Muddy Pluggers were invited to join a charity fundraising weekend for Imperial Cancer Research.
We set up camp in a field on Friday nightand and while Sue and Mike took orders for a Chinese, Steve and Vaughan decided that it might be to our advantage if we knew the lay out of the course, as the Muddy Pluggers where doing the marshalling and off they went to check it out (a sneaky play I think!!).
Because of the blazing heat that we had recently, the trail was in excellent condition and should prove good for a great couple of days off roading.
That night however when Sue and Mike returned from their mission (collecting the Chinese) we were all sat together under Nick and Karens awning, the heavens opened and then proceeded a rather scary / spectacular thunder storm, (depending on how you view it). A short while later as bedtime approached I made Mike walk me back to my tent (for which I am very grateful) as Vaughan had already gone to bed.
I have had a phobia of storms ever since I can remember and they absolutely scare the willies (not the jeep) out of me!! So you can imagine what it was like for me in a storm, under canvas, talk about the axe murder coming to get me it was 10 times worse!. Oh and it rained all night.
Saturday despite the storm we were up early, it was still cloudy and threatening rain, Vaughan and I invited Steve and Nicky to join us in out trailer tent for breakfast which was very pleasant. Every one convened out side Sue and Mikes caravan at aprox. 9am and off we went, 3 Suzuki's and a landy ready to play.(sorry marshal)
We went down in to the ferns which consisted of a steep decline in to a basin round a bit, up a incline and out, sounds easy? Remember the rain?
Well it made the ferns very slippy, Mike nearly parked his landy in a tree, while even Steve with his new mud tyres couldn’t get out at the top. The only solution, make your own way out! so it began, three vehicles stuck at the bottom and 1 sensible one at the top ( with winch may I add), start at the bottom and accelerate up the hill making your own way through the ferns, getting a little further each time, depending on how far you got depended weather you were pulled or winched out.
2 hours later and we're all out (great start for the marshal's!) off to the rest of the site, thorough the bomb holes, sliding through the mud run, up and down the hills, through the river crossing (which Nick nearly went for a dip in!) leading to a mud hole where first Vaughan lost his side indicator (it's still embedded in the side of the bank)
The second time through he managed to completely disintegrate his snorkel which then led to all sorts of problems, pieces of the plastic becoming trapped in the carb.
The river is at the bottom of a large hill, camp was in a field at the top and we're stuck, the Suzuki wouldn’t start.
After a valiant effort by Mikes landy we called for...
"mad Martins" "V8 BEAST"
which got us up the hill and back to camp. I'm not to sure what everyone else was doing, marshalling and fixing our broken Suzuki But after the storm the previous night I had a little nap.
When I awoke I was just in time to see our Suzuki being dragged up the hill again this time by a tractor I guess the repair didn’t hold and we needed a new fuel pump, luckily Mike had one in his garage and said he would get it on Sunday morning.
The bar-b-que was lit and the beer flowed except for me (I seem to keep getting the short straw) as Martin had invited us to the local social club for more beer and live music, the draw back it was 2 miles away and someone need to drive,
so it was up to me to drive Mikes landy. It was great! well worth the sacrifice, and very different as I have a little nova.
so now as Vaughan keeps breaking the Suzuki we decided that we needed something a little more robust and have brought a 1960 series 2 landrover its fab !!!! and a little harder to break!
When we got back from the pub the night sky was really clear and Steve, Nicky, vaughan and I did a little star gazing then off to bed.
Sunday morning lie in, more rain but no storm, so a good night sleep, Mike and Vaughan went off to get the fuel pump and had it fixed in no time.
It was now time for us to play, the sun came out and dried up a little of the rain. Down by the river crossing Vaughan was about to go through the mud, then through the river which leads to quite a steep bank I asked him to wait while I ran across the river (over a bridge) to take some pictures, to which Sue asked if she could jump in and go with him (something which she may now regret!)
They go through the mud, through the river, up the bank, not enough grip and began to slip back down, the Suzie turned sideways and if it wasn’t for the mud on either side would have tipped over in to the river!
It was mud, prayers and a lot of swearing that prevented it rolling!!!.
10 minutes later after the photos had been taken they were recovered
The rest of the afternoon passed mainly with out incident, the odd vehicle stuck in the mud but nothing really serious about 5pm we packed up camp said our goodbyes and went home, dirty, exhausted but totally exhilarated.
We would like to thank "Mad Martin" and the landowner John for putting on a great couple of days and also raising £500.00 for cancer research.