About Me

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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

Sunday August 27th 2011 - A memory and direction test

I suppose hoping that the previously lovely sunny weather would last right through the bank holiday weekend was expecting a bit too much - when I woke that morning it was to a very grey sky, and when I took the dogs for their first walk there was a touch of rain in the air. I still hadn't made any plans for the day so I decided to drive over to the big car boot sale on the showground then take it from there; if it cleared up later and the sun came out I could think of somewhere else to go then.

After having a very leisurely breakfast and spending quite some time pottering about round the awning it was 11am before I was ready to go out; the sky was still grey but the threatened rain hadn't so far arrived so with a bit of luck it might hold off. When I got over to the showground I found that due to another event taking place there the car boot sale had been relocated to a smaller field next door and there weren't as many stalls as usual, though maybe some of the regular stall holders had looked at the iffy sky earlier on and decided to give it a miss. I was still on a quest for a dog cage for my friend - not to put my friend in, for her to put a dog in! - and though I saw a few hamster cages and bird cages there was nothing suitable for a small dog, so other than getting some dog chews from a pet stall I didn't spend any money.

Back at the van I gave the dogs a drink and a chew each, which they ate in seconds, then took them for a walk round the bottom end of the field while I thought where to go next, and for the want of something better to do I decided to set myself a personal challenge to test my memory and sense of direction. A few weeks previously, when I had met up with Louise who lived in Holyhead, I had gone to her house only by following her from Penrhos coastal park - the route had taken several turns and I had been so intent on not losing sight of her that I hadn't taken much notice of any street names, so with no actual directions would I be able to find a house in a road I didn't know the name of when I didn't know where I was going anyway?? I would put my memory to the test, and if I ended up getting lost it didn't really matter, I would just give up and go on to somewhere else.

From the car boot sale I headed straight up the main road and on the outskirts of Holyhead came to a roundabout - I remembered taking a right turn soon after the roundabout followed by a left, but which left? The first one was a cul-de-sac but the next one looked vaguely familiar so I took that in the hope I was right and drove on with no clear idea of where I was going, however when I came to a T junction my instinct told me to turn right. A bit further along I passed a very pleasant grassy area with a few bungalows across the far side which looked familiar, and round the next bend I could see up ahead the white gable end wall of a pub, or possibly hotel, which also looked vaguely familiar. Instinct kicked in again then and three more turns led me to a small car park set back off the road, and there in the row opposite was Louise's house. I don't know how but I'd actually done it - in an unfamiliar place, and without knowing the names of any roads or streets, I'd found where I was looking for without getting lost. It was no use calling at the house though as I knew Louise was also away camping so in a way the whole exercise was totally pointless, but at least my memory, sense of direction and subconscious observational skills had risen to the challenge, so if I were ever to visit Louise again in the future I knew I would be able to get there without her help.

Turning the van round in the car park and reversing my route I headed back to the main road and not long afterwards pulled into the car park at Penrhos coastal park. I was beginning to feel a bit peckish so a cheeseburger from Pete's Burger Bar would go down nicely. When I went across to place my order I was quite surprised to see that he'd printed out the blog page where I'd written about the cheeseburgers and stuck it in the side window of the van - a testament to the quality of his burgers and maybe a bit of publicity for my blog as well. Needless to say my cheeseburger was just as good as always and along with the coffee was so filling that I wouldn't need anything else to eat for several hours. Sitting in the van and looking at the view I noticed, to the far left across the bay, what appeared to be a small cove with a row of bungalows above it; intrigued, I had a look at the map book to see if I could figure out where it was, and with the general direction in mind I set off to find it.

My route took me north along the A5025 and after passing the first village I turned off down a winding country lane which eventually ended at the entrance to a very large caravan and camping site - I hadn't expected that one! A barrier across the entrance stopped me from driving through so I parked behind another couple of cars on the nearby grass verge and with the dogs on the lead set off to explore. The first part of the site was given over to a couple of rows of static vans, many of which had small fenced-off garden areas and gates, and which looked more like small bungalows than static caravans. Beyond there was a slipway down onto the nearby beach; it seemed to be a very popular site for water sports as there were dinghies, boat trailers, jet skis and 4 x 4 vehicles all over the place, with a couple of old tractors thrown in for good measure and people constantly coming and going. Walking round the outer part of the site I passed touring caravans and a tent area and finally came to the cove I had seen from across the bay, and what I had first thought were bungalows were actually more static caravans. The cove itself was very rocky and I didn't think it was as nice as it looked from across the water but at least I'd satisfied my curiosity and the dogs had had a good walk.

Heading back to the van I stopped by the beach for a few minutes to watch what was going on; there were dinghies and jet skis out on the water, boats being towed back to the site, people walking dogs and a couple of sand yachts with bright sails scooting along the beach. The sun was trying to put in a very feeble appearance but failing miserably, and though I don't normally like taking photos with grey sky I snapped half a dozen. The site itself, although it looked quite nice, seemed to be much too big and too busy for me so I doubt I would ever want to stay there, but maybe on a nice sunny day in the future I'll go back and take another look.

Back at the van I gave Sophie and Sugar a drink then set off back to Benllech, and even though it was such a grey day it was a pleasant, if somewhat fairly long, drive along the coast road. Parking up on my pitch I connected the awning back to the van and apart from taking the dogs for their last walk later that evening I didn't go out again. It had been a funny old day somehow and the grey weather hadn't helped; the trouble was I'd got so used to seeing Anglesey in brilliant sunshine that it just didn't seem the same when it was grey, so hopefully the following day would be much better.

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