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 March 6th 2016 - A different way to spend Mother's Day

Today I did something which has nothing whatsoever to do with camping - I went  4 x 4 off-roading, though not, I hasten to add, in my own van. After a spur-of-the-moment visit to my ex's brother and sister-in-law yesterday, during which they had said they were going off-roading today, I decided that as the venue was only half an hour's drive from home, and providing the weather was reasonable, I would go along to see what it was all about.

After a very early flurry of wet snow which only lasted a few minutes the morning turned out dry and sunny so with an extra layer of clothing on I threw my wellies and a spare jacket in the van and set off. The site was simple enough to find, though the long track leading to it from the main road had so many ruts and potholes it was almost like an off-road course in itself; meeting Alan and Louise in the parking area I swapped my trainers for the wellies, grabbed the camera, and after taking a couple of shots of the general area I climbed into the back of their appropriately-named 4 x 4 Range Rover, Mud Muncher, and off we went.

Tracks and trails snaked through the bushes and trees, interspersed with areas of open land, water, steep banks and huge mounds of earth, and everywhere there was mud, mud and more mud. Tree branches scraped right along the side of the Muncher and one area of water we went through was so deep that had I got out of the Muncher just there it would have been well over the tops of my wellies. With no set course to follow drivers could go wherever they chose; there were deep ruts in many of the tracks and more than once we came across someone stuck in the mud. At one point Alan stopped to pull another vehicle out using the winch on the front of the Muncher and when I got out to take a photo I landed in a load of thick gloopy mud which came well above my ankles.

After following several trails through one part of the site we took a break for a brew then tackled another area later on. The rough land made for some rough driving and I got thoroughly bounced around in the back of the Muncher; fortunately I was belted in, though trying to hold the camera steady and film through the front windscreen was quite a difficult task and at one point I was bounced so violently that my head almost hit the roof. Round the tracks and up and down slopes we went, with the Muncher getting so plastered with mud that visibility was almost nil and we had to stop so Alan and Louise could wash the windows.

Another steep slope was negotiated and across the far side of a level area was a huge, high and very steep mound of earth which Alan headed straight towards; I couldn't believe we were going up that 'mountain' and I didn't think we would do it but we went up in one go, and after stopping briefly on the top we went down the other side, followed the track through more trees and bushes, tackled yet another slope then finally arrived back at the parking area. Unfortunately the rough terrain had aggravated an already-present mechanical fault underneath the Muncher which meant that had we continued we risked getting stuck in the mud somewhere, so the decision was made to quit before any damage was caused, the Mud Muncher was washed off and loaded onto Alan's wagon, and after another brew and a cheeseburger we all set off for home.                                                        

This had been my first experience of off-roading and when I left home this morning I didn't really know what to expect, in fact I did think I may even get bored, but that certainly wasn't the case. My only disappointment was that other than my wellies I didn't get covered in mud - oddly enough, I'd been looking forward to that - but I'd been jolted, rocked, and bounced around in the back of the Mud Muncher, I'd been driven up steep slopes I didn't think it was possible to drive up, and I'd had a blast. I'd been unable to spend Mother's Day with my son as he was working but the off-roading had more than made up for it - I'd had the best fun I've had in ages, and having now been once I definitely want to go again if and when the opportunity arises.