Local Heart, Global Soul

September 30, 2014

Our Very First Bash At Pitching Up With A Camper And Locals To The Rescue…

Filed under: Accomodation,Folkestone — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The camping park where we spent our first night in the UK  on our 2013 summer holiday was called “Little Satmar” and it’s located a short drive away from the top of the Dover cliff and hill behind Folkestone.

The signs can be a little hard to spot,  we had to look for a little lane off the main road first and once we’d found that we were fine finding the address.

There’s a large car parking area by Reception, a small shop for last minute essentials,  laundry facilities and friendly staff who get us checked in easily.

Our pitch is reasonably close to the toilet block, so easier for me to negotiate.

Our camper is so big it has an on-board toilet and shower but we quickly discover that just the toilet alone depletes the on-board water tank very quickly and lugging water to refill it is a tiresome job that lands squarely one Himself’s shoulders because of the weight of the buckets and the distance to the water supply. The toilet is has a small tank and would need emptying frequently if all four of us used it all the time.

I’m more than happy to take a morning shower in the toilet and shower block, and to walk to the toilet bloc during daylight hours: it’s the middle of the night stop for my water works that I’d prefer not to do around the camp-site in the dark on crutches. Therefore on the first night we decide to not bother using the shower in the camper at all, and that I would be the main user of the camper loo, and would restrict that to night-time necessities.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The kids could use it if they were desperate and couldn’t get to a toilet anywhere else, but otherwise they would have to use their legs so that Himself wasn’t on full time loo emptying duty as well as water replenishing duty.

Once again we realise that popping out for fish and chips is seriously impractical because Himself has set up the little tent outside, the large fold-out table, the bikes etc and the nearest fish and chip place is back in Folkestone so driving there would mean having to pack half of the stuff up again. For a while it looked like our fish and chip treat is off the menu but our Folkstone friends come to the rescue by suggesting that they pop out to visit us rather than via versa, and offered to fetch our fish and chips for us on their way out of town.

It was a perfect solution, we paid them for our meal when they arrived and  enjoyed our treat doubly because we were tired and hadn’t been looking forward to cooking. It was excellent to see our friends again, they  were getting busy to sell their big house and not everything was running smoothly, and added to this our terminally ill friend had had some ups and downs in his medical treatment progress so we had plenty to catch up on.

The camping ground isn’t only for tents, caravans and campers as I imagined, but there are also static caravans… actually they look more like little houses than caravans. It seems that people buy these and then pay a fee to park them here, (some are hired too) and return year after year to their little holiday homes. Some even have patios and beautiful flower gardens around them! It’s something I’ve never seen before and not something I expected in a “camping” place.

The camp is nice and quiet, our fellow campers are lovely, friendly and helpful: Kiwi Daughter rides a unicycle and the bolt that holds the peddles on broke, a fellow camper from the UK saw Himself rummaging though our very limited tools, overheard a disconsolate Kiwi Daughter being told that we didn’t have anything to fix it and offered to fix it for her.  She was delighted when these seasoned campers pulled out a serious tool kit and fixed it for her. It’s our very first stay (ever) at the camp site like this… lots of nationalities side by side and friendly. As holidays go, this is an excellent start.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

5 Comments »

  1. It looks like a nicely set up place.

    Comment by Elaine - I used to be indecisive — October 2, 2014 @ 8:58 am | Reply

    • Elaine,
      Apart from Himself and the kids going away in a tent, it’s our first whole family camping experience (I camped often but rougher … and last as a kid). I expected it to be really noisy at night but either that’s luck because we chose quiet places or the horror stories we’d heard are over exaggerated. Either way it was a brilliant start to our English adventures.

      Comment by kiwidutch — October 4, 2014 @ 9:14 pm | Reply

      • I think it is generally quite quiet at night at a camp site – especially a family one like that one seems to be. I’m sure at the big music festivals, it’s a different kettle of fish altogether!

        Comment by Elaine - I used to be indecisive — October 4, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

  2. Those permanent (or semi-permanent) caravans are known as mobile homes or trailers in the USA. Scattered around the USA you will find “trailer parks” which are stereotyped as being low-income housing and typically do not have places for short-term camping like the one you are writing about here.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trailer_park

    Comment by Carrie — October 6, 2014 @ 11:06 pm | Reply

    • Carrie,
      Himself and I saw “trailer parks” when we toured part of the Midwest (before kids) but assumed at the time that they were camp-grounds! We never really gave much thought to the idea that maybe people lived in them on a permanent basis.
      Since then I’ve seen “trailer parks” in American TV programmes and joined the dots, as it were. Now that I think of it though, isn’t it dangerous to allow static caravans with permanent residents in tornado prone States? Is that even legal ? (I suppose since we saw them, they must be of course!)

      Static caravans don’t seem to exist in the Dutchlandscape, I’ve never ever seen one here, the closest you get is a Pippo wagon, but they are only ever summer holiday homes and never as far as I know for permanent habitation (they are mega tiny too, not even room for a kitchen, shower or loo, so not practical in a lot of ways).

      Comment by kiwidutch — October 10, 2014 @ 10:13 am | Reply


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