The Brighton Breeze sounded fantastic – a VW convoy, gather on the seafront with the cool surf vans, zz top lookie likies and, eh us, take the opportunity to drop son off back to uni for the start of term, then check into the campsite and crack open the wine for a nightcap before the morning’s big gathering. Getting near to Brighton, nearly an hour and half from home, campsite details are chucked to the backseat so son can pay for his passage by navigating us to where we are to pitch for the night in Brighton. “The campsite is in Hook…you know Hook, the place that’s 10 minutes from home?” he says. “Don’t be ridiculous – that can’t be right,” is the irritated response from the front seats. Unfortunately, he was. Scramble through the Brighton Breeze paperwork reveals all. It’s a London to Brighton convoy, starting – as it turns out – from a campsite just down the road from our house. “Well it wouldn’t be much of a convoy if it was Brighton to Brighton, would it?” says son. Neither of us having actually read any of the booking bumph, we couldn’t fault his logic. And so it was that we had to drop him off in Brighton, then at 10 pm immediately turn round and travel back the way we came up the motorway towards the campsite where we were booked in for the night. Except we didn’t quite make it thanks to a broken thermostat. Standing on the hard shoulder of the M25 at midnight waiting for the recovery truck, you get plenty of time to contemplate some truths about van travel:
- always read the booking paperwork
- breakdowns will happen
- there will always be another Brighton Breeze.