I woke that morning to blue sky and sunshine - not being in a rush to get up I lay there for a while listening to the birds in the trees and the various muted noises of other caravanners going about their early morning business. Looking round the caravan it seemed strange to be lying there on my own when only a month before I had been sharing the same space with someone I loved very much, and I couldn't quite believe that what we had both lovingly refurbished inside and out, only twelve months before, was now all mine. But mine it was, and I intended to enjoy every minute I spent in it, so without wasting any more time I got up and started preparations for breakfast. After putting the kettle on I took the dogs for a short walk round the site then put their beds outside the awning so they could enjoy the morning sun while I had my tea and toast and decided what I was going to do with my day.
The morning was spent pottering about and doing all the little things I hadn't done the previous night, one of which was sorting out the waste water situation. Although I had put the waste container under the caravan there didn't seem to be a hose from the outlet for the water to run into it - a search of all the cupboards and drawers proved fruitless, and as I didn't want the water to empty onto the ground I though I'd better rectify the matter if I could. So out came the tape measure, and on hands and knees I measured the diameter of the outlet under the caravan, then went across to the site shop - which is also a chandlery for anything boat-related - to see if I could get a length of hose to fit. I found what I wanted within a minute or so, but it was only sold in lengths of one metre or more and I only needed a short piece - however, after explaining my problem to the nice man behind the counter he agreed to cut me a half-metre length for the extravagant sum of 39p. Walking back to the caravan I was just praying that I'd got things right and the hose would fit - I needn't have worried, it fit the outlet perfectly, so to try it I ran some water down the sink and not a single drop escaped. Perfect - my first 'problem' sorted out satisfactorily!
After lunch I decided I would have a look round Garstang - although I had stayed at Bridge House Marina a couple of times before I had never really looked round the town, and I'd been told that it was a very pleasant walk along the canal, so collecting the dogs and my camera I set out on my first 'voyage of discovery'. The lane from the site leads over a narrow hump-backed bridge across the canal and I couldn't resist getting a couple of shots of the many boats which were moored along the banks.
After reaching the towpath and going under the bridge I let the dogs off their leads so they could explore as they wished - Sugar was very interested in the ducks swimming a few yards from the bank but I managed to persuade her that didn't really want one for her tea. A couple of minutes walking took me under the bridge which carries the very busy main A6, and round a bend in the canal I came upon this lovely white bridge, which although looks quite plain was positively ornate in comparison to the road bridge. I assume the FWB on the side stands for Fylde Water Board, as Garstang is classed as being in the Fylde area.
The canal doesn't actually run through Garstang town centre, it skirts round one side of it, and 15 minutes walking brought me to the point where I had to leave the towpath and go up onto the road - another few minutes and I was in the town centre itself. It's not a very big town - more of a large village really - but there's quite a good selection of shops, a couple of supermarkets, and several pubs and places to get something to eat, so quite a nice little place. It didn't take me long to look round the shops and I stopped a couple of times to take some photos but there were just too many people around for me to get the shots I wanted - after twice having someone walk in front of me just at the wrong moment I conceded defeat and set off back to the site. The walk back was just as pleasant as the walk there, and I could see that becoming a regular 'dog walk'. Back at the caravan I made myself a brew and a sandwich and relaxed outside the awning in the sunshine, deciding that if the weather was good the following day I would go for a cycle ride and explore the canal a bit further.
- Hi! I'm Eunice and I live in Bolton, Lancashire, with my two dogs Sophie and Sugar and an assortment of cats - well it used to be Sophie and Sugar, now it's Sophie and Poppie. I first began camping back in 1997 when my then partner took me to Anglesey for my birthday weekend. We slept in the back of the car - a hatchback - using the cushions off the settee at home as a mattress, and cooked and brewed up on a single burner camping stove. The site was good, the views were great, the weather fantastic and I was completely hooked. Following that weekend we got a two-man tent and some proper accessories and returned to Anglesey two weeks later, then over time we progressed to a three-man tent followed by an old trailer tent, then a new trailer tent, a campervan and finally a caravan. When my partner decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the street - literally - in April 2009 and I suddenly found myself alone after fifteen years, I decided there was no way I was going to give up camping and caravanning if I could cope on my own. This blog is the story of my travels, trials and tribulations since becoming a solo camper - I hope you like it