3 April 2014
My journey southward on the evening of 2nd April was again shrouded by thick misty fog which had probably affected the photographs of the Angel. The pictures lacked detail giving him an almost eerie appearance. After three hours of driving Daisy and I arrived at the Conkers Camping and Caravanning Club Site in Swadlincote, Derbyshire. The friendly couple who ran the site found us a vacant lot for the night and we settled down for a well earned rest.
On the morning of 3rd April I awoke from a deep sleep thinking it was 7 am. Daisy’s Fm radio had not been working well all trip so for once I was not keeping up with the news which was a refreshing change. Then I remembered that I had packed a small portable radio in my case. I switched it on and discovered that I had failed to put my watch an hour forward the previous Sunday which was the start of British Summer Time. Daisy and I had been an hour behind everyone else in England and I had not noticed.
The Conkers camping site is in the heart of The National Forest which covers 200 squares miles, embracing some of Staffordshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. It is a place to enjoy a variety of activities from forest walks and gentle cycling to horse riding and fishing. It also contains numerous attractions from Calke Abbey, the National Brewery Centre and the National Memorial Arboretum. Unfortunately, I did not feel I had enough time to explore. I had to get Daisy back to Knaphill so I could make her presentable for her owners as I was determined to return her in pristine condition by 10 am the next day. She deserved it as she had served me well. She had no power steering and the stick gear leaver meant that you had to gently shift her through the gears otherwise she easily stalled which happened to us on more than one occasion. But, unlike with modern cars, the effort required to drive her made us bond.
My last port of call was at the Oxford Services on the M40 for a much need cool soft drink and a comfort break. Daisy looked resplendent next to the caravans in the motor home section. When I finally got her back to Knaphill we had travelled 1527.4 km (almost 950 miles).