11.30 that morning saw me driving into the entrance to my usual site at California for the second time this summer. I hadn't left home quite as early as I normally do but with not much traffic on the road for the early part of my journey and only two stops en route I had made good time and arrived not much later than on previous occasions. After booking in at reception I drove round to my pitch, and that's where I encountered a slight problem - I was on pitch seven this time but whereas pitches six and eight, which I'd occupied on previous occasions, were both perfectly level number seven had quite a noticeable hump towards the back which would have affected the way my awning pegged down. As both pitches either side were unoccupied I went back to reception to ask if I could swap to one of them but unfortunately they were both booked so I would have to stay where I was, however I solved the problem by parking the van a bit futher forward so the whole of the awning would be on the level part. It wasn't ideal as I felt I was a bit too close to the access road, but when I did get the awning up it was at least clear of the hump. With everything finally in its place and the hook-up cable connected I took the dogs for a quick walk round the site then put the kettle on for a much-needed brew. It was an hour or so later, as I was on my way to the shop, that the site owner called me and said I could swap to pitch number eight if I wanted to as the people booked in had just cacelled - I did briefly consider it, but having got the awning fully set up I didn't really fancy the idea of taking it down again just to move everything a few yards further along so I decided to stay where I was.
Outside reception was a large table set out with a selection of books and cds for sale so on my way back from the shop I went over to have a look, and after spending several minutes browsing through them I chose a couple of cds to play in the van and a book for my son. I was in reception waiting to pay for them when I noticed a small poster on the wall, advertising a seal hospital up at Winterton which was open to the public on Sundays - I hadn't seen the poster in June so maybe this was something new, and feeling rather intrigued I decided to pay a visit up there the following day.
Although it was a lovely sunny day and I would normally be eager to be off out somewhere after I'd set up camp, just for once I didn't really feel like going anywhere or doing anything much so I spent the rest of the day pottering about in the awning or sitting outside in the sunshine, though I did take the dogs down on the beach for a while later in the afternoon. The evening was spent watching a bit of tv and catching up with various posts on UKCS via the laptop, then just after 10pm, even though it was still early by my usual standards, I took the dogs for their final walk of the day before making a last brew and taking myself off to bed. It had seemed a long day and I was more than a little tired, but a good long sleep would see me wake refreshed the following morning and ready to start a new day.
- 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