Day 65. Wednesday, 3rd July. From just outside of London to Niagara

As we lay in bed the rain started. Fine all night, then just as we are about to get up the rain starts and soaks the tent. However, it didn’t last long and the sun came out and dried the tent for us.

A peaceful night. After writing the blog last night, Dennis spoke to a local guy who had been walking in the park. He said we shouldn’t have a problem camping where we were. He had never known anyone come and close the gate in the 20 years he had lived there. He was right. The gate remained open and no-one disturbed us.

Well that was until breakfast time. A car pulled into the car park and a couple got out, dressed in exercise clothing as if they were going for a run, or jogging.  A little later while we were eating our porridge, angry shouting, swearing and sounds of a huge argument, came from the woods. Just a woman’s voice could be heard. No male response. She was really giving him a blasting. It would be quiet for a bit and then start again. When we were packing up the tent they came back to their car. Instead of getting in and driving away, they sat down beside the car and the row began again. They were still at it when we left. She was ranting and raving, he didn’t seem to be saying a word. Hell has no fury like a woman scorned – that seemed to be the problem!

We had given the Sat Nav free rein again and asked her to take us the shortest way to Niagara. We had had a great ride doing this around the backwaters of Michigan. Here it wasn’t working so well. This is a very built up area and constantly stopping and changing direction on small roads, going through built up areas with slow speed limits etc was getting quite tedious. We came all through the suburbs of London. Obviously tiny compared to its English namesake, but still quite a sprawl.

We stopped in a small town called Norwich – many places in this area have English names. Dennis had spotted an auto-parts store and wanted to get a new auxiliary battery. Ours does not seem to be holding the charge for the fridge etc.  As we have 2 batteries fitted side by side in a small space, the correct sized battery is critical. The store assistant was very helpful and came up with one that looked pretty good, but Dennis was concerned the terminals on the top were too high. So, the best thing to do was to take the old one out and compare them. Correct, the terminals were too high. Back to the drawing board. Another one, slightly smaller in size, but just as powerful, was produced. The terminals were back to front, as it were. In a reverse position to ours. As the leads are short this would be a problem to fit. So, half and hour later and we’ve got nowhere! Putting the old battery back proved a time consuming exercise too. Although everything seems to be working okay, we have a red light on the solar panel charge controller. Oh, the mysteries of mechanics!

Next a supermarket for more groceries. Shopping always takes longer than I anticipate as finding things in a strange supermarket is never easy. Then the till threw a wobbly over my card and wouldn’t function. After a supervisor being called and also failing to resolve the problem, I had to go to another till, where the card worked perfectly this time.  More time wasted!

My maiden name. We must have relatives here?

After another stop for lunch, we decided enough was enough and changed the Sat Nav to the fastest route to Niagara. Sure enough she turned us around and onto the motorway. Very heavy traffic and a very built up area. We did the usual, pulling off into a retail park to find some wifi. It was a very hot day and very humid and by this time I was turning into a very grumpy old woman. Getting back on the motorway we came to Niagara reasonably quickly. It’s a sprawling mass of hotels, motels, fast food restaurants, casinos and tat. A guy in a jeep stopped next to us at a red light admiring the Land Rover. He also offered advice on where to camp. We had come too close to the city, so had to turn around. His directions were good though and we found KOA Camping easily. Of course, it was the sort of campsite we hate. Swimming pool, kids playgrounds, mini golf, pizzeria etc. All the things we don’t need, but have to pay for. It was $66 but we needed to stop and we knew in this touristy part of the world it would be pricey. It had a laundry, showers, wifi etc, so all the essentials, although we were to discover the wifi was desperately slow and pretty useless. A good night’s sleep and a break is required. I think tomorrow we will stay put.

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