Adventures in ditch dwelling

*Disclaimer* I have never lived in a ditch. What I have done is reverse our heavy campervan into one. In France. On a Sunday. On a narrow road where I blocked pretty much the entirety. Oh yes and at the time my school French had abandoned me and Zack knew none whatsoever. Remembering it still makes me a little uneasy but I hope it makes for a good blog post.

Our old van (I rather went off it after the ditch and other incidents) was a converted LDV, all you need to know about LDVs is they do not make them anymore and the garage laughed at me when I brought it in the first time; ‘oh, you have one of those…’

This is an almost identical one aside from ours had the feature of added rust.

There we were merrily making our way along a rather narrow road in Normandy when it started to become less road more dirt track.

Zack: ‘err I think we should turn around’
Me: ‘how do you suggest I do that, make the van levitate and then turn it?!’ (I was a bit tired and stressed)
Zack: ‘look a driveway, use that’

Said driveway was very small and did not offer much in space to turn in, resulting on my reversing into the very localised ditch – basically the muddy ditch only existed opposite this drive, useful I know.

Image thanks to pocklington post.

Image thanks to pocklington post.

The above was essentially me but in a camper, and the road was a lot narrower. I could not find a appropriate photo as you can see, I even googled ‘LDV stuck in ditch’ incase one of the annoyed french that day had captured my misery for the world. If you google ‘van in ditch’ you can find all sorts of vehicles at funny angles in ditches, just thought you might like to know this useful information.

The moment you realise that you are well and truly stuck brings horror, anger and in my case a wail of ‘noooo’, I attempted numerous times to get free which only resulted in the engine making a terrible noise and then stalling. Zack got out and announced the bad news that we were not going anywhere without help.

The road which had been devoid of any vehicles besides us suddenly got very busy, now I was blocking it everyone wanted to come through didn’t they?! I should have got out and tried to explain but all French had left me and I was also having a crying fit – I blame the exhaustion (another story).

Eventually a couple in some sort of peddled buggy came along and Zack through some animated pointing was able to communicate, they in turn did gestures of pulling, wheel turning and pointed to their phone, we only hoped it meant help would be coming. A few minutes later a very small tractor arrived with a young man and I presume his wife, she was wearing overalls (why French women seem to wear these and not men I have not figured out) and looked rather disgruntled. I just smiled and hoped for the best. Amazingly the small tractor was the perfect size to drive up the verge opposite us (it could not fit into the drive) and attach a rope to the front of our van. Even more amazingly it pulled our van out with ease; never underestimate the power of small tractors. We kept smiling and saying merci, thankfully they smiled too and waved and off we went. I cannot but help think they all had a good laugh about the silly english van but by then we were making our way north and I was sticking to the bigger roads!


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