16. Jun, 2016

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THURSDAY 16-06-16

Oh dear, it rained heavily and continually all night long. As a consequence we didn't get a terribly good night's sleep. At the back of my mind whilst lying in bed was the problem of getting the motorhome off the grass. Fortunately I had not backed on to the pitch very far quite deliberately, however, just as you can drown in just a few inches of water so you can become stuck in a quagmire of wet grass and mud of just a few feet in length.

We arose about 07:00 and made our way to the shower block. Needless to say we had it all to ourselves, bliss, no nasal snorting ringing in my ears.

Scrubbed up and fed it was time to face the moment of truth. I calculated that I would come to grief before reaching the tarmac surface of the roadway, therefore I drained off most of my fresh water (in that weather nobody was going to notice a bit more water) and moved two of the four food boxes from the rear garage, or locker, and placed them at the front just behind our cab seats. This had the effect of reducing the overall weight as well as moving more of it forward.

I keep a piece of plywood, cut to size to use under the twin gas cooker and grill when in use outside on a table, or under the electric oven when it's used indoors. This piece of wood was to be my extension of wooden rafts to get me the short distance to the tarmac road.

Engine warmed up to avoid stalling at the worst possible moment, I placed the wood down and went for it. I was attempting it early enough to avoid having all those caravan sicko's chortling at our plight. First attempt and we were on tera firma, what a relief. I went back to retrieve my pieces of wood and then washed them down in a nearby sink. It would only have taken somebody to have told me I shouldn't have used the sink for that purpose and I would have had a Victor Meldrew moment.

Up to Reception to hand back our access key and we were away around the corner to the supermarket just after it opened at 09:00. Shopping list in hand The Chef commanded the operation to top us up with as much food as possible for our stay at Lauterbrunnen (tight old sods you may say - more of that later).

Loaded up we had a quick chat with a motorhoming UK couple who were making their way down south (oh how we envied them) before punching in the co-ordinates of our campsite in Lauterbrunnen. Off we went, a mixture of lots of rain and sunshine, with one eye kept on the Satnav which I have lost confidence in now. It was quite a long journey, made longer by the requirement for us to stop at the French/Swiss border to buy a vignette giving us the right to use Swiss motorways for a mere £30. What a bargain eh? What a shame we don't pounce on the Swiss for the same mount of money when they land at Dover.

Onwards and upwards until we finally arrived at Camping Jungfrau (GPS: N46.588739 E7.908143) our campsite here in Lauterbrunnen. I wanted a pitch down by the very fast flowing river (we're not talking The Danube here, this one is only about forty feet wide, but you sure as hell wouldn't want to go paddling in it), but the guy said that because of the very heavy rainfall they are expecting here over the next three days they are looking to move those near the river uphill and away from it -just in case of flooding. I never anticipated packing a lifejacket for a visit to Switzerland. We elected for our own private pitch, uphill away from the river, and just by walking through a short tunnel were very close to washing and showering facilities.

Cheap it ain't. A couple of weeks here including electricity will set us back about £600. Though I have to say this is a superb campsite, it really is five-star regarding the standards of facilities provided and their cleanliness. After setting up shop we wandered down to the campsite supermarket. They had quite a lot to choose from with many foreign brands. But as a guide you could take any familiar product and multiply the cost by three or four to get the selling price here. Self catering here would not be a cheap option, that's why we bought so much food with us. The two products which cause us the most grief in obtaining are fresh milk and crusty fresh  bread. Well we think we've cracked it. Behind my swivel driver's seat is 'The Bakery', containing two shopping bags which between them are holding SIXTEEN packs of part-baked baguettes and four BIG bags of crisps which we like a few of to munch with our filled crusty baguettes for lunch. In the fridge is sufficient milk to keep us going for most of the visit here.

We are pitched looking down along a line of small tents, some of them Brits. It's pouring with rain and life for them stuck in such a cool small, damp confined area, will be a bit grim. I feel sorry for them, and yet years ago, when I spent many years on low income, the only holiday I could afford to give my kids was a camping holiday. When it peed with rain, I don't suppose anybody in a caravan or motorhome felt sorry for us.

This evening's meal was an easy one for The Chef. Due to the rain she delved in to our Armageddon stores and grabbed two tins, one very nice tin of beef (that's Waitrose for you) and another of potatoes and vegetables. Quick and easy, but very nice.

Tomorrow we will venture in to Lauterbrunnen village, and over the next couple of wet days look at what trips we want to make up in to the mountains, as, since we were last here the prices have skyrocketed. Rest assured, when the weather clears we will be up there with the best of them, armed with cameras and video.