I woke that morning to very grey skies, and although it was fine it looked like it could start raining any moment. I took the dogs for a walk through the site and down onto the beach, there was a coolish wind blowing in off the sea, and with the grey sky and equally grey sea the morning seemed really dismal, but I kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn't stay like that for long. It hadn't improved by mid morning though, so as it wasn't really a day for going out and about with my camera I decided to drive down to visit some friends who live just over the border in Bungay, Suffolk.
I suppose one advantage of having lived with someone who comes from down there, and who took me to many places in the area, is being familiar with many of the roads and lanes, so I didn't need to consult the map book for how to get there. Just outside Beccles the main road goes over the River Waveney, and two right turns just after the bridge took me to Beccles marina - I parked in the free car park and took the dogs for a walk along the riverside and through the large grassy picnic area before continuing on to Bungay. I had no trouble at all finding the address I was going to - Ady and his mum Jane are lovely people, and when Jane opened the door in answer to my knock she was very surprised to see me as she had no idea that I could drive. Although Ady doesn't live there he was actually doing a job for Jane, so after a quick coffee I went with him to the cafe near the Buttercross in town - they do a very good meal at reasonable prices there and the home made steak pie is delicious. Ady's ground floor apartment is in a small close of modern properties just behind Bungay's main street so I left the van in his parking space while we went to the cafe.
With our meal over we went back to Ady's apartment, rescued the dogs from his kitchen, and took them for a walk round by the castle which was just round the corner. By this time the sky was clearing and large patches of blue were showing through the clouds, so it was quite pleasant walking round the castle green. The castle dates back to the 12th Century, though there's only the curtain walls and the keep left now, but I find it quite fascinating and it's hard to believe that it is virtually in the town centre, being situated just behind the main street.
After our walk I spent some time chatting with Ady in his apartment, then I drove back to Jane's where I stayed for a couple of hours, chatting and catching up on local gossip. I left with the promise to call again next time I was down that way, then drove a few miles back towards Beccles and called to see some more friends. They were equally suprised to see me, and were totally amazed when they realised I had driven all the way from home on my own - they've known me for fifteen years and never thought the day would come when they would see me behind the wheel of a car. I stayed for just about an hour then set off to drive back to California - I arrived back just before the light faded so I could still see to reverse into the right place alongside the awning.
With the van in the right position, the awning attached and the dogs on their beds, I put my blinds up in readiness for later then prepared to settle in for the night. However, not long afterwards the wind blew up all at once and very quickly became quite bad, so I spent the best part of an hour before bed hammering in more pegs and tightening up all the guylines. Only when I was satisfied that everything was as secure as I could make it did I go to bed - I didn't fancy waking up the following morning to find my awning in a tree halfway down the site!
- 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