Saturday, 2 February 2013

Michaelchurch Escley

We were due to go away to The Bridge Inn, at Michaelchurch Escley on the 25th of January, but there was rather a heavy snow fall put paid to that as we could not get the caravan out of storage.  The access to our storage place is down a half mile long single track lane.  I finally went to get the caravan out on the Friday afternoon as virtually all the snow had gone from around us.  However when  I got to the storage site it was a different matter.  The lane had hardly been used so driving down it was interesting.  Finally got to the caravan , hitched up and began what was quite a perilous journey back up the lane, where that big ditch on the right became quite a major worry. Eventually though we were out.  Got home, popped the van on the drive and prepared for a Saturday morning depart.

Over the New Severn Bridge, and no tolls to pay as Lizzie has a blue badge now.  Does seem strange that having a Blue badge entitles you to no bridge tolls and free and extended parking in most places!

Anyway back to our journey. We followed a map rather than the sat nav, as some roads, once past Abergaveny were getting rather narrow.  As we approached the site we met Glyn, the owner, traveling in the opposite direction. He said just drive on to the site and park where we liked, but that it may be a bit soft underneath.

The site is behind the pub, and was covered with a minimum of 4 inches of snow.  So we selected where we would like to be and headed for it. Unfortunately I turned too hard with the Freelander2. and we were stuck!  Fortunately where we had stopped was ok, so we unhitched and leveled up the caravan..  The Freelander was having none of it though.  In trying to pull the caravan further forward I had really dug it in. No photos unfortunately, so here are some of the pub interior!

A local turned up to the pub with a LWB Defender, so a quick word to him and he came to assist. There was no way that he could extricate the Freelander 2, so we had a rethink.  Extra straps, and repositioning of the Defender on a road the other side of the fence, and I was gently eased out.  As soon as I was out of the ruts that I had created I could drive around with some ease!  How to get the caravan out though would be a different problem, but no need to worry about that at present,. so it was off to the pub, to buy our rescuer a few beers, and have some ourselves!
This shows how close we were to safety!

Over night was extremely wet and windy, and in the morning the snow had gone, leaving the site extremely wet, soft and muddy.

Breakfast was cooked in the oven, and the  we drove down to Abergavenny to get the papers and have morning coffee. We drove back, in a round about way, along mountain roads with the most stunning views.

Sheep kept following  us as I think they were hungry and they thought we were bring food!

We went to the pub again in the evening just an hour, before coming back to our toasty warm caravan, dinner and to watch some DVD's as television reception was non existent.

Monday dawned extremely wet and windy so breakfast was again cooked in the oven.  We then set off for Hay-on-Wye to browse a few book shops, collect papers, drink coffee, and peruse a few charity shops. We found a Murder and Mystery book shop, which we were let into by an adjacent shop keeper, and managed to find a Maigret novel that I had not read.  Drove home through the rain, and noticed that the river was rising rapidly.  We looked at the situation and decided there was no way that I was going to be able to get the caravan out!

As soon as we could see that there was some body in the pub I went over to call Mayday rescue. This is a Caravan Club service that guarantees to never leave you stranded!  Well we were about to test that.  Got through to them and explained the situation, that we just wanted pulling out to harder ground.  Ten minutes later, Lanes of Abergaveny were on the phone to me.  Explained to them and they said they would get something organized.  Less than ten minutes later, they were back on the phone to say that a local farmer was on his way with a tractor that had the correct hitch on the back was on his way.

He was on site about twenty minutes later, and after assessing the situation, gently eased the caravan out and parked it on a hard road at the edge of the site.  What a result!

We then went to the pub for an excellent Wedding anniversary dinner.

Tuesday morning and it was still raining and extremely windy, with water coming over the bridge.  I popped out to collect papers and to phone the council to advise them that I was unlikely to make the budget meeting that evening.

We cleared up and set off for home, opting to go via Ross-on Wye and Gloucester as the Severn bridge was closed to caravans and high sided vehicles.

Had a pleasant run home, stopping for a Burger at some roadside Burger van.

Thoroughly enjoyed our break, we were not put off by the conditions and would do it all over again.


  1. Our Freelander was just not man enough for the job, now tow with a Mitsubishi Pajero 2.8 long wheel base, never been stuck since!

  2. Sometimes Freelander's can flatter to deceive. I would definitely look at the wheel base along with the engine size before taking a vehicle out in such difficult conditions!

    Leisure Kings