It was fine when I woke that morning, though when I took the dogs for their first walk up the lane it was obvious from the saturated ground that it had rained for most of the night - thank goodness I got those wellies last time and decided to keep them in the van, I really needed them now. Back from the dog walk I made some breakfast then once that was out of the way, and with no reason to linger on the site, I made a start on packing up. Unfortunately though, the state of the ground didn't help matters and as I went to and from the van the mud which was outside the tent quickly transferred itself to the inside via my feet, which didn't exactly make me a happy bunny. I almost wished I'd opted for the hard standing pitch I should have been on instead of changing my mind and pitching on the grass - I should have remembered from last time what it would be like in wet weather, but then it had been a glorious day when I got there.
By the time I'd got to the stage of taking the tent down there was mud everywhere - it was on the carpet in the van, on the tent, in the tent, on my new tent carpet, on me, on the dogs even though they'd not been off the lead, on their bed, and worst of all on my duvet where they'd brushed against it on their way in from our earlier walk. As I pulled out the tent pegs, getting my hands filthy in the process, I just wanted to get away from there as soon as I could - this mud wasn't funny and I wasn't in the mood for much more of it. Fortunately once all the pegs were out it didn't take long to remove the poles, fold the tent and get it back in the bag, then after saying a quick goodbye to the other nutters who were also in the process of packing up I was finally ready for off. The next problem was driving off the waterlogged pitch and as I reversed slowly I didn't think I would make it but I did, and once I'd got onto the gravel road through the site I drove round to the shower block to give my hands a good wash and change from my wellies to my trainers.
As I left the site I realised that although I was the last of the group to start packing up I was actually the first to leave, which was unusual for me, but for once I was just glad to get away. As I left the village behind and headed down the main road I relaxed a bit, and with a cd to sing along to my mood improved with the drive. It was still only lunchtime when I arrived home, and as I pulled up outside the gate I felt almost human again. Later on, as I downloaded my photos onto the pc, I thought over the last couple of days - my trip to Bolton Abbey had produced some good pics, I'd met up with a good crowd and the beach party evening had been good fun and very enjoyable. I'll say one thing for Riverside though - it's a lovely site in a lovely area and though this was probably my last camp of the season I have every intention of staying there again in the future, but not if there's any chance of wet weather!
- 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