As I am somewhat lacking on the family front, Christmas’ are spent in with Cara’s fam in glorious mid Wales. We usually stay in the camper in a car park next to her Dad’s house, which allows for a little ‘space’, is free and fun – and only upset the neighbours once, sorry Mary! However, following Brian’s demise, we needed to re-think our plans; we booked into a very quaint B&B – thanks to Jo and Ian at The Owls, but transport was proving more of a challenge. Hiring a car over the Christmas period was going to set us back a couple of hundred quid, so optimists we are, we decided to buy a temporary car. Perfect, we thought, we’ll pick up something cheap to tide us over before Brian’s insurance pays out. Easy.
What ensued was a Cara and Annaism to the extreme, in other words, an exercise in complete fuckwittery.
Following a series of no-shows and non-starters (not to mention an accidental overnight trip to Slough), we eventually plumped for a 2007 Renault Scenic, once again purchased from a bloke in a dark car park. Will we ever learn? Cara did a stirling job attempting to fix ‘Susie Blue’, but to no avail. The window falling into the door on a December evening on the way to Coventry (yes, we are that glamorous) was the final straw. The ice on the inside of the windscreen was also something of an inconvenience.
Then respite came in the form of an insurance pay out. Following our brief foray into the word of family cars, we quickly reached the conclusion that we simply weren’t ready for a standard car. All you can do is drive in it!
So meet the newest addition to our little family…
Fresh from Japan, and BOUGHT FROM A REPUTABLE GARAGE WITH 12 MONTH WARRANTY!! Thanks to the lovely guys at Lucky dale Cars in Morden, we are now the proud owners of an
8 seater 7 seater (if the insurance people ask) Mazda Bongo, called Bento (he’s our Japanese takeaway, geddit!), fondly known as Benny.
A reliable vehicle, that can seat lots of kids/dogs/friends, and…We can camp in him!
He doesn’t have ISOFIX – the things we have to think about these days – but Google tells us there are a world of good quality children’s car seats which we can affix using different methods.
The interior seats can be configured in a variety of different ways, to form a (rudimentary) dining table, or completely flat to form a double bed. You can sleep two additional people in the pop top. It’s got electric blinds (get us) and a little DVD player. We’ll get a drive away awning for some extra living space and there you have it – family accommodation for sunny holidays by the sea.
He was suitable decorated for our annual trip to Wales and served us well, we exchanged our first Bongo owners wave with a fellow Bongo-ite (ist? who knows)* A grown up (nearly) camper for a growing family.
*I’ve just been reliably informed the correct term for Bongo owners is ‘Bongonoughts’. Well there you go.