April 27

    We ventured forth into the English countryside. With information from enthusiastic tourist office employees, we drove to Lavenham and Long Melford, two medieval towns that would be great film and tv locations . . . and, as we learned, had been so used. We were told we could get through the narrow streets and that the car parks would accomodate us. Both proved to be true. When we arrived in Lavenham, we parked in a fairly empty lot that, when we returned, had become so full that we immediately moved Rover in order not to be trapped by incoming cars. Then we drove to Long Melford, the last few yards on a street about 12 feet wide. But once again we parked easily in a car park and visited Melford Hall, which looks inside and outside like it could  be used for any Jane Austen movie. Susan was charmed. And the weather remained clear and warm.

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    That evening, we ended up on a CL site in Colchester (a CL is “Certified Listing”: a site with 5 or fewer spaces for motorhomes to spend the night). This one was well equipped with water and electricity and even free wifi, a big hit after three days without. We’d read that many CLs offer no extras, just a cheap or free place to park. The friendly and helpful proprietors met us with a cup of tea and the next day gave us a lift into town so we could tour the castle there before moving on. Then we headed to London and our first drive on the M (Motorway).

    We arrived without difficulty. Being able to read road signs helps a lot! And driving on the left isn’t too big a deal when everyone else is also doing it. Corners and traffic circles are always exciting, but we both just have to keep our wits about us. The campground here is quite large: big marked pitches, no hedges or markers in between, a small store, a looong walk to the toilet/shower block, and no wifi (for 6 nights!)

    But the worst discovery was that the bus doesn’t run to the campground until May 1st (we leave on May 2nd). So getting into central London entails a dangerous fifteen-minute walk on a narrow path along a busy, twisting, narrow road to a bus stop, followed by 20-30 minutes on a bus to the tube station and then another 20 -30 minutes  on the underground. With waiting time, it can take well over an hour to get into the city center. But, then, we’re in London--our favorite city on the face of the earth.