June 1 – Car Hunting

Our first day in Hastings and our first geocache in UK

Hi from Gillian and Michael of 1066 Medieval Mosaic

Mike and I were up and awake early at about 6.30. We left the house at 7.30 and walked down London Rd into Hastings and the sea. Everything was closed and looking very dreary, tired and sad. It was overcast and cool but we had a good walk to blow out the cobwebs. On the way back we bought some breakfast cereal, milk and tea and we got back to the house at about 9. Rachael was up and ready so we had breakfast.

Next door we passed a garage. We talked to the guy who owns the place and he recommended Imperial Car Sales to us. We went there as it was not far away but it was not on the main road like all car sales at home but was in a back street that we would never have found if it was not for the recommendation. They had 120 cars and we walked all around looking at them. Most of the cars there were very small and mostly European models. There were hardly any Japanese cars and nearly all manual transmissions. Since we were looking for an automatic, preferably a Honda we did not have too many to choose from. We did see a Toyota Prius, a Hybrid which we thought might be good as we intended to do a lot of mileage during our time in the UK. It cost £6495 which was more than we wanted to pay but the test drive was good. However, we felt that we shouldn’t buy the first car we saw so we decided to sleep on it and look around more car sales using Rachael’s cell phone to guide us.

We ended up getting all the way to Brighton which is about an hours drive away. We saw more cars but mostly much newer, more expensive cars which were not what we were looking for. We need a vehicle suitable for geocaching. The search got very frustrating at times for all of us. We had lunch which cost us £42.65 –  we will have to stop spending money like that. We stopped for a while to buy some gym shoes for £9.99 which were very comfortable. Eventually driving around looking at cars got very frustrating and about 4.30 we rang David and Joan and went up to Burgess Hill for a lovely cup of tea. It was lovely to see them again. They invited us to stay any time despite having the kitchen done next week so food would be a problem.

We went to a Vodafone shop and looked at cell phones. We decided on one and a plan but as we don’t have a UK bank account yet we cannot sign up yet. That was frustrating too – no internet, no phone and no car. Still, it was only our first day and we had done a lot of the groundwork.

On our drive back we drove passed the Long Man of Wilmington again. This time we walked to it and found our very first UK geocache. It was a nice walk and we remember coming here 37 years ago. We were a bit confused about why it wasn’t getting dark the realised that it was mid-summer not mid-winter as it was when we left home. LOL. It wasn’t very summer-like today so we could be forgiven for being confused.

When we got back to the house we went with Claudia and Rachael to the Thai Restaurant three doors away for dinner. It was nice though a lot of the menu was curry or spicy. Mike had duck and I had pad thai. We paid £60, it looks like eating out is going to be very expensive in this country. When we got back to the house we had a cup of tea then went to bed. It was 11.30 though we have no idea how that happened.