MOTORCAMPING "DN TOERSTOP"
Having made a last minute trip down to Peterborough in order to get my passport, things looked set for the trip to Holland. I met up with Kev, Lil and the kids on their B.M.W. outfit and off we went. The trip along the M6, M1, M25 and M20 was the usual boring Motorway stuff. 225 miles later we found a quiet little pub with a campsite to spend the night. This pub, the High and Dry, was only a few minutes drive from the ferry terminal at Dover.
We set up camp and headed in the pub for supper. I opted for the cheese Ploughmans. This turned out to be the Mother of all Ploughmans. There was enough cheese to build a dry stone wall and the biggest pickled onion I had ever seen. The cheese was promptly wrapped up and put in my pocket for later. (there are things in my pockets that you just dont talk about in polite society.)
Saturday morning saw us packed up and rolling for the ferry well before 8 o clock. The crossing went well, the channel was flat as a millpond.
We had a slight delay at Calais due to the nautical equivalent of a traffic jam
Having filled out petrol tanks back at Dover we headed off across France. Apart from the fact that the silly buggers drive on the wrong side of the road, the general driving standards seem much better than the brain dead morons that pass as British motorists.
There is non of the "lane hogging" that we Brits find so attractive, I never noticed anyone driving three feet from my tail. All in all, a pleasure to ride.
The Trike and caravan seemed to cause quite a stir. Several cars slowed down until I had passed then overtook me with the passenger waving a video camera.
After about 100 miles a coffee break was called for. We found a suitable picnic
site and pulled off the Motorway. The cheese that I abducted from the pub at Dover went down a treat.
We decided to press on past the Dutch border before filling up with petrol seeing as we only had Dutch money. This turned out to be no problem as the garages accept notes of most currency but will only give change in the local currency. It is too easy too end up with a pocket full of different coins so keep a spare wallet or something similar. Within a few hours we hit the town of Venlo, where I had been told we would find DN Toerstop. I had been told wrong! The Toerstop is in a small village called Melderslo. We finally found the site after a touring around some very picturesque villages. The sight of the Trike and dog kennel confirmed the fact that the British are crazy. After travelling through three countries we had made it with no mishaps at all. We set up camp and headed for the bar. The prices at the Toerstop are very reasonable. The food is excellent and the beer, well lager, is cheap and drinkable.
The next day a few more of "our lot" were due to arrive, and arrive they did.
Seeing as the weather was so good we all headed for the swimming pool.
One of our Dutch friends, Clem, had bought an inflatable jet ski. This object was duly thrown in the pool and folks were attempting to leap on it and stay upright. I took a leap on to the accursed thing and promptly yanked my hip out of joint. OUCH. I do hope the Dutch couldnt understand my language. I now had a leg that didnt work. I could barely walk, I couldnt sit down and I certainly couldnt ride the Trike. I couldnt even sit on the toilet. Oh the joys of holidays.
Later the same day we had arranged to visit a local brewery just across the river Maas. I managed to limp my way into the taxi and off we went. Some of the commercial barges that travel along the river Maas are huge. The wash they throw up can be a real hazard for the fishermen dozing on the riverbank.
The brewery had some devilish beers for sale. The "Grande Prestige" had a strength of 10 %. By 8 o clock most of us were pleasantly pissed, so to speak. The taxi came and took us back to the Toerstop. I went straight to bed to try and get my leg working again, the rest headed for the bar.
By Thursday I had to be fit to ride as our ferry sailed at 12-00 noon. By grabbing hold of my leg just below the knee and lifting it, I found I could operate the clutch. Fortunately most of the riding was on the Motorway so I could take it easy for most of the time. We were up, packed, and on the road before 6-30 a.m. Following a hectic ride we made Calais just in time to miss the ferry! Never mind. Theyre like busses. One every half hour.
The return crossing was just as flat as before and we hit Dover in just under an hour.
The plan was to travel across to West Bay, in Dorset, where the others would meet us the next day. Apart from the most torrential rain I had seen for years, we had no problems and arrived at West Bay by 9-30 p.m.
The charge for camping was bloody extortionate. They tried to charge us £ 16 a night. After a little haggling we came to an arrangement. The price is £ 16 a pitch. We could all fit on one pitch. This worked out a more realistic price of £ 3 each.
The same site, Haven Holidays, are trying to implement a rule stating that you can only stay for a minimum of three nights. Now seeing as a lot of people only go away for the weekend, i.e. Friday and Saturday night, they will loose a lot of custom.
Seeing as we had been riding since 5-00 a.m. and covered just under 500 miles, we had a swift pint and hit the sack.
Friday morning saw us heading for the local supermarket to stock up on English food. I was tempted by the delights of strawberry trifle and apple pie and custard. This was to prove my downfall later on. We returned to the site and cooked dinner. Kev created a strange looking curry. I worked out the distance from the tent to the toilet and reckoned Kev could run quicker than I first thought.
Now the food I had eaten earlier decided it was time to depart my body. With my hip still playing up I limped to the toilet block with only seconds to spare. "That was close" I thought.
Whilst heading for the pub on the harbour I felt the urge again, so to speak.
I hobbled as far as the toilet door when disaster struck. Yes. I had shit myself
I carried out "emergency repairs" and then headed back to the site, working out a route that passed as many toilets as possible.
The others turned up just as I got back to base camp so I pointed them towards the pub.
By Saturday I was in full control of my sphincter, my leg was working after a fashion, so I did what folks do when on holiday, i.e. eat, drink, and generally be merry.
Sunday and the sun drove us out of bed at 6-00 a.m. We packed up in a leisurely manner and headed up the M5 for home.
A great holiday, despite the setbacks. The Trike had covered over 1200 miles without missing a beat, it had only used about ½ pint of oil.
I will definitely be returning to the Toerstop again. It is well worth the time and effort to get there. I find it sad that a motorcyclist only campsite wouldnt work in this country. Some dickheads would certainly trash the place to show how big tough and mean they are.
Back to 1997.