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As we set off from Dom Fox's place (nr Cromer) this was the very first time I had towed a caravan. Done plenty of horse boxes and diving boats (RIBs) over the years, so was understandably nervous. Squeezing out of Dom's tight drive was a stress moment! 

Visions of caravan wobble, seen regularly whilst driving up and down the country, soon diminished as the Eriba, sitting to my rear, towed like a dream. The lightweight build and German engineering, with hitch stabilisation meant for a very easy and comfortable towing experience. It was easy to forget we had a caravan behind!  I spent 20 quid on a set of towing mirrors, and soon found those would be back on MarketPlace! The Eriba was almost the same width as the CX-5 so rear visibility was excellent.

An hour later after negotiating the coast road, back onto the A47, and short access road we rolled up at our CL site at Pentney Abbey.  The photo at the top of this blog is what greeted us upon arrival. Wow! The wonderful gatehouse entrance to Pentney Abbey. It's the only remaining feature from the original Abbey but sets the scene for a wonderful location to spend a few days.

As we drove through the main gate, passing the gatehouse the CL dedicated field greeted us. It must be about an acre in size and only 2 pitches (with dedicated electric hook up and water). How wonderful. 

Arrival at Pentney Abbey CL site

We nestled onto our pitch, alongside the dedicated electric hook up and water tap and commenced setup. This was our very first time 'pitching up' so all very new & nice to have an empty field to hide the embarrassment factor :-) As we piled out of the car, all the crammed in gear fell out with us! Obviously just picking up the caravan, the car took the brunt of gear storage. The new CX-5 took a huge breath as we unloaded!

First job was to let the dog have a good wander and tied her up as we got the Eriba levelled and functional. As the day was closing the awning could wait until tomorrow morning. We purchased a used (as-new) before we travelled. It was a ridge Soplair, and with no instructions I wasn't looking forward to getting that up. 'Divorce in a bag' is a phrase commonly uttered with awning first erection (no pun). That wasn't going to be an issue for me as Deb would be working (RSPCA, East Winch) a few mins away tomorrow so a one man fiasco is on the cards!

At short while later, all inside was ready. We converted the seating to a nice big double bed, leaving the opposite end as a seating area. Loads of storage space, cupboards etc and this is really useful to keep everything out of the way. One thing you rapidly learn living and moving in a compact caravan is to manage your space and keep tidy.

Inside ET

One of reasons in the caravan purchase mindset was to allow more 'travel' time with our husky Aurora. Too many trips historically we spent away from our beloved best friend. Staycation and our new Eriba would change that!

Sunset came and went and our first sunrise greeted us. Twas a really nice comfy bed and sleep and Aurora was itching to hit the fresh air. A caffeine shot later I duly obliged and explored the local landscape. Nothing too far as I had a date with an awning wrestle! 

As I found my landscape feet the walks and access at this CL site is amazing. A short 2 min walk is the amazing river Nar, crystal clear and a natural wildlife habitat. How far you walk on the river path is up to you. It goes on for miles, if you can keep up with the tidal flow and aching feet  :-) Aurora loved the water, diving in at every opportunity. Another part of the local landscape here are trees and woods, and lots of them. Again, the local wildlife whether marine or land, is a key feature. As a keen photographer the area and landscape brings lots of creative opportunity.      

Back at the site with ET (our pet name for the Eriba Troll) with Aurora now in sleep mode, I had the awning jigsaw task!

3 painful hours later the framed awning was up. I was dripping with sweat. Not a feat I desire to repeat and whilst it provided some welcome extra room (and an outdoor bedroom for Aurora) there has to be a more agile and smarter solution. By the time the next trip was to land we would have a new awning :-)


The next next few days were wonderful, spent walking and exploring the area. The river NAR (next to the site) was so clear and full of wildlife, offered great walks in both directions. Aurora loved it, including the constant dips :-) Another highlight of the area is the vast amount of trees/woods to explore. Water and trees, great for the mind and soul! We must come back in the fall season when Autumn colour fills the land!

With only 2 of us on the CL site it was bliss. Perfectly private and quiet. We will be back.

A gallery of all photos from the trip is available to view on my website - Pentney Abbey Photos

Walks and Landscape

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