Let’s go to Oswestry I said, why, what’s there Cathy replies, me “oh there’s lots of lovely places to visit and explore and we have never been, so why not? ……and there is a tyre garage we need to go to! “
Therefore we planned a trip to combine a short break and to buy some new tyres. Now the subject of motorhome tyres is quite subjective, emotive, personal and everybody has opinions on what to buy, which brand, cost, grip on wet grass, just look at the numerous comments in all the forums. Please click here for information on our tyre purchase.
On this trip we wanted to try a few nights of wild camping or free camping and a pub stop over for the first time, so the appointment was made at the tyre garage and off we went.
Stayed overnight at Chirk Marina, found on Facebook group, Motorhome Pub Stopovers, only about 7 miles from the tyre workshop, it was quite a good free spot, a large car park and we felt comfortable here. There are Facebook groups like Motorhome pub stopovers and Scottish Motorhome wildcampers that have good information on where to free/wild camp and loads of useful advice. We also use search for sites which is a useful resource tool combining several databases, on this you can find wild camping spots, pub spots, and group camping sites like the Caravan and camping club etc.
Arrived early at P&B Tyres on Friday 13th October 2017 after a quiet and trouble-free night of free/wild camping at Chirk Marina, drove straight in and Brian a fellow motorhomer met us. A short hello and chat and the wheels came off as we sat in the waiting area.
10 minutes later Brian called me over, what is it now I was thinking? they couldn’t remove the last wheel because one of the wheel nuts wouldn’t come free. Brian said it’s possible the threads have crossed and another garage fitter previously has used an air power line tool to tighten them up.
What are our options? I knew it would snap off upon attempted removal, but it had to come off sometime and I would rather it was done here rather than being stranded somewhere in Europe with a puncture and a wheel I can’t remove.
Brian said it will need a different garage to have it re-threaded and you will need a new wheel nut/bolt as he can’t do that type of work.
- Ok, try and take it out, and guess what it snapped off
- Brian started ringing his contacts to find a garage to do the work
- Don’t worry he said you can stay here overnight on our car park
- We sat in the waiting room staring at the tv.
- He found a mate to help us called grumpy Dave, I kid you not!
- We drove to Dave’s garage; the wheel has 5 bolts so 4 were used to make us mobile
- Dave might be able to fit us in this afternoon
- Dave need to source a wheel nut/bolt, we found out afterwards that the specific bolt was delivered from Manchester for us that day, superb service
- Drove Pogo back to Brian’s place to wait for the parts to arrive
- Brian offered his car to go into Oswestry because it was going to be hours yet, he is such a kind gent.
- Few hours later about 3pm and we are back at Brian’s workshop
- Grumpy Dave’s mechanic appeared and drove us and Pogo to their garage
- We left Pogo there and walked back to the tyre shop, all we can do now is wait
- And wait and wait!
- The staff got chatting to us recommended a few places to visit nearby and one was Lake Vyrnwy
- Brian was really kind, helpful and patient, he even offered us a bed at his house for the night if Pogo wasn’t back for us to sleep in, what can we say, he was a fantastic bloke.
- Tyre workshop was closing up and no news on Pogo, Brian said don’t worry I’ll stay here with you for a bit longer.
- 5.30pm and Dave calls Brian, it’s fixed, such a relief for us, Brian drove us down there and after checking with Dave and us he went home.
- Grumpy Dave became less grumpy as we got chatting about classic cars and my dad! it turned out he’s not so grumpy after all.
- We paid the bill £156 and we left there at 6.30pm, we were so happy it had been done today
- Just needed somewhere to stop tonight, called ahead to the Bradford Arms at Knockin, a pub stop over recommended on one of the Facebook groups Motorhome pub stopovers yes no problem to stay overnight in our car park if you buy a drink or food.
Off to Lake Vyrnwy this morning, not too far away and what a fantastic place it is, outstandingly beautiful, reminded us a smaller type of Ullswater. There’s a suitable road the whole way around it, we parked at the top end of the lake in a small car park, from here there is a short walk to see the waterfalls. There were four motorhomes here and it looks like you could wild camp here also.
Late afternoon we drove to Bala, searching for a wild spot on the edge of Llyn Celyn near Fron-Goch but we felt uncomfortable here, a little too close to the road, very windy now and it just didn’t feel right. We started ringing the nearby sites and they were closed all but one, a caravan and camping site at Pent-Y-Bont, just got there before closing, cost £20.70, with Electric hook up, nice site.
Got the wine out only to find we had left the corkscrew at home! Dave to the rescue, got a 4” inch cross head screw, screwed it in and pulled the cork out with pliers, best tasting wine ever!
In the morning we walked from the site around the edge of Lake Bala and around the town, it was good to get some fresh air on our faces. We walked up the spiral 18th century mount in the town, we like a little bit of history now and then.
Bad weather was forecast so we headed home to avoid the heavy winds.
Dave & Cathy