You know how some people just shouldn’t be allowed to drive big vehicles without some serious training? Well we’ll come to that later.
We left a grey and foggy Vienna (hurray) and headed NW to Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Republic – 120+ miles and 3 miles according to SSB Sat Nav who I had several screaming arguments with along the way. It was a pretty uneventful drive through Austria but once we hit that sign (not literally) declaring we were in the Czech Republic it was mayhem. To start with I felt like I was driving through the film set from ‘Deliverance’ – lots of scary, backwater shacks and woods. Then there were the Czech drivers – nutters the lot of ‘em. I kind of wondered why there were so many floral tributes and headstones – Yes, headstones at the side of the roads. It’s because they all drive like maniacs overtaking in the path of oncoming traffic and with a complete disregard for the speed limit. We arrived at the campsite only to find it closed. I will personally shove my copy of the ‘Alan Rogers European Campsite Guide’ so far up Alan’s Rogers arse that they have to send in a Mining Rescue Team to retrieve it. Open all year my butt, it closed in October. It was then a frenzied decision on what to do next and where to go with Prague being our only choice. Off we set again – a pissed off, aching, hungry me and 3 equally pissed off, hungry Yorkies. Another 100+ miles and several hours on the road, we had more fog to contend with and of course it gets dark early now – I’ve driven The Beast in the dark twice. Driving through the centre of Prague was beautiful despite the rain and I started to feel a sense of nostalgia as I looked forwards to our stay whilst hoping the campsite wasn’t a dump and wishing Chloe would stop whinging and sit still etc. The entrance wasn’t that well lit and a bit of a tight space but all sense left me at that moment as I drove in at an awkward and steep angle. It’s hard to describe the hideous noise that screeched in my ear as I realised van and brick wall had met. I jumped out only to find the van intact and proceeded to apologise profusely to the owner that I’d damaged his wall when he pointed out to me that I now had no kitchen window, or rather I had the outer bit of it but all of the middle was gone and now lying on his drive. Bless the dear man, he spoke very little English so left me with his daughter in reception to book in whilst he fetched plastic sheeting and insulation tape. I came away with details of transport and maps of Prague – not feeling like staying anymore, to find my window now covered against the elements. There is now a plastic box lid and a black sack on the inside and I’ve kept the shards as a memento. A million text messages and phone calls later and my dearest friends in the UK have rallied around with suggestions and information. It would appear that I’m covered by Autoglass International (fingers crossed). If Brummy Barry off the advert turns up to repair the ‘chip in my windscreen’ then it’ll make my day. I’ve had a sneaky sip of the Sloe Vodka and a snack, the dogs are fed and watered and we’re all warm, calm and cosy. The site is tiny and we’re the only ones here – you have to laugh.
Why the curse of My Little Pony you ask? Right – In the washing up area in the dump in Vienna was a newish MLP obviously lost by a child. After 4 or 5 days and much deliberation with a mate in Lancs. ( you know who you are Jo) I decided I would claim it as a mascot for the van. The following day (before Interpol) I was ill and had Jo proclaiming MLP was cursed and to throw it away – which I didn’t and now this. It makes you wonder but the blue spangled horsey is still with us so we will see for how long.