An Interesting Mini Break

Last weekend Rob, Dylan and I went on our first mini break together as a threesome.

We stayed in a questionable hotel (more on that soon) for one night in Bournemouth, Dorset. It was my treat to Rob as a joint B.day and fathers day present, and my last big spending blow out before my maternity pay ends soon (whaaa!)*

I last visited the Bournemouth as a kid with my family around 25-30 years ago, and all I can remember about the town was that it had lots of trees and it was sunny!

To be fair, I do like trees. And lots of trees are more than enough reason for me to visit somewhere again!

We lucked out with the weather as it was just at the begining of this heatwave with pleasant, managable sunshine right before things became unbearable like they have done in the last few days with the melting tarmac and stupid 30+ temperatures. We enjoyed walking around the gardens and beachfront, dodging the drunk students (there were lots, Bournemouth is a bit of a party town) and sniggering at them constantly taking selfies,** beers on the pier, browsing round the shops, a Nandos meal (my first in over a year!), our first ever Five Guys (what can I say, I am a sucker for a hyped up chain resturant!) and we took Dylan for his first ever swim in the hotel pool.

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Dylan rubber necking in Nandos!

Ah yes, the hotel. Shall we talk about the hotel now?

Rob is not letting me live it down, but I managed to book us into one of the grottiest hotels in England!

I am kind of notorious for not doing my research properly and once again I came up trumps!*** I blame booking.com. Its a kind of twisted, evil Ebay type of site with too many hotels, and they keep telling you that so many people have booked rooms in the last 10 minutes, that there is only one room left and the prices keep going up and down etc. So you end up making a snap decicion based on price rather than the star rating of the hotel and its reviews! Or at least I do anyway.

I booked us a twin room in the cheapest hotel that I could find online. It had dated, broken 80’s furniture, a tatty grey bathroom suite with broken, cracked floor tiles, windows with broken handles, watermarks on the ceiling and bit of a funny smell. But the worst thing was that the wardrobe was really wonky. It was propped up by a piece of wood, it wobbled when you walked past and it looked like it was going to topple over at any given moment! In all seriousness though, I really don’t know how they can get away with furniture like that in this day and age with all the health and safety rules and the tragic lawsuits in America against Ikea.

At first we were being terribly British, unsure whether to complain and not wanting to make a fuss etc. But we had D to think about and even if the wardrobe was fine while we stayed there, what if something happened to the guests after us and we ignored it and said nothing?

So we reported it and got upgraded to a much larger family room (with three large beds! One each!) This room was slightly less grotty and had more sturdy furniture thank goodness! In the end the hotel redeemed itself to us, as all the staff were so friendly and helpful and we had fun using the pool (and there were only a few dead flies floating in it! Win!)

It could have been worse – I could have booked us into this hotel that I spotted and posted on Instagram!

Where shall we go for our next holiday then? Maybe one of these hotels??!! As I said, I am never going to live this down!

*Even though they do want me back again where I worked last year, I want to stay at home with Dylan for the time being. We will tighten our belts and manage just fine. Maybe I will return to work in 2018? But for now I will be a SAHM.

**I am showing my age here, but as someone who hates having their photo taken and who got their first camera phone in their late twenties (when my partying days were long over) it never fails to suprise and amuse me how often some peeps take selfies!

***It feels so wrong to use that expression now thanks to a certain person in America! I cant think of another, sorry!

 

Last Weekend

Last weekend was a good one. It was my Mums 60th birthday so my Dad had organised a surprise stay for her in a hotel in Sandbanks, Bournemouth with Rob and I, my sister, her husband and the boys and the parents besties, a lovely couple who we have all known for years.

It involved a lot of drinking and eating. In fact we drank all the Doombar supplies dry in the hotel bar and Dad fell over and cut his head! We did lots of swimming in the pool, used the hotels gym and rode our bikes 22 miles along the promenade into Christchurch.

We then did quick pit stop in the New Forest on the way home for another bike ride.

We are strange people Rob and I, when we go away we prefer to do lots of activities rather than sit on our bums and relax! We do a lot more stuff than when we are at home. Although lets be honest we did a far amount of sitting and relaxing……and drinking!

I wish more weekends were like this!beer timebike rideAbove the oldest nephew and I at Medford Quay. I chose to follow the bike route signs to Christchurch that said “ferry” not realising that they actually meant that you had to catch a ferry! I mean, they could have warned us or something! ……..We turned round and headed back at this point. The nephew is still using his bike that Uncle Rob fixed up for him although he has almost outgrown it.

The New Forest was gorgeous this time of year with the leaves and bracken changing colour and low light.ponynew forest nov 15van forestWe left home on Friday and came home late on Sunday. On Sunday morning Rob received a text from his mum, who was feeding Poppy, to say that she had ripped her food bag open and there were biscuits all over the kitchen floor, but not to worry as she had cleaned them up and found a clip to seal the bag with. We were both a bit flabbergasted by this as she has never done anything like this before! The little devil!

And then look at the sight of what greeted us on the door step when we got home –naughty popsWhat a little s**t eh! She is in the bad books at the mo. Bloody cat!

Devon 2015

Towards the end of August Rob and I enjoyed our annual family holiday. We stayed in a lovely house in Croyde Bay, Devon with my parents, my sister, her husband and the three nephews. Then afterwards, Rob and I travelled on to Cornwall to visit our friends who moved down there a couple of years ago, and camped in the van for two nights on their farmland.

It was a wonderful nine days away and a lovely end to what has been a really good summer. I have been really lucky this year – I went away in March to the New Forest and have also managed to squeeze in lots of camping trips this summer. And that’s despite of Robs shoulder injury and me working weekends!

Sadly, this was probably my last camping trip of the season, as its starting to get colder and more damp now. And lets not talk about how I now have no annual holiday leave left from work until the next holiday year starts in 2016 (sob)!!

Our time in Devon involved lots of bike rides, lots of body boarding, amazing sunsets, hikes in stunning scenery and the usual over consumption of cream teas, fudge, ice cream, chips and alcohol.

It was our first time in the county and we fell in love with the area. We will definitely be going back again as north Devon ticks all the boxes for us – plenty of activities to do, stunning countryside and spectacular beaches!

Here are some of my favourite photos from our week. Some are taken by Rob with his DSLR, some are from our Instagram feeds and some are from our phones. Im sure you will be able to tell which are which!

croyde

Croyde bay beach and sand dunes.

baggy point

Baggy Point which is National Trust land.

sunset beach

Sunset on the beach.

sunset

Rob had a play with his filters here, but it was pretty stunning IRL!

A little photography experiment with a filter and the two of us.

A little photography experiment with a filter and the two of us.

baggy point again

The walk along Baggy Point and views towards Woolacombe Bay.

Rob decided he wanted the white contempary house in this snap. Anyone got a spare million or two?

Rob decided that he wanted the white contempary house in this snap. Anyone got a spare million or two?

Croyde beach is officially my favourite sure destination now.

Croyde beach is officially my favourite surf destination now.

My tip for the day - don't allow yourself to be photographed in a wetsuit. Especially standing next to skinny nephews! But I don't care that I am not a size 6 supermodel. Im not going to let it stop me from having fun! (And sharing a photo of my huge arse on the inter webs!)

My advice for the day – don’t allow yourself to be photographed in a wetsuit. Especially standing next to a skinny nephew! But I don’t care that I am not a size 6 supermodel or thin and pretty enough to be in Taylor Swifts girl gang of BFF’s, Im not going to let it stop me from having fun! I managed to squeeze myself into my trusty old wetsuit to catch some waves!

Me bodyboarding!

Me bodyboarding!

We went to Ilfracombe. Its quite a pretty little town. We went to the Weatherspoons as you do.

We went to Ilfracombe. Its quite a pretty little town.

blooming lovely

We went all the way to Ilfracombe and then had lunch in the Weatherspoons, as you do.

We went all the way to Ilfracombe and then had lunch in the Weatherspoons, as you do.

We also went to the famous beach tunnels which were really, really hard to photograph. (This is a snap from my phone). They were not as good as I hoped they would be (we got round them in 5 minutes!) - I preferred the tunnels on the Tarka trail bike route!. Much longer and more fun!

We also went to the famous beach tunnels which were really, really hard to photograph. (This is a snap from my phone). They were not as good as I hoped they would be and we got round them in 5 minutes as we are uncultured townies who don’t read much of the historic stuff! – I preferred the tunnels on the Tarka trail bike route! Much longer and much more fun!

I am getting braver posting more photos of myself on here, ha ha! Its me on the tunnels beach, in my waterproofs. Not a trendy Seasalt mac, but a workmans jacket from my Dads former place of work!

I am getting braver posting more photos of myself on here, ha ha! Its me on the tunnels beach, in my waterproofs. Not a trendy Seasalt mac, but a workmans jacket from my Dads former place of work with a stain on the sleeve! Glamour is my middle name!

Me and the oldest nephew riding through a tunnel on the Tarka trail. He rode 23 miles, not bad for an 8 year old, eh!

Me and the oldest nephew riding through a tunnel on the Tarka trail. He rode 23 miles, not bad for an 8 year old, eh!

IG tunnel 2

After seven lovely days, the family all drove back home to Kent, and Rob and I headed in the opposite direction towards Cornish land to visit our friends for their annual bank holiday BBQ fundraiser weekend in aid of the local school. The event involved lots of drinking, talking, a chilli eating challenge (more on those chilli’s on here soon!), pulled pork and pulled beef eating and then some more drinking. We didn’t take many pictures as I was too busy drinking and Rob was too busy scoffing the pulled meat*, but here are some from our phones.

The obligatory picture of our van, the awning and the Kelly kettle.

The obligatory picture of our van, the awning and the Kelly kettle.

Rob got to drive a tractor. This made him very happy.

Rob got to drive a tractor. This made him very happy.

Another great sunset....

Another great sunset….

...made much better with a vintage VW in the shot and an Instagram filter!

…made even better with a vintage VW in the shot and an Instagram filter!

*Snigger!

Another Quick Camping Trip

The other day I thought about setting up a new blog chronicling my cycling adventures. The perfect domain name for me – Helonwheels is available (please no one buy it now that I have mentioned it!) But then I remembered that writing one blog is a lot of effort, let alone two!

I would totally be up for reading a blog with content about things like this weekend just gone where Rob and I took off in our van, camped for the night and rode a local trail together. In this fantasy blog you would expect beautiful photos, expert local knowledge and well written content that makes you feel like you were part of the experience. And maybe even induce a teeny-weeny bit of lifestyle envy like some blogs can…..

But this is me that we are talking about here. I am far too much of an honest, open person to write a blog like that! This is my real life/reality in a nutshell – I had to beg my boss to not rota me in this weekend (and ended up having a bit of a row with her about it) as I am currently working both Saturday and Sundays (ugh, as fun as it sounds), we were running behind trying to get away for our trip and ended up getting to the campsite at around 3pm, we bickered all the way there and had our version of a PDA (a public display of arguing) in a cafe before both of us finally chilled out (we are a normal couple – we row and get on each others nerves. I am not going to sugarcoat it!) when we got to our destination after taking a few detours as we always manage to miss our turning!

Still, we managed to squeeze another camping trip into this summer, even if we had to rush back for me to get to work at midday on Sunday! That is always a positive, and I managed to cycle around 31 miles in total which I am pleased with.

I want to keep my fitness and stamina levels up and I hope to take part in a longer distance cycle event next year, maybe 40-50 miles? Outings like this are a great way to continue my training, see parts of the country that I haven’t seen before and get some camping in before Autumn gets here and the temperatures drop.

Another major reason to scrap my idea for a second blog is that we didn’t manage to take any decent photos! We were far too busy riding and enjoying ourselves and who wants to lug around a massive DSLR on a bike ride? We just used our mobiles to take some grainy point and shoot amateur snaps. I much prefer to enjoy the moment rather than stage photo opportunities for my blog!

We camped at a site in St Nicholas at Wade in Kent for one night and rode out to Reculver, then along the Thanet coastal promenades (dismounting in the no cycle zones of course, because we are considerate cyclists!), stopping at a pub outside Broadstairs, past a (fake) Viking ship, then back inland through some pretty villages following the national cycle route 15. This route was 50% off road and 50% on road. I am getting a little braver with my riding on the roads, but it is still something I am not hugely fond of.

Inevitably while riding down quiet country lanes, you cannot avoid passing road kill. Its not pretty and something that you try not to look at. However, on our way to Reculver, and quite inland, we saw the strangest ever road kill – a massive fish! Rob said that it serves it right for not looking (he was joking BTW, for those who are sensitive about these things!), but the mind boggles! I guess it must have fell off the back of a lorry or something.

Apparently all the way around my back brake was squeaking. Rob said he kept hearing a funny sound from my bike and it looked like I was riding on my brakes all the time. I wasn’t, although I don’t like going to fast downhills, I do tend to brake all the way down them as I am a chicken! I did hear a funny noise, but I thought that it was the birds chirping for the whole 30 odd miles! Rob found my mistake amusing, for some reason, but he might not be laughing when he gets covered in grease fixing my brakes!

Here is my obligatory screen shot from my Strava account and a couple of mobile snaps of the pair of us looking terrible in lycra! You will see why I do not put any photos of myself up on here! I hate having my photo taken, smile awkwardly and stand funny! Plus spot the huge scar on my leg from when I fell off my bike racing my nephew back in May – my Pretty Polly/Venus razor modelling days are over now for sure!

I forgot to set my Garmin at the beginning!

I forgot to set my Garmin at the beginning!

Look at the boat rather than sweaty, red faced me!

Please look at the boat rather than sweaty, red faced me!

A beer garden with a sea view. Lots of jelly beans and water were consumed here!

A beer garden with a sea view. Lots of jelly beans and water were consumed here!

More Camping Good Times!

It seems that my camping trips are like buses. Nothing, then they all come along at once!

Just over a week ago Rob and I did a little tour in the van, camping first at Ivinghoe in Bedfordshire, then traveling on to Truck Festival in Oxfordshire.

For the third year in a row, I bought Rob Truck festival tickets for his birthday, and we decided to do the same as we did last year where we camped somewhere near (ish) the festival site for a few days beforehand, then went onto it. Truck festival is only on for two days, so this is our way of prolonging the good times! And nope, I have never heard of Ivinghoe either, until I searched online for nice campsites near nice bike routes!

After a massive Google-athon I found a trail called the Ridgeway (which I also had never heard of before) which you can cycle on for half the route. Unfortunately I booked us on a campsite at the wrong end of the 87 mile route – You know me, I never do my research properly! Whoops! But even though we never got to ride our bikes, we still had a lovely time and fell in love with the area, and have vowed to go back again as soon as we get an opportunity to do so. We have also added walking the Ridgeway in full to our bucket lists. I am itching to do some proper hiking after watching Wild recently!

Here are some picture from our stay at Ivinghoe. Sorry, there might be a lot of the same thing but it was just so beautiful!

The night we arrived there was a nice sunset.

The night we arrived there was a nice sunset.

A snap from my mobile - I like the orange glow the sun set cast over the van.

A snap from my mobile – I like the orange glow the sun set cast over the van. Spot my super long shadow!

Ivinghoe Beacon. Of course we walked up to the top of it. I like to get high on my holidays!

Ivinghoe Beacon. Of course we walked up to the top of it. I like to get high on my holidays!

The campsite had a nice play area as well as a nice view. We want to come back again with my nephews and family.

The campsite had a nice play area as well as a nice view. We want to come back again with my nephews and the family.

From the campsite, the start of the Ridgeway trail.

From the campsite, the start of the Ridgeway trail.

On top of the beacon

On top of the beacon

There was some chalk figure in the distance

There was a chalk figure in the distance

Look its our van from the top of the beacon (with a zoom lens)!

Look, its our van from the top of the beacon (using a zoom lens)!

More views. Not too shabby, eh!

More views. Not too shabby, eh!

more viewsfieldsbeehills

Walkers are spoilt for choice!

Walkers are spoilt for choice!

We walked for around 12 miles, climbing up to the top of the beacon, then wandering though woods into Buckinghamshire to a National Trust spot called the Ashridge Estate which had a monument that allowed visitors to climb up to the top for £2.50. The man collecting the money at the bottom of the stairs told me that I would be able to see all the way to Wembley Stadium and the Shard! I had to go up there of course, as I am such a big kid when it comes to going up somewhere high!

Unfortunately, we never saw the famous London landmarks because it was too hazy, and it was up here that I learned, after 13 odd years of togetherness, that Rob does not like heights! He said it just proves how much I listen to him, and I just sniggered at him pressing himself against the wall and not going anywhere near the railings! Aren’t we such a cutesie couple eh!

From my mobile - the monument.

From my mobile – the monument we climbed up.

From my mobile - the view from the top of the monument. You can see all the way to the Shard apparently.

From my mobile – the view from the top of the monument. You can see all the way to the Shard apparently.

Next, on Friday morning we drove onto Truck festival for our next two nights. We like Truck festival as its a smaller, family friendly festival and is pretty chilled and relaxed. This year it seemed that they had increased the capacity, as it was much more crowded and the queues for the toilets we pretty bad (think Glastonbury levels). Worst still, we could not get into the barn to see one of the bands who we were looking forward to seeing the most, as the venue was at full capacity. I was gutted as we were really looking forward to seeing Slaves again. Boo.

But despite the increased crowds (which also meant that there were more coke snorting dickheads around) and the poor toilets (which there were less of than last year, but more festival goers. Go figure?) we still enjoyed ourselves and managed to watch a few bands. No one particular blew us away, but we enjoyed The Charlatans, Basement Jaxx, Public Service Broadcasting and Peter Hook. We also enjoyed a few bevy’s, lots of BBQ’s back at the van and put our hands up for Detroit Maidstone. Or at least I did, as Rob can still only raise one arm halfway up, due to his ongoing shoulder problems!

More snaps below, all from our mobiles I am afraid as we didn’t bother with the proper camera at Truck this year.

I do love camping in our van!

I do love camping in our van!

Inside the awning - keg set up and a can of wife beater on the go!

Inside the awning – keg set up and a can of wife beater on the go!

Another snap of our camping set up. Rob cooking something greasy for breakfast!

Another snap of our camping in action. Rob cooking something greasy for breakfast!

Inside the barn. This years theme was Xmas.

Inside the barn. This years theme was Xmas.

On the big wheel. Another £2.50 well spent getting high.

On the big wheel. Another £2.50 well spent getting high.

Oh, and the only things we forgot to take this time were eggs and my contact lenses. Not bad for us, considering we nearly drove off without our bedding, but remembered at the last minute. That would have been interesting!

A Quick Camp Out At Lydd

Rob and I are both off work this week. I hope its an opportunity to catch up on my blogging, but its Thursday already (whaaaat!), and is a really busy week for both of us as we are frantically decorating before we get the new flooring fitted next week, and generally trying (and failing) to keep the dust under control and our house looking semi-respectable!

Amidst all the chaos indoors we managed to go camping locally for one night at Lydd, near Dungeness Kent. This was our first camp out of the season due to time constraints and Robs shoulder injury.

It was a last minute decision to go away. I basically dragged Rob away from his desk (his work has been really stressful of late) and all the decorating, to make him get some well deserved R+R!

I booked the campsite online the day before, and on the morning we set out, we packed our bags and food and then bought any extras that we needed in the supermarket on route. I thought to myself – “we are getting really efficient at this camping lark, look how easy the planning and packing was”….

….That was until we got there and I realised that we had forgot to pack our towels!!!

Ah well, there is always something that you forget to pack, eh! At least we remembered the important stuff like beer and a bottle opener.

Neither of us took our cameras as it was only a one nighter. We went on a nice bike ride into Rye, to a lovely pub, riding all the way on a dedicated cycle path which is part of the National cycling network. (Which you can find out more about here and sign a petition for more funding and investment here – Thanks Secondhand Susie for that link!)

Here are my two obligatory grainy Instagram snaps! And if you are interested, after wondering if we would be able to buy a couple of cheap beach towels at the nearby Camber Sands resort, we decided instead to just drip dry and improvise with a clean tea towel for me and a pair of boxer shorts for Rob!camping at lyddfire pit

New Forest 2015

Rob and I have just got back from a short mid week break to the New Forest!

We had been itching to get away somewhere on holiday ever since the new year, and discussed many options of were and when to go. We did consider a city break in Europe, and we got very close to booking a short break to Copenhagen (I wanted to see the SAS hotel and other Arne Jacobsen landmarks, the Finn Juhl house and go to the design museum etc), but in the end I chickened out because I did not want to fly! Another factor that contributed to our decision was the cost. We are very lucky to own a camper van, and so we want to enjoy it as much as possible. We much prefer to have lots of budget mini getaways rather than one big indulgent holiday!

Saying that though, last week we stayed in a caravan at Sandyballs holiday park. Its far too cold for me to camp! I am a bit of a diva when it comes to what time of the year to camp. For me, a large part of the camping experience is sitting around outside your van/tent in the evenings eating, drinking and talking rubbish. In early March the evenings are chilly, the nights still draw in quite early and the mornings are damp and dewy. We do know people on the VW scene who camp all year round, but I am not that hardcore. Instead I enjoyed the gas fire and central heating in the caravan!

The aim of this holiday was to get away from home and work, and to relax and enjoy some hiking, biking, swimming, eating and drinking. We certainly did all of that!

We had a lovely time, it was out of season so the park was nice and quiet, we lucked out with the weather (for once it didn’t rain!), we got out on our bikes every day, saw lots of ponies (including two who were very interested in our picnic lunch!) and just enjoyed our van – even though we didn’t camp in it, its still nice to explore the beautiful surroundings in it.

Here are some pictures, all taken by Rob, from our break. Warning – I hope you like lots of pictures of ponies!woodsstreampath

there was no way I was going to pedal up that hill!

There was no way I was going to pedal up that hill!

It might have been best to go through the gate. Hindsight, eh!

It might have been easier to go through the gate. Hindsight, eh!

birdydeerserniemossgull

Lymington harbour

Lymington harbour

tired ponyred ponywhite ponyvan and ponypony pony

Camping At Kingsdown, Nr Deal

At long last I had a weekend off, so Rob and I managed a quickie.

Thats a quick local camping trip for one night only. In case you were wondering!

We headed down to a cute looking campsite with sea views in Kingsdown near Deal in Kent. What can I say really, it was lovely and we had a wonderful time. The site was great, the village and its three pubs were great, the beach was a five minute walk away, the food was great, the Kelly Kettle was great. So yeah, it was all great!

Did you hear me mention Kelly Kettle, you say?

Yup thats right, Rob twisted my arm and persuaded me to part with my hard earned cash and buy him one as an early Xmas present (and his only Xmas present). It was a success! We both love it and drank far too many mugs of de-caff coffee (as we forgot to pack any teabags!) Its such a simple thing, but foraging for dry grass and twigs to light a fire is pure fun, and taps into our inner girl guide/scout/caveman/cavewoman instincts. It just added another element to our camping experience and if you are into the great outdoors, I recommend that you treat yourself to one.

As well as hot drink making, we also walked the 3 odd miles along the coastal path by the shingle seafront to Deal (stopping at a pub, of course) and back. We ate lovely meal in a local pub and then sat around a campfire, supping hot cups of coffee by our van for the evening.

Fingers crossed that we might be able to manage one or two more quickie camping trips before winter is upon us!van spotkelly kettleIMG_7459IMG_7460cliffbeachpretty housesboat

Isle of Wight 2014

This time last week I was on holiday on the Isle of Wight.

Le sigh, it all seems so long ago.

As ever the island was green, lush, quaint, old fashioned and cute. The weather not so. It pretty much rained everyday. Still, we did not let the weather stop us from having fun. Some of the highlights were – bike riding, coastal path walking, beach going, swimming with the nephews, eating lots of chips and donkey seeing.

Sorry, I do not have many photos to share on here, as very single shot I took has a member of my family in it (its not my place to plaster their photos all over the internet!) Even Rob did not take that many landscape photos because of the pesky weather.

Here are a few obligatory photos from our week away all taken by Rob (as usual). Plus there are a few more on my Instagram account if anyone fancies a gander.

The Needles

The Needles

Colourful chair lifts down to Alum bay. Sorry complete strangers for plastering your photos all over the internet BTW.

Colourful chair lifts down to Alum bay. Sorry complete strangers for plastering your photos all over the internet BTW.

Me on my bike on a really tough, treacherous cycle path. Baby's got back...and front...and sides!

Me on my bike on a really tough, treacherous cycle path. Baby’s got back…and front…and sides!

A donkey at the IOW Donkey Sanctuary. I think this one is called Miley...

A donkey at the IOW Donkey Sanctuary. I think this one is called Miley…

Poppy the donkey. Almost as cute as our cat Poppy!

Poppy the donkey. Almost as cute as our cat Poppy!

And finally, my fave, Dave the donkey. Everybody knows a Dave including donkeys!

And finally, my fave, Dave the donkey. Everybody knows a Dave including donkeys!

Camping In Uffington and Truck Festival 2014

Sorry to overshare on my last post and involve you all in my shopping list!

Its about time that I shared our actual camping trip instead of just harping on about the boring, practical side of our future camping trips!

Almost two weeks ago we set off on our first touring camping trip. Truck Festival is a small festival thats only on for two nights and opens on the Friday morning, so we thought that we would make more of a break by camping somewhere nearby first.

Neither of us know the area, so using the power of Google and Google maps (how did we ever manage to do anything without search engines back in the old days, aka the 90’s?) I selected a campsite on the basis that it was near some beauty spot (the White Horse at Uffington), had showers, was near a pub and had a tea room. Basically it ticked all the boxes.

However, the tea room was only open on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays. You should have seen Robs disappointed face! He bemoaned the fact that I did not do my research properly (to be fair, I hadn’t. I am a lazy Googler) and that he had been looking forward to his cream tea for weeks!

But fear not, we managed to eat far too many calories for our own good, despite the lack of homemade scones on our holiday. We had an amazing lunch in a thatched pub in the cutest of tiny villages (Woolstone) and ate far too many sausages and fried food than was necessary!

Cue lots of photos of our time away. All taken by Rob of course. I took my camera, but did not bother to use it as per usual.

On the first night at the campsite we saw an amazing sunset.

On the first night at the campsite we saw an amazing sunset.Then the next day we decided to climb up the hill to see the White Horse.steep steep 1steep 2Boy, was it a steep climb on a boiling hot, humid day. But worth it, as the views were amazing, countryside as far as the eye could see. And Swindon.

The second picture above was included to show how high up we went, showing the portaloos in one of the fields belonging to the campsite, and the third picture is not the best shot I know, but I wanted to share just how steep the hill was that we climbed. Look at it next to the edge of the woods! Yes, we are mental to climb up that on one of the hottest days of the year!skyWhen we reached the the top we had an added extra bonus. Look into the distance in the sky in the above picture. Whats that you spy? Why, its only the the red arrows!

Its not really my thing, but Rob loved it! He really is a big kid at heart who loves anything that has a noisy engine. He even told me that seeing the red arrows made up for him missing out on his cream tea! Bless.

We enjoyed a free air display for around 20 minutes and saw them do their thing like the smoke trails and fly over our heads really fast and close.arrowsarrows 2We walked down the hill the less steep, more sensible way.me on a hillLook its me with the White Horse behind me!

Next we went onto Truck festival. We went last year and had an amazing time. Its a small festival with cheap tickets that we decided to go again this year and had another amazing time (sorry about the amount of amazings in that sentence, my limited vocabulary let me down again. But seriously, it was amazing!)

We rode on the big wheel (so much fun) and saw some great bands. My favourites were the Blood Red Shoes and Andrew WK in the barn.barnThe barn/cow shed is such a great place to see live bands. I love it in there! You can even smell the farming aroma, which adds a certain something to the atmosphere.andrew wkwkI love Andrew WK’s grin! Its so menacing!