After a night of dreamless sleep the birdsong symphony penetrated my brain just after 6am that morning - with one eye registering the time displayed on my mobile I decided it was far too early to get up, and as the dogs were still sound asleep in their side of the tent I rolled over and dozed off again. When I woke properly a couple of hours later the noise of the birds had been replaced by the noise of rain on top of the tent. I couldn't believe it - after two absolutely brilliant days sod's law had decided it would rain when I had to pack up to come home! I wasn't in too much of a rush though so I retreated back to bed with my breakfast and a magazine in the hope that it would be fine by the time I had to take the tent down. Unfortunately it wasn't; if anything it was raining harder than before and I had to face facts - I was going to get rather damp.
After taking the dogs for a walk down the lane I put them in the back of the van out of the way and started the packing up process. Luckily I was able to transfer all my stuff from the tent to the van without anything getting wet, but the same couldn't be said for the tent itself, which ended up with a veritable paddling pool inside it. I had rolled up the door to stop it from getting in the way as I was going in and out and the rain had run down from the top of the tent and collected in the roll, eventually pouring out of both ends straight into the inside. Fortunately by then I had already removed the bedroom pods and most of my stuff so nothing got wet, it just meant I had a fair bit of mopping up to do. In the absence of a mop and bucket I had to use a towel and keep wringing it out - it took a few goes but eventually I got rid of all the water and I was ready for taking the tent down. That didn't take long, and by the time I'd got it in the van and checked the pitch for stray tent pegs the rain had stopped and the sun was trying to come through - typical!
With everything packed up I let the dogs out of the van, locked up and went across to join Colin and Joan - they were going for a pub snack before leaving for home and I thought I may as well go with them. Eileen and her family had already left the site, as had Lance and Dave, so there was just the three of us and the three dogs. We passed a pleasant hour in what had become our usual corner of the pub, but all too soon it was time to leave and hit the road for home. By then the sun was shining again properly and it was as if the rain had never happened, so it was with great reluctance that I settled the dogs back in the van and drove off the site. This had been my first visit to that area of the Lake District and the glorious weather had shown it at it's best - the scenery was breathtakingly beautiful, and as I drove along the lane in the direction of the main coast road I knew I would be returning before long.
- 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