Had a mooch through Alsace ..thought it very Bavarian for France but V nice..into Belgium thought that country DULL and very boring with no VODAFONE signal WOT !!!! So off to Oostende for a ferry …nope …no ferries..must have closed ..another 90km to Calais and France and Vodafone connection pheeew ..though my phone was playing up …parked up and got a ticket ..J says get going we are on the next one out of here in an hour … And next thing you know we are looking at the White Cliffs of Dover ..
Hetty has had a squeak since we left Sicily ..nothing serious just annoying ..mostly when she cornered to the left ..I was aware of this but didn’t think much about it …the knocking in the engine was a concern but that disappeared off we trot M20 ..M26 and M25 …at Cobham services J pulled in and slowly parked up …NO BRAKES he say …EEEEEK I say …RAC he says …John will fill you in on that situation .                                                                                                                                                   . Driving on motorways in a camper van you do not use your brakes very often (unlike on mountain roads where you use them lots) So when I saw a rapid slowing of traffic in front and a lane dodger cut me up I put on the brakes only to find it was like pressing a sponge and little stopping effect so I pumped the pedal and normal braking returned. A little later at a similar situation (bloody southerners nearly as bad as Italians drivers in Rome ) the same again. So as we where only 500m from the services I pulled of the motorway to investigate. I found lots of oil on the inside of a back wheel( not good) I then checked the brake fluid reservoir ..over 1/2 empty. At 17:00 I phoned RAC and told them we needed recovery as this type of failure cannot be repaired at the road side. It looks like a seal failure on the brakes has occurred.
The RAC said they would phone back shortly with recovery options. A little later a recovery firm phoned me and said he could not get us home as he had no long haul drivers available. BUT he could offer us a loan car and return Hetty to us in a few days. I was not happy with this as we had lots of expensive stuff and bulky items we would not like to leave. He said he would phone the RAC and get back to me. After 20 mins I phoned RAC again to find what was happening they said they would ring back. 20mins later I chased them again and was told a recovery vehicle was on its way but they could not give an eta as by this time the M25 was chocker. After 45 mins the RAC phoned to ask if we had been recovered yet and surprised when I said no they will ring back they said 😦
Shortly after a recovery truck arrived we where promptly loaded ..jumped into his cab and he told me he could only take us to Beckensfield services on the M40. Where we would be transferred onto an RAC truck. Well it was pretty small and Hetty looked a bit big when loaded …We jumped up front with the driver and he told us he could only take us to Knutsford services 😦 😦
At Knutsford we where unloaded and abandoned to wait 30 min for another recovery truck(apparently he was going to Birmingham with a breakdown and the RAC had decided to swap loads to save diesel). He said he would take us home 🙂 and apparently the RAC always do this relay type of recovery for long journeys to save costs. By 04:30 the next day we were home only about 24hrs since we last slept KNACKERED but relieved to be home….apparently non RAC recovery would be between £300 and £350 for the 250mile journey

Alsace region of France

White cliffs of Dover

Hetty’s first journey from Cobham to Beckensfield

Hetty’s second journey from Beckenfield to Knutsford

And home


Author: "Travels with Harry Hymer"

Me and Him and Hetty like adventures ..We spend most of our summers sailing Now a little elderly for big boat racing and have turned to Radio Controlled Yachting competing nationally and even internationally ..I have travelled to many countries in my other life BJ (before John)lots of Indian backpacking trips. Panning gold in the Yukon..Pacific island hopping ..Far east and so on ..John won't go to India but I managed to get him to Morocco and Sri Lanka but didn't expect a Tsunami.

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