I woke that morning to yet more blue sky and sunshine, but by the time I had taken the dogs for their first walk and then had breakfast there was quite an accumulation of white clouds up above. I find it can be rather frustrating trying to take photos of places when the sun keeps disappearing behind various clouds so I decided that I would stay local for once and keep my photography to a minimum. Also my food supplies were looking rather depleted so a trip to Asda down in Yarmouth was something I needed to do.
I spent the morning pottering about round the awning and doing all those little jobs which need doing when camping - checking the guylines and the pegs, emptying the loo, filling up the fresh water container, disposing of the rubbish etc - so it was getting on for lunchtime by the time I was ready to go out. My first stop would be Asda then I would have a look round the market and the town centre and maybe walk down to the sea front if the mood took me. I don't normally bother going into Yarmouth town centre these days as I went so many times in my pre-camping years and nothing is ever any different, but just for once it would make a change.
The main road into Yarmouth took me past the greyhound/stock car stadium and the turn off to the racecourse before curving round to the right and heading for the railway station, Asda, and all routes to the south and west, and it was only when I saw the long line of traffic up ahead that I remembered - being Saturday many visitors were leaving Yarmouth for home as others were arriving and the big roundabout near Asda would be extremely busy, causing the long tailback of stop-start traffic. I had no choice initially but to join the queue, but being very familiar with the area I knew a way to avoid most of it so as soon as I could I swung off to the left and went along a minor road in the direction of town, then turned right down a side street and rejoined the queue almost where it reached the roundabout, saving myself several hundred yards, at least ten minutes in time, and keeping my patience intact!
Arriving at Asda a couple of minutes later I found a space down at the bottom end of the car park, and leaving the dogs in the van I went to do my quick bit of shopping. It didn't take long and when I got back to the van I stored my stuff away under the bed then clipped the leads on the dogs and set off for a mooch around town. The town centre is about seven minutes walk away from Asda and my route through the side streets brought me out at one end of the large and very busy market so that's where I started my mooch. I hadn't gone very far when I came to a stall selling ladies wear and on one of the rails were some nice looking casual tops in many different colours - ideal to wear for work, around the house, and camping. It took a bit of searching to find my size in each colour but I managed it eventually and handed £20 to the stallholder. Now unlike many women I don't often shop for clothes but when I do and I see something I like I get one of every colour available as long as the price is reasonable, and at £1.99 each or three for £5 these hardly broke the bank - so I came away from the stall a very happy bunny with a dozen nice tops which would last quite a while.
Resisting the temptation to buy anything else I wandered to the far end of the market, along the main street with its modern shops and down a couple of arcades filled with more old fashioned shops and little tea rooms. I didn't go into the big modern shopping mall as dogs aren't allowed and I wouldn't leave Sophie and Sugar outside for any length of time, so I headed down Regent Road instead. This is the long road, now pedestrianised for most of its length, which runs from the town centre to the sea front, and which is full of the usual seaside type shops selling clothes, gifts, rock, ice cream etc and with a few cafes thrown in for good measure. It had been a few years since I last went down there but things had changed so little that it could have been only last week - there were still the same old shops selling the same old stuff.
Reaching the bottom of Regent Road I crossed the road near Britannia Pier and turned right along the promenade, aiming to walk along as far as the Pleasure Beach and back. The amusement arcades and cafes all seemed to be the same as the last time I walked along there and the horse drawn carriages still trundled along, but where they used to be in the midst of all the traffic they now had their own lane separated from the rest of the road. The sea front gardens were much the same but a lot of other changes had taken place - a pirate-themed crazy golf course had sprung up part way along the promenade and beyond it was a sprawling two-storey brick and concrete monstrosity of a building which seemed to be made up of several different sections sandwiched together. Part of it seemed to be a leisure centre and glancing through an open door as I walked past I could see people roller skating in what looked like an indoor basketball court. The pirate crazy golf place looked quite attractive and I took a few photos of it but this building was just downright ugly and did absolutely nothing for the look of the promenade.
Beyond that building were more gardens, broken up by a large car park, the entrance to Wellington Pier and a few gift shops and take-away kiosks and finally the Pleasure Beach with a huge log flume ride which hadn't been there the last time I was down that way. I stood for a few minutes watching the logs and their occupants go round, it was quite a long course with the steepest decent being just near to where I was standing - there was quite a sizeable splash when the logs hit the bottom though I was just out of range so I didn't get wet. It looked to be quite a good ride, it's just a shame that the whole thing looked like it had been built out of inferior quality scrap metal - a nice bright paint job would have made it look so much better.
Fairgrounds and amusement places don't really hold much attraction for me - if it goes more than three feet off the ground and turns round or upside down you won't get me anywhere near it! - and I had no desire to actually wander round the place, so after watching the log flume I set off back in the direction of town and on to Asda car park to retrieve the van. Back at the camp site I connected the awning back up to the van as I had no intention of driving anywhere else, then made a brew and a sandwich and prepared to relax for the rest of the day and evening. Mulling over my mooch round Yarmouth I came to one conclusion - the sea front is not, in my mind anyway, a particularly attractive place, and I certainly won't be in any rush to go there again.
- 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