7th April 2009

We got up about 7am and had showers, then breakfast – yoghurt and hot-cross buns – yummy! We decided to drive into Chichester and this is where we learnt lesson one! Do NOT expect to be able to go shopping in a small town as you can’t park anywhere in a 27ft long motorhome!  After driving around the town four times, we stopped by a police car and Paul asked him if there was anywhere we could park in the town centre. What happened next was quite surprising.  Paul came back to the van and said, ‘We’ve got a police escort.’

I laughed, ‘Yeah right,’ but he was serious. The kind young policeman said he would drive around and find us somewhere to park, so we followed him and sure enough, he did! He took us to a place in the town centre where we could park easily.  With a cheery wave he drove off again.  We decided he was either a very nice chap, or he’d been sitting in his car for ages, bored out of his head, and was pleased when we came along as it gave him something to do.  I’d like to think it was the former.
On the subject of parking, how do you park a large motorhome in a supermarket car park or other parking area which is only really designed for cars?  The secret here is to look for a space which has an overhang at the back; usually where the landscaped part of the parking area is flat and you can back the van so that it hangs over the landscaped area.  That way, because of the length of the van, you aren't taking up another car space.
Anyway, back to Chichester. I got out and spoke to a traffic warden to ask if we’d be okay here, she said, ‘Yes, just get some vouchers and you can park here for up to an hour.’ A shop two doors along sold the required vouchers, so with the van safely parked, we wandered around Chichester town.  I must say we were a bit nervous leaving the van.  All our worldly goods were inside including an expensive digital TV and Nintendo Wii - our whole home in fact.  It took a bit of getting used to just leaving it by the roadside.  But we had a good alarm system.
I got a wash bag for my shampoo and stuff, a big waterproof bag to hold that and my towels for when I go to the shower blocks -99p courtesy of Robert Dyas – and a pretty hat from Accessorize for the Summer. Paul didn’t want anything.  That was the hour gone, so we went back to the van and drove to the campsite. We had our dinner in the van that night and I played Animal Crossing on the Wii with Lisa – a girl I’ve become friends with through Animal Crossing Community.  She lives in Houston, Texas.  Because we now have a Dongle Modem and Router for our Mobile Phone network, we can access the internet on the move. The connection was a bit erratic and I lost it twice but it worked okay for a bit.  Paul went to bed about 9:00 pm – I stayed up playing with Lisa until about 11:00.

Our first ever campsite, Rowan Park, Bognor Regis

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