Friday, 13 September 2013

When the campsite goes camping

Our campsite is small, very rustic with clean, pretty, basic amenities but no "unnatural amusements", so it stands to reason that we need something as a contrast when we go camping ouselves. Hey Presto..... off we went on a camping trip to Woodlands near Dartmouth with a whole posse of Hayle Surflifesavers .
It was only our second year joining the trip but it has just what we want. It's Big by our standards! Still quite rural,with the theme park being set in a wooded valley and the campsite set in large flat fields up on the surrounding hillside. Purpose built, plumbed in hot showers and baths, washing-up facilities and toilet blocks.  Lots of entertainment, waterslides, swing boats, mirror halls, troll caverns, peddleboats, gokart-bikes, assault courses and indoor ball pools,rope playgrounds and an amusement room up near the tents. Food and coffee kiosks if you want them and a Sainsburys only 9 minutes away by car!  Fabulous!
The campsite son is now of an age he can hook up with friends and be virtually independent in his travels round the park which makes it much less hectic for me, meaning I can chill in a chair and people watch, getting caught up in the laughter and happiness of it all.
And as if there wasn't enough excitement by day, by night there was a bush-tucker trial, which this year involved no nasty savouries, such as snake entrails or bulls eyes or bat droppings, to taste by blindfold. This year the tasting pleasures were pure chocolate and sweet treats. Lots of and great fun. How noone was sick, when they laid down to bed in their tents was beyond me!

The weather, true to form was variable, we travelled up in torrential rain, but it eased off a bit, to a light drizzle, whilst I erected the tents in the growing dark.  Three tents later, air beds inflated and the children settling into their beds, I did allow myself a well earned glass of vino, whilst visualising the next day's rides! 
Fortunately the tents did not leak and the airbeds did not deflate. But it was cold.  You forget how different the temperature is camping in June or July, compared to camping in September. Second night I went to bed more prepared,  2 pairs of socks, mittens, pyjamas, cardigan, fleece, sleeping-bag, blanket and coat over my feet...much better! Mental note to self to take hot water bottle next year and a duvet, despite the 3 season sleeping bag. Also mental note, that although the pop up tent is fantastically easy to put up, when erecting 3 tents, it also is colder, since it has no inner and seems to create more condensation on the inside, which, again in september is a dangerous thing at 4am in the morning when sneeking out for a wee!

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