“Romania, what can I say… Epic adventure!
I was competing at Larkhill doing a hunter trial in the afternoon which was running an hour late, during which time Griff decided to get cast and cut himself. The cut required stitches so he had to be sedated, and sadly he couldn’t come. We had a quick turnaround of the lorry, a bath and supper and we set off! Dennis Sampson, Fleet Steeet’s owner, Lyn Phelps, Griff’s owner, and Emily Tamblyn, my freelance groom for the week made up the humans on board. The horses that went were Tigga (Fleet Street), Ruth Walkerton’s Faye and Elaine Makensie Yates’ stallion Sirius. I decided to leave the dogs at home.
Everything was going smoothly and we were ahead of schedule for the ferry so we stopped for fuel. We got to Dover 45mins before the ferry departure with a priority sticker for livestock. Well the chap checking us in clearly took a dislike to us and said we had to get the second ferry, though he couldn’t give me a reason why. So of course I quietly and politely stated my point, but he was not having any of it. So we drove round to our designated lane and I see the earlier ferry loading. Being the well behaved person I am, I swung round and spoke to the awesome man checking tickets and managed to drive straight onto the ferry – result. As usual we got the stares of every driver in the truckers lounge as we bounced in. Oh and my phone exited stage left at this point… great!
Our first stop was in a yard in Munich, which was nice but the people were still riding at 9.30pm. Luckily there was a McDonalds a short walk away and so my German was put to the test. With a small amount of German and a lot of gesticulating, we were happy campers.
The next day we travelled to the Austrian border. As the lorry is new, we had sent the log book off but we had photocopied it before we left. The border team were having none of it and wanted someone to scan it and then email it to them direct, oh bum!! Ma sent it onto the lady, which worked, and then we were off again.
The next stop was Budapest, literally in the centre of the city. Lots of very low tram lines and bridges, I was definitely sweating when I arrived – only we arrived to find that the stables were not together and two of them were minuscule. Tigs had to go in the big one without his mates next to him, so he shouted all night.
Next day we travelled the last stretch to Romania. We queued at the border, they then told us we are at the wrong border. I explained that I went through this border the year before but no, they sent me to the border 10 miles down the road. So we queued again and then they told us we should be at the border we had already visited… I lost it!! I rang my mother and Minhea, the organiser of the event, and told them to get it sorted. Unsurprisingly we were on our way quite quickly.
One more problem… the road had just been built and the sat-nav was sure we were in a field. Help! Do I go on or follow the old twisty road??? At this point no one was answering their phone. Of course I winged it and just followed the road… perfect. Got to the mountains, drove over and arrived – bliss.”
Part 2 coming soon!