After the recent beautifully sunny weather I woke that morning to a grey and overcast sky. I didn't mind too much though as I was going home later; as long as it didn't decide to rain before I took the tent down I could live with a bit of grey on my final morning. After a very leisurely breakfast I made a start on packing up and all went well for a while then disaster struck - I dropped the washing up bowl which was about a third full, the water making a lovely puddle right in the middle of the tent. Fortunately it was clean water but there was too much of it to mop up with my towel so I had to go in search of a mop and bucket; luckily the site owners know me quite well and were willing to lend me the mop and bucket from their own kitchen. With the puddle cleared up I returned the equipment to the house and carried on putting things away, and by the time everything was in the van the groundsheet was completely dry and I could take the tent down and pack it back in its bag.
After a look round the pitch for any forgotten tent pegs and with time to spare I locked the van and took the dogs for a walk up the lane to the old castle. This time I was determined to try and get in there rather than just walk round the outside of it and after a bit of perseverence and a lot of fighting through various bushes and other overgrown vegetation I managed to find a small gap between two railings and I was just able to squeeze through. Success! I was actually in the inner grounds of the castle! I spent quite some time wandering round and although I couldn't get into any of the actual buildings as they were all well and truly boarded up, I was able to walk along the path which ran between the various buildings and down to the drive and the main courtyard. With several shots taken I finally made my way back the way I had gone and returned to Manorafon to collect the van.
Of course Sod's Law decreed that as I drove away from the site the sun came out and the sky fairly rapidly turned blue. It was too late for me to go back to the castle and retake the shots I'd just got but as I drove homewards I made a mental note that now I've found a way into the inner grounds I'll have another look round there next time I stay at Manorafon and the sun is shining. That's definitely a mission for the future!
- 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