrier exit from the campsite. There was only one problem with this cunning plan and that was half-way down the alleyway there were two large vans on opposite pitches and the gap between the tow-bar on one and the front end of the other was rather narrow  So narrow that Iain and I actually measured the width of our van and then went with the tape and measured the distance between the two vans. There was a gap of about six inches – that was total, not on each side, but  I decided that was enough, I’d manage to get all 28 feet through a gap with only 3 inches to spare and a huge tow ball to rip into the side of the van,  of course I would. I do wish I’d got a photo.   Of course we have our own signs and signals so whilst being well-meaning these well-wishers can often be more of a hindrance than a help and I generally smile sweetly, thank them and ignore everything that they do and say and rely on Iain to guide me through.

So having actually gone down and measured the gap, the people in the opposing vans were expecting something large to come by and a crowd was already gathering. This included all three categories, gawpers, spectators and well-wishers. So not only did I have to do some pretty nifty manoeuvring but I had a large audience. I did quite a lot of “wiggling” to get off the pitch in the first place, the pitch was narrow and I didn’t have a lot of room to swing round.  But of course I managed quite successfully, even though I say so myself.  Next was the baying crowd.  All hoping for a crunch or two and hoping it wasn’t their van that got crunched.  No seriously they’re not that bad. 

So I edged my way down the alleyway – slow and steady that’s the answer.  With a narrow gap, Iain has to make sure that I am positioned correctly to start with, once the gap is past my wing-mirrors I can see perfectly all down the side of the van where I am widest and can do it myself. So with him walking in front of me like a funeral director (ooh, not a nice thought) I edged my way through.  No problem, I had my eye on the tow-bar and had to pull my wing-mirror in on my side to avoid windscreen of the “A” class to my left but we were through without any scrapes and bangs.  What made me laugh was that as soon as I was through there were a lot of thumbs up from the women spectators all down the alleyway and a round of applause from the men. Now all I had to do was to do the “wiggle” at the exit, a doddle after the last bit.

And so………..  Onto our travels ………………..

No comments:

Post a Comment