Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A stormy camping trip

I'm not a born camper... I don't like being cold and I don't like slumming it basically.
I have camped before at Pony Club camp when I was younger and the last time I camped was in 2013 at a friend's wedding where I took my horse trailer and slept in that so it was a little more civilised than a tent.

I'd love to go to Glasto but my friend has told me I would hate the filth and the loos and the camping in general so it makes me feel less bad about never going! 

This same friend then decided that we needed to go camping for a couple of nights... for fun!
She is based in Lincoln so we decided that the Cotswolds would be a reasonable distance from each of us so I did a quick Google search and found Thistledown Farm near Stroud.
It has no electric, no cars on the field and composting loos! Very eco-friendly!
It got amazing reviews and looked absolutely lovely so I sent the link to S who then insisted we must go ASAP!
We got time off work at the beginning of October (seriously... camping in a tent in October... yep....) and off we went with the doggies in tow.

There was an horrific storm due to roll in but S insisted we must go! I was dreading it slightly but also quite looking forward to our adventure and assuming that they would have got the weather report wrong as usual. 

Funnily enough, we were the only people on the entire site when we went so we asked where the most sheltered pitch was and they told us this little spot right down in the bottom of the valley next to the woods.
Because cars are not permitted, we had to lug everything down in wheelbarrows and it was quite steep so we had to hang on tight to the barrows of kit!

We pitched our enormous 8 man tent and cracked open a cider!
I had brought dinner with us so we cooked on our camp stoves and sat out on the picnic benches til it got cold and then we retreated inside.



We went to bed waiting for the storm to roll in. The doggies wore their jim jams and snuggled into their duvet but it was still pretty cold.


The wind picked up hugely and at about 5am S said "I don't want to alarm you....  but have we got any more pegs?"
Cue donning full wet weather gear and heading outside to pin the tent down on her side as the wind was trying to pick the tent up! One of the sections of pole had given way but it had got caught so was holding out.
The rain and wind combined made for a very miserable night but amazingly our tent survived.
We did get a little damp inside because the wind was whipping the tent about so much the lining was touching the outside and letting water in.
We did have to gaffa tape another bit of tent pole that had shattered but it held out.

We spent the whole morning sitting in the tent waiting for the storm to pass. We went back to bed for a while and when we woke up at lunchtime it was beautiful!

We went for a lovely walk in Woodchester Park which borders the campsite. It was rather wet in the woods and the doggies got sooo dirty! Monty had a shower when we got back which he wasn't impressed with!




We managed to light a feeble campfire and we had our dinner followed by marshmallows over the fire. 
We only had a fork to put the marshmallows on though so it was a bit of a comedy act trying not to burn your hands whilst cooking the marshmallow!


It rained on the second night but because the wind wasn't so bad, we stayed much drier!
Dixie also discovered that the inside of my sleeping bag was lovely and warm so squeezed in next to me. 
Sleeping bags are really not designed to fit a human and a small dog! It wasn't very comfortable I must admit! But at least Princess Dixie was warm and cosy in her 2 pairs of pyjamas and my sleeping bag! 

In the morning we packed everything up and paid for the campsite people to take all our stuff back to the car in their 4x4 vehicle rather than lug it all back to the top of the hill on foot!

We set off in search of the nearby Long Barrow and found it just up the road.
The view was a-maz-ing! Looking out all the way to Wales.



The long barrow was a small collection of stones so not very exciting!

We followed this little jaunt with lunch at a pub before we set off home in our separate directions.

We were all very glad to get home. Dixie hated camping but Monty didn't mind it.

Us humans quite enjoyed it and it was such a shame the weather ruined it as we could have done so much more!

We have said we'd like to go again and S has her sights set on the Lake District. It is beautiful up in the Lakes but it is so far away! It would take me about 6 or 7 hours to drive there!

We shall see. Maybe Cornwall or the Cotswolds again!

xxx

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