That sinking feeling

A couple of nights in Denmark and already we were feeling really good about being in Scandinavia, a gorgeous family welcomed us onto their campsite…Neils, his wife and their son live in a lovely white thatched cottage with parking for around 6 motorhomes. It has easy access and great facilities, Jon and I were able to relax and boys were delighted to find the games room, chess and a pool table – how fabulous!

We took a day out in Mini to the coast to see The Men at Sea statues and returned through the town near to us of Haderslev which is home to The Skate Dome a huge skateboard/scooter/bike park.

Then we set off for Copenhagen which was around a 3 hours drive. We always knew Scandinavia was going to be an expensive part of our journey, we have read many blogs about traveling here in a motorhome and everyone says the same thing, it’s bloody expensive. First, you can’t get hold of LPG so we are running on petrol, which makes for a super expensive drive at no more than 8 mpg.

Second, literally everything is expensive, especially bridge tolls. We had tears in our eyes when we handed over our debit card to pay the £120 toll over the Storebælt bridge. Forgetting he was in Europe and not Asia, Jon tried to negotiate with the cashier and obviously failed ! Lucky we didn’t have to pay even more.

We felt like we were making some real progress when we arrived at our campsite for the night, another site at a family home only this time so much bigger, I was feeling silently smug, as I had chosen this site. Joe and I in our high viz jackets directed Jon into the parking bay, on one side gravel, the other side grass. I was watching Jon roll into the gravel and all was good until the other side rolls onto muddy ground and suddenly we grind to a halt. We are stuck, totally, completely, 100% stuck. I made a rookie error and hadn’t checked all 4 wheels were on hard ground. It was a horrible feeling seeing the massive tyres wedged in the ground and the RV tilting to one side. We tried for an hour with wood, carpet and tree branches to get it out, it was an impossible task, my biggest fear were the RV’s self levelling hydraulic jacks, they were about 2cm clear of the ground and sinking. We just got deeper and deeper into trouble, I wanted to cry, I felt hopeless and tried to think through all the possible ways we could get out. Would the AA rescue us? Probably not, who can you call when you are in such a large, heavy vehicle and need to be towed when you don’t even speak the language?

Jon and I realised the only way out was to ask for help so we took the walk of shame up the tree lined drive way to the family home and knocked on the door. We were greeted by Jes……….he is so friendly and not at all phased by the fact that stupid English tourists have driven their 11 metre, 10 ton RV onto his land and got it stuck.

“Are you stuck?” asks Jes

“Yes, we are so sorry” Jon and I feeling very stupid

“No problem, I’ll get my tractor”

And that was that…what are the chances of finding a campsite in the middle of Denmark where the owner, who by the way is not a farmer happens to have a tractor and massive towing chain in his garage?! We had struck it lucky again.

Within 10 minutes the kind Danish man had rescued us, he had towed us to hard ground and connected us to electric and the boys to WiFi.

I always say that things can change in a heartbeat, one minute everything is peachy and the next they can turn horribly wrong. This was another example of how vulnerable we are.

We are having the time of our lives and experiencing amazing things but there is always that feeling of how vulnerable we really are. It’s a feeling I’ve never felt before. When you travel in your home, you realise the one thing that can bring you so much comfort and security can so easily be damaged or destroyed.

After trying to put Jes’s field back together and stamp down the grass we’d destroyed we had a coffee and the boys hot chocolate and although we were feeling slightly stunned about what had happened.

The temperature had dropped to -5 and the wind was picking up, so no slide outs tonight. We just had to hunker down and stay warm.

Ironically it turned out really well, not only did Jes speak perfect English and have his own tractor but he also has a genuine interest in American vehicles with a huge US pick up truck and 2 American 5th Wheelers in his barn. Jon and his new best friend, Jes disappeared into the barn to talk RV talk. By dinner time we were feeling cosy and warm and the earlier off-road experience was long forgotten, it was time to enjoy a glass of red and a pork schnitzel.

Author: retiredtoexplore

We are retired expats and after 14 years of living and working in Asia have decided to travel Europe as we certainly aren’t ready to settle down and haven’t yet defined what retirement means or looks like and still don’t know where to call home.

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