22nd July saw us make the journey out of Cornwall and into Devon, to the Hidden Valley site near Braunton. Another very professionally operated site in, as you would guess, a valley. Valleys and seaside hillsides seem to be a favoured location for campsites, with one major drawback being that TV and radio reception is pretty much non-existant. Without these, and if getting to a newsagents is awkward, you can start to feel a little bit cut off from the outside world.
We weren’t able to extend our stay at Hidden Valley, due to it being booked up with families for the weekend, so we set off towards Ilfracombe in search of another site for Saturday and Sunday. After various fruitless visits, we found the Big Meadow site near Ilfracombe and booked in for a couple of nights.
On our way to the site, I noticed that the indicator light was half-lit on the dashboard, so we stopped and found that neither the indicators nor the hazard lights were working. We found a safe yard to stop in and called the RAC. While waiting for them to turn up, I found that the indicator relay was showing signs of scorching, and that the fuses to the indicator and hazard lights had blown.
On arrival the RAC man, who was very friendly, changed the fuses only for them to immediately blow again on testing. Further investigation revealed that the tow bar electrical cable hadn’t been secured properly by whoever fitted it. As a result it had been resting on the exhaust pipe and had melted through and shorted out. A bit of insulating tape and a cable tie and that was sorted. We changed the fuses again and everything was working (though the burnt relay would need replacing). After several hours delay we finally made it to Big Meadow for Saturday evening.
Staying at Big Meadow was an experience. The site is run by a lovely couple who are very welcoming and there are lots of activities planned to keep kids amused. Unfortunately, the older teenagers on the site decided to amuse themselves on the Saturday night by running around shouting and generally causing a disturbance. It got so bad that the site owner came out and gave them a severe telling-off, which seemed to do the trick and things were much quieter after that.