With a nice new Kenlowe fan finally fitted I needed to find some mud. Having read the mailing list threads about Woodlands I thought it was about time I went along to see for myself.
|The day didn't start too well. About 20 minutes into the journey we noticed a smell of burning rubber. Seconds later the charge light lit and we stopped to find there was no longer a fan belt under the bonnet. It obviously had an identity crisis, having no fan to turn. Being prepared, I had a spare in the back. Of course, it was completely the wrong size. We made it to a garage hoping to find some emergency spares but they had none. By now the battery didn't want to start the engine. A very friendly man from the RAC had none big enough either, but he knew somewhere that did. He got us started and led us to the shop (diesel goood) where we found one that worked. Thanks to RAC Paul we were on the road again.|
|We had a couple of trips around the White routes, the site is nice and friendly for beginners and shineys. Some of the Black routes looked very black, so we decided to try all the Reds. There was plenty of mud and water to be found and trying hard enough we managed to ground Daisy on a steep steppy climb out of a deep water whole. A quick winch off and we had lots of fun completing all the other Reds. Tricky but achievable - me like.|
|After a sumptious egg-burger we went off looking for more fun. We found a deep pit with a grounded 90 on top. Two muppets in a very clean Jeep were giving a loud demonstration on how not to winch. Nearly pulling themselves in, snagging cables, a right mess. I've seem some mad winching but this felt dangerous. Fortunately, they had an flashing orange tit on their bonnet, so that made up for it. You know the off-roaders from the Fast Show? I'm pretty sure it was them.|
|Having seen the 90 grounded we knew Daisy wouldn't do it. But there was a steep alternative exit with a choice of a 90 degree turn or 180 degree even tougher climb out. Paul hopped out to take photos as I approached the pit. The Jeep muppets made some comments but they didn't know Daisy. She stormed up the first part and a shunt gave us the right route around the tough 180. By the end of the day we had perfected this to a smooth action making it look very easy indeed - to the disappointment of the Vitara that kept trying to match us but couldn't. At the pit we met up with Paul, an Anorak in the making, and his brother-in-law. (That's 3 Pauls for one write-up!) They watched us do mad things, not wanting to break their Disco. We spent the rest of the day playing and then headed for home.|
|Perhaps they had had the right idea, about 15 minutes down the road Daisy died. I washed the mud off the wings so Mr RAC wouldn't get too muddy and we took turns talking to the friendly off-roaders who stopped to check on us on their way home from Woodlands. An hour and a half wait for the RAC identified a possibly dead fuel pump, then another wait for a flat-bed to take us to Daisy's other home - the garage.|
So, that was Woodlands. Apart from the nightmare breakdowns, an excellent day out. Great value for only 15 quid. It was really good to find some intermediate stuff, especially for the LWB, as Battle can be a bit all or nothing. If I ever need to introduce some newbies to the sport this is where I would do it. It would be good to try some more Black runs in a SWB as it looks like there's something for everyone. Very happy with my Kenlowe too, it's the only thing that still works!
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