June 23

       A really good day, but then a turn for the worse. We drove to the small city of Richmond because they have the oldest Georgian theatre in the country and they give tours. We spent a delightful hour in this tiny theatre with a very enthusiastic tour guide. We cannot imagine 400 people, smoking clay pipes, using chamber pots during the evening’s six hours of entertainment, jammed into this fire trap with smelly tallow candles for lighting. But it has survived and been restored to its original glory, except that now it seats maybe 200 at most. The theatre guide recommended we check out the town's little museum: it contains the set for James Herriot’s vet clinic from the tv series “All Creatures Great and Small. There are always surprises everywhere we go. 



    We drove on to a nearby campground and set up for the night. Susan used both the microwave and the oven (not at the same time) with nothing else running, and we thought we had tripped the circuit breaker on the post outside. David tried to fix it, but he and a knowledgeable neighbor couldn’t get the electrics running again. We have battery power for lights, water pump and ignition of the LP for the refrigerator, but we cannot charge the battery with incoming electricity--only from running the engine. It caused us little problem, but great concern.

    The next day we drove on to two lovely properties out in the middle of nowhere on some pretty narrow roads and one 25% uphill grade!!. The first was the small Nunnington Hall, with a great dollhouse village displayed in the attic.



Then it was on to Castle Howard (home to two movies of Brideshead Revisited), a huge place--more palace than castle--quite extravagant, set in beautiful, massive gardens. We had to take the long way around to avoid an eight-foot wide gate on the road to York.

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    On our way to York we came upon a camping store and stopped to explain our electrical problem. We made an appointment to return the next morning to have it checked out. The young Polish man who looked into our problem tested a few things, agreed it was a problem with the charger portion of our inverter-charger, and sold us a separate battery charger to help when we were not driving (and charging the battery as we drove). We find we can manage quite well without electrical hookup as long as the batteries are charged.

    So we pushed our problems to the back of our minds and spent a great day in York. Much of our time was spent in the magnificent York Minster, the cathedral. We had been there before, but this is such a massive, overpowering space that it was easy to spend time there again. And now they also have the underground crypt and Roman foundations exposed and available to the public.


We also visited the Jorvick center that tells of the Viking history connected with York. The old city center has many narrow pedestrian streets that were full of tourists, but they are still charming (the streets, not the tourists).  

    Our battery charger had accomplished little overnight, but we drove on to Lincoln where we had planned to go and also where we had located another motorhome dealer. Bless these people: we drive into their overcrowded yard where there was one place to park, without an appointment, and  tell them our problem and they say “We are crazy busy, but, yes, we will look at it. Why don’t you leave it here and take the bus into the city.” So we did and they did.


When we returned from our visit to England's third largest cathedral, we waited quite a long while in the RV shop's waiting room . . . not unlike a hospital, waiting for the doctor to come in with good or bad news. Well, the news was bad: The charger is in fact not charging the house batteries because the unit is not recognizing the electric from the campground, and the problem is with the unit itself, not something simple--and external--like a fuse. We have now spent over $200 and have only gotten the problem diagnosed, not solved. So we are operating on the battery power we can generate while we drive: So far, so good. It’s a good thing it doesn’t get dark until 10 pm so we can make do with minimal 12-volt lighting, and we can run the refrigerator on LP gas.

    Tonight we are camped in Sherwood Forest. There is a sign on the shower block door that warned of recent thefts. Perhaps Robin Hood is still around. (Repeat after me: ‘It’s all part of the adventure . . . it’s all part of the adventure . . .”)

    (And if any of you, gentle readers, find yourself with an RV problem somewhere around the city of Lincoln in England, head for Camper UK. They’re very good.) (Psst--we have new Things We Have Learned!)