There are bits of the Knumptywagen (mostly slung beneath our wallowing bulk amidst what I assume may be technically referred to as the undercarriage) that we have never, ever had cause to use.
Such was our excitement at the start of our five-night booking (which means staying in the same place for almost a whole week!) that we felt a burning compunction to Make Ready Our Steadies. A matched pair of these creakingly antiquated, grease-encrusted, rusted stanchions are located beneath the rear of the main body of the Knumptywagen and are designed to be wound-down like mini-jacks to take weight off the rear wheels. As such, they stop the vehicle rolling on its suspension while at rest, as we move about within. A few grunted but otherwise gentle expletives muffled by mouthfuls of cut-grass later, our Steadies were successfully deployed – as proven by the CPROWCFTNNAIE (have you not read the previous blog?) – cavorting lasciviously in the rear of the vehicle as we declared ourselves pitched and stable for the duration.
Out came our rarely-used wind-break to provide a modicum of shelter for two recliners and pop-up table; down went the doormat; on went the gas and the kettle and into our chairs we proudly sat – for at least ten minutes – after which we swiftly deployed ourselves back inside the newly-steadied interior to brew tea and get some feeling back into our fingers and toes.
With a prior invitation from family friends to discover how the other half lives and visit them in their static caravan moored at Brancaster, we then decided to reconnoitre the four-mile route and duly unhitched the bicycles from the rear rack; donned as much of the little outerwear we’d thought to bring with us and set off down narrow, high-hedged country lanes in search of the Norfolk Coast Path.
As its name implies, we quickly discovered that – no matter how hard we tried – the narrow flint-studded, potholed and compacted-earth ‘Path’ stubbornly refused to be misinterpreted as a ‘Cycleway’ – so we tactically withdrew our shaken coccyges (look it up – I had to) and instead placed our lives and limbs at the mercy of an overwhelming inundation of grey-black, personally-plated Chelsea Tractors as we plied our wobbly way westwards on the scarily narrow A149.
At a peculiar, almost North-American-styled retail development which seemed to have sprung up at Burnham Deepdale, solace from the traffic appeared in the form of a roadside footpath (almost as unnavigable as the Coast Path) which we unashamedly took to, despite the occasional frowning pedestrian, to eventually penetrate an extremely well-maintained and discreetly unsigned caravan site facing the marshland which separates sea and civilisation on this stretch of coast.
Unusually for a Bank Holiday Friday, the site was virtually unoccupied – save for a lone and officious resident who appeared highly suspicious of our motives in seeking out our friends’ caravan. Since they weren’t due to arrive until the Saturday; since we didn’t know the specific caravan number and since he’d ‘never heard of them’ when we provided their names, we were pointed towards to the exit with an imperious finger – which we were pleased to follow and headed homewards, wondering if all our experiences of Norfolkian engagement would be as terse.