Day 21 to 24 – Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire

After the news from the tyre people in Leicestershire I decided that I really must get the brakes sorted. So my first priority was to find a brake centre on my way to Northampton so it was a stroke of luck that practically the first place I saw as I drove into Market Harborough was the Tanvic Tyre and Service Centre on the Leicester Road. So taking my life, or rather my wallet in my hands I pulled in. I was also on the look out for a coffee and somewhere to write up my notes so handing them the keys it was handy to get a coffee for 20p and sit down at a table to get some work done. So imagine my surprise when, after quoting a figure I can’t remember (but over the 50 or 60 quid range), the guy comes through with my brake pads showing them to be not even half worn out. I think they suggested that they had at least 2/3 of their life left. Now bear in mind that I walked in and asked them directly to replace the front brake pads because I believed they were worn out (as I had been told by the Leicester tyre guy), so they could have just changed them and charged me. I would have been none the wiser. But no, they told me they were fine, checked that I didn’t want them changed anyway, had a look at my rear brakes for good measure and told me that they were okay too (but I might be due new disks soon) and they only charged me the 25 quid or so for to set the tracking.

So let me say this clearly, this is Tanvic Tyre and Service Centre, Leicester Road, Market Harborough (Tel: 01858 469934).  One good turn deserves another and their good turn is due to them. They’re good guys and you can trust them.

Other than that Northamptonshire seems to have been pretty uneventful. It was a day of getting the Truck ready for the rest of the trip, being about 1500 miles in and about half way through. That night I camped at Billig Aquadrome (1580 total miles), merely because I’d seen the signs from the M1 all those times and I wondered what all the fuss was about. Honestly, it’s a trailer park with a caravan and camp site attached with some amusements. (The go karting looked as though it might be fun but then again it always is.) There’s a lot of water, lakes and the like and consequently quite a few ducks and geese with the resulting amount of goose poo.

My day in Warwickshire was a proper tourist day. I’ve got a thing for late mediaeval history and the first thing I found was the Lord Lycester Hospital, built in the 14th and 15th century and well worth a visit. It’s all half timbered fantasticness and I can’t do it justice in words so check out the pictures on the Instagram link or find them in my instagram folder on my Facebook account, you know I always welcome new friends.

That night I camped in a farmers field (1648 miles) on the Warwickshire/Worcestershire border, a nice little spot for anybody that likes the feel of a hideaway camp but still with all the facilities of a normal site. Oh, that’s right, no pot washing, but who cares about pot washing?

The day in Worcestershire was the day they started talking about severe weather warnings so I looked for something to do indoors. Finding it hard to resist a cathedral I spent a good three hours in Worcester Cathedral and the cafe, glad to be out of the weather. Interestingly the ‘meet and greet’ guy who welcomed me was only the second person to immediately spot that I’m doing this trip with the intention of writing a book. (The editing and spell checking will be better I promise.)

I booked into a little caravan site just outside Malvern (1699 miles), not because I planned to and way too far south for my liking, but they did manage to find me a sheltered spot from the severe weather that was forecast. However, it did mean I got to see the Mountains of Malvern as they will be known henceforth. Such dramatic change in landscape I’ve never seen and I’m hoping to go back to walk them at some time. I did manage to spill wine on my battery pack which was not a good thing. I’m managing without it and unsure if it’s dry yet but it’s still full of amps so I’m not sure I want to test it.

Shropshire left me one option, Ironbridge which led to a photofest so check instagram as I suggested for the cathedral pics and others. I did meet a nice lady with a single pentagram earring in the chemist (where they keep the cash machine but this is the heart of the industrial rervoilution wo who am I to judge) who deserves a mention.

I’m currently camped up on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border (1776 miles), a bit further north than I’d planned but without the battery pack I have to have a camp site with electrics so here I am. Still my tent faces south and I’m told there is a brilliant full moon out there so I’m going to see if I can get some pics.

Instagram photos

Day 25