After the glorious weather of the previous day I woke that morning to fine but heavy rain - the stuff that wets you within seconds of going out. I didn't really fancy taking the dogs out in that and I knew they wouldn't be too keen on going anyway so I put them on their line outside the awning for just long enough for them to quickly do what they wanted to do then I brought them in again, where they promptly went straight back in their bed. With weather like that there was obviously no rush for me to go anywhere so I made some breakfast and followed their example, retreating back to bed with my book - I hadn't seen or heard anything of Janet so I assumed she was doing the same.
My plans for the day - had the weather been good - had been to drive back up the coast and continue exploring from where we left off the previous day, finishing at Seahouses where we were going to visit my friends Colin and Joan who were arriving later that day at a camp site up there, but there was no point exploring in weather like that so there was nothing for it but to while away the hours in the awning. It was 4pm by the time we were ready for going out and it was still raining steadily, if anything harder than before. Colin had told me that they wouldn't be arriving at their chosen site until about 1pm so I'd given them plenty of time to set up camp and get organised - it would be about 5pm when we got there so they should be ready to receive visitors by that time.
We were two thirds of the way into the journey when I realised that I hadn't got my directions to the camp site. It was in a bit of an isolated spot on the outskirts of Seahouses and a few days previously I'd looked it up on Google Earth and written down the route - which would have been fine if I hadn't left the piece of paper on top of my pc at home! Oh well, I would just have to trust the satnav part of my brain to instinctively know which way to go - and just as on previous occasions it didn't let me down. My memory and good sense of direction led me through the country lanes beyond Seahouses and straight to the camp site entrance without the need to even consult the map book. Colin was standing in the tent doorway when we pulled up on his pitch and after welcoming Janet he put the kettle on for a brew, Joan made a coffee and we spent a very pleasant couple of hours chatting before it was time for us to leave.
As we drove away from the site we both decided that we were ready for something to eat so rather than wait until we got back to our own camp site, and as it was our final night, we would dine out. Driving through Seahouses itself the first place we came to was the Harbour Inn, a large white-walled pub with a board outside which said meals were served all day, so I pulled into the adjacent car park and we went to see what we could find in the way of food. We went in through the first door we came to, which led us straight into what looked to be the restaurant part of the pub - and what a strange place it was. With laminate flooring, plain painted walls and half a dozen tables covered with white tablecloths it looked like it had once been a games room that had been turned into a dining room as an afterthought; there were no furnishings other than the tables and chairs, no pictures on the walls, no cutlery or condiments on the tables, there was no bar and no atmosphere, and in spite of one table being occupied by a family of four the whole room seemed to have a very empty and depressing feel to it. It wasn't the sort of place where either of us would have felt comfortable having a meal so by mutual agreement we went back to the van and decided to look for a nicer place somewhere else. We had got all the way back to Warkworth before we found somewhere - the Masons Arms - but it was worth the wait. This place had a very friendly atmosphere to it and both our meals were nicely cooked and very enjoyable so we were glad that we hadn't stayed at the place back in Seahouses.
With our meal over and drinks finished we set out to cover the last few miles back to the camp site, stopping on the way at a petrol station just outside Amble so I could fill up with diesel - the tank was getting low and I didn't want to wait till we were on the way home and risk not finding a petrol station before I needed one. Back at the site Janet took Aphra across to her own tent and once the awning was connected to the van I fed Sophie and Sugar and took them for their bedtime walk down the lane - fortunately the rain had finally stopped earlier on so at least I didn't get wet. It wasn't even 10 o'clock then but the following day I had to pack up and leave, I had a long drive back home and I had to go to work when I got there, so I had no intention of being in bed late that night. It would be okay if Janet fell alseep on the journey back but it wouldn't do for me to do the same!
- 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