Programme 6: Caravan of Love
Wednesday, 8th August 2007
We have all sat behind a towing caravan. It's hot, the caravan is driving under the speed limit, the kids are going mad and all you want to do is pass the monster out. Caravan of Love will introduce us to life on the open road. Pristine pitches or wild and free, we will meet the happy campers, who take their homes away from home, where Ireland is their back garden.
For the Broderick family from Gort, Co Galway, finding a reason to camp has never been difficult, sometimes they might only go five miles down the road. This June bank holiday they will travel to the National Caravan Rally in Roscrea, where they will join 80 other caravan lovers. Eamon's first camp was in the front garden and then in the field behind the house, "but I was always home for tea that evening". "Our first romantic weekend away was spent in a tent", says Marion and "we have been together ever since".
They lost their first van, a two-birth, off the back of the car, Eamon kept going; he thought it would catch up. With his driving hat and music, they will set off every Friday. Driving fast is not for Eamon, "the pots and pans go everywhere". In the think of the winter, Eamon misses his van even though it's parked outside the house, "I might just go and sit in it for while and reminisce".
For Rod Bennett, a 66-year-old surfer, his van has been his home for over 35 years. In 1970 he travelled around India with his wife and four children. Rods passion for the open road resulted in him making the ultimate sacrifice. On returning from India he couldn't get used to living in confined spaces, his wife didn't want to hit the road and so Rod left his family and England. He has lived in Co Clare since. His home is a Mercedes van that he converted himself; it has everything he needs, including solar panels. "At any time of the year I can lie on my back in the middle of a field and look at the stars, its pure heaven".
In the car park of Dell Computers Julian Swann's orange VW Kombi is parked amongst the C-Class's. Hailing from Wicklow, it's his vehicle of choice. On a Friday evening Julian holds his finger over a map of Ireland and wherever his finger lands is their destination. The kids love the independence. "Roaming free, entertaining themselves for hours in the biggest playground ever"
After a week with no running water and only a single-ringed stove most of us would head straight to a luxury hotel. It's a hard life this camping business but for our campers in Caravan of Love, they just can't get enough of it.