When I woke that morning the wind was back and if anything it was worse than the day I arrived on site, though the sun arrived as the morning progressed. After the first dog walk and a leisurely breakfast I tidied everything away then made a start on dismantling my home and packing all the stuff back into the van, with the dogs securely zipped into their bedroom while I was doing it - the last thing I wanted was for Poppie to make another great escape. When I eventually unzipped the top of the bedroom pod I found them both sharing the same bed for the first time since Poppie came to me, and they looked so cute and comfy I couldn't resist taking a quick snap before I disturbed them.
With the two of them out of the way in the back of the van I turned my attention to the tent - and that's when things decided to go pear-shaped. With most of the pegs taken out it was only anchored at both ends and before I had chance to disconnect any of the poles from their rings the wind got hold of it, wrenched it from the remaining pegs and blew it down to the bottom end of the field, where it lodged itself up against the hedge.
Grabbing the first pole I could get hold of I dragged the tent back towards the van but the wind was so strong it blew it towards the hedge a second time, with me hanging on to it for dear life and praying it wouldn't end up getting damaged. I was just glad I hadn't already taken the poles out, as without the weight of those it would probably have gone soaring over the hedge and disappeared into oblivion. As it was, there was no way I could possibly deal with it on my own in such a strong wind without risking it blowing away again, so I dragged it across to the caravan on the other side of the field and asked the couple there if they could help me with it, which they were quite happy to do. So while she sat on one end to anchor it he and I got the poles out, then between the three of us it was folded, rolled and squashed into a bundle which was fastened with a couple of bungee straps. It didn't look particularly neat but at that stage of the game I didn't care, I was just glad it was still in one piece and back in the van.
After a quick check round the pitch for any forgotten tent pegs I took the dogs for a last walk round the site; I would normally have taken them down on the beach for their final walk of the holiday but even in the sunshine it was far too windy to be pleasant so a walk round the site would have to do. Over on the mainland it wasn't quite as windy and the drive home in the sunshine was good; with no delays I was back just after 3pm and feeling a lot less frazzled than when I left the site.
With an hour or so to spare before work I spent some time fixing the three split pole sections; eventually I'll get them replaced but with tape wrapped securely round them they should last for a while longer. As for the weather - well I can honestly say that in the five years I've been camping solo, even though I've experienced more than one bout of high wind that's the first time I've ever really been adversely affected by it. So has it put me off? No chance, I can't wait for my next holiday!
- 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