Thursday morning and heading for the Motorhome show in Peterborough for our annual date with the tribe known as the ‘Tribby’ers”. This hardy bunch all own Trigano Tribute panel vans and we came into their ranks when we owned our previous van, a Tribute 550 and we found a brilliant website and forum dedicated to this campervan and made many new friends from their ranks.
For the last 5 years members of the forum have met up at motorhome shows throughout the country to discuss the pro’s and cons of the van, show off modifications, help fix problems and then at the end of the day sit down with a few drinks and watch the entertainment provided by a few of the more rambunctious members aka Brian. This year the first of two meets was scheduled at the Peterborough show so we booked and kept our fingers crossed we weren’t going to get flooded out as we had the previous year.
Arrival at the showground and for a change the sun was shinning, rather than negotiate our way around the site amongst 3000 odd campervan pitches we spotted Stuart and Ann in their Tribby and followed them straight through, despite the kindly marshal trying to send them one way and us another. Within minutes of arrival chairs were out and in the sunshine and we sat caught up with the friendly faces of 14 Tribby’ers and a couple of Pilote’ers and their travels since our last meet.
Friday morning and time to visit the show – the heavens opened – and continued to do so for the day. Not to be put off we donned our wellies and rainhats and trudged around for a couple of hours. Iain was very taken with a new motorhome, no not just any motorhome, a top of the range Hymer at a shade under £76,000. When we heard the price I showed my “feeling faint’ face but not to be deterred the poor salesman put on his best pitch, offered Iain a seat and spent at least 20 minutes selling the benefits of what was to be fair a real stunner of a motorhome. I made an exit and stood outside giving Iain the universal gesture of “get out we ain’t buying” for several minutes before he accepted defeat.
Saturday and the sun was back so it was back to the show for a better look around, avoiding expensive Hymers and anything else with a price tag over £5.99. We limited our buying spree to a couple of mats and some cereal bowls then headed back to the Tribby carroll for mid afternoon ready for the main event – the circle of sun chairs, several bottles of plonk (courtesy of Jan and Phil who organise the meets) and some indepth discussions on everything from miles per gallon, dog shows, best campsites and how best not to work if you own a campervan as their are too many places you want to go and visit.
Sunday morning and we decided to head off to the Derbyshire Dales for a couple of nights on the way home. Sat Nav took us on a extraordinary route back and forwards across the A52 and then through the centre of Nottingham, roads were quiet though so we made it to our C&CC site just outside Ashbourne for lunchtime and spent a leisurely afternoon in the sunshine.
Monday morning the sun was cracking the flags and the warden gave us some detailed walks in the area. Boots on, rucksacks packed and we aimed for a little 2 hour walk before lunch. Really well written walk instructions but think we failed to read the distance or time on the one we had picked. The route was called the Nene Valley and took us on a route across farmland and over the dales. Our only slight concern was the sign on a gate “Bull in Field”, never quite sure whether there really is we hesitated for a bit, then decided to make a run for it, half way across we heard a loudish animal call, relief was not the word when we realised it was a donkey!
After 3 hours we were just about to arrive in Ashbourne and we had somehow lost the route. So we stopped in the Gingerbread cafe for a butty and chips and decided we would take the scenic circular walk back, it couldn’t be that far surely. To cut a long walk short – it was a bloody long way. If we read once “continue over a couple of meadows” we read it many more times than we wanted to. How long can a short walk take? The route followed the path of the river Henmore mainly across meadows until we arrived at the tiny hamlet of Atlow and then up hill, up more hill and just to finish even more hill. Just over 7 1/2 hours after we started we hobbled back into the campsite just before 5.30pm, luckily the shop was open so Iain was able to purchase a creme egg and a Magnum lolly, both of which were apparently essential to prevent him passing out from fatigue.
Home today was uneventful except for a slight detour to the Venetian Canal Marina in Cheshire. It sounded like something pretty amazing – it was just a canal marina with a lot of narrowboats, nothing Venetian about it at all.