Friday, 12 January 2018

Pitch Black Switchback

Freedom has taken on an entirely new meaning since I got the motorhome. Planning has become so much more unimportant and just knowing I can change my mind at any time is a revelation. I really can just make stuff up as I go along.

During the Christmas break I fancied a day trip. I headed to the Peak District mainly because I knew it would be quiet and after slowly crawling my way up the snake pass I stopped at the top. It was quite snowy, and for most of the half hour I was there it was busy with cars arriving, people getting out, doing selfies the turning around and driving off again. Madness.

After watching this bizarre spectacle for a while, I continued along the pass and stopped in a lay-by adjacent to Ladybower Reservoir where I spent a few hours just writing, wandering, brewing up.

After watching the sunset,  I set off for a friend’s house in the valleys.

For no conscious reason, I set the Satnav to guide me. Shortly after setting off  I saw width restriction - but couldn’t read it quickly enough. Later on, I saw another sign:  'Length Restriction >9.9m<  

(I am 7.0m)  it's OK then. I haven't often seen a length restriction, and wondered why it was in place.

By now the night was black, crooked trees curled over the top of the road only visible in a pool of light made by the headlights, as the road ahead slowly unfolded on the Satnav, a hairpin bend began to appear and I quickly realized why there was a length restriction - it was quite a sharp turn - the approach was steep downhill and the exit was steep uphill.

Hairpin after hairpin appeared on the Satnav - a good job as I could see very little with my own eyes. Approaching the last one it was so dark the bend ambushed me, and just as it appeared in front of me, I was horrified to see the the exit - it was so steep I quickly resolved to take the corner much faster than I wanted so as to avoid lifting off the throttle – I was concerned I might not make the gradient. The engine worked hard without complaint and eventually made it to the top. The rest was easy, and it was only upon arriving at my friends house did I realize it was actually boxing day - making stuff up as you go along sometimes means losing all track of time.

 So know I know what my van can do, and I also know that Mortimer road looks just like something out of Sleepy Hollow. 

Never again..

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