My original intention that morning was to leave home at 8am to arrive in Llangollen just before ten, where I would have breakfast in a cafe then spend some time looking round the shops and taking the dogs for a walk along the riverside before making my way to Felin Uchaf camp site at noon, however it was raining when I was ready for leaving and if the weather was the same in Llangollen mooching about in it wouldn't be very pleasant, so I delayed my departure until 9.30am.
About halfway into the journey the rain stopped and it was fine for the rest of the way, with patches of blue sky breaking through the clouds as I neared Llangollen. It was almost 11.30 when I got there and at that time there was no point stopping so I just drove straight through and made a brief coffee stop at the Tollgate Cafe on the A5 then continued on to the camp site, arriving dead on noon. And that was when I encountered the first of the weekend's minor irritations.
I'd been booked onto pitch 8, which I've been on a couple of times before and which is nice and level, but for some reason Nan, one of the two site owners, asked me if I wouldn't mind going on pitch 1 as there was no hook-up available for pitch 8. Initially I didn't mind but when I saw pitch 1, which is a corner pitch and slightly smaller than the others, I knew there was no way I could use it. Not only was it not level but there were two large deep ruts gouged out of the middle of it, presumably made sometime previously by a vehicle trying to get off the grass, and no matter which way round I pitched the tent I wouldn't be able to avoid those ruts. Pitch 7 was suggested as an alternative and though it wasn't completely level there was just about enough flat ground to accommodate the tent; so pitch 7 it was, and Gwyn, the other site owner, said he would run his own extension cable to another hook-up point for me.
With that minor issue dealt with I made a start on setting up my home for the next four nights and once everything was in place inside the tent I took Sophie and Poppie for a good walk up the nearby lane and back; they'd been really good in the back of the van while I'd been setting up the tent so they deserved a nice walk. I couldn't have timed it better either, as while I'd been sorting out the tent any patches of blue sky had completely disappeared and not long after we got back from our walk the rain arrived.
Apart from a brief let up just after 8pm, during which I took the dogs for a very early bedtime walk before the last of the daylight disappeared, it rained for the rest of the evening and was still at it when I went to bed. Unable to get any tv channels I couldn't watch a weather forecast to get any idea of what the rest of the weekend would be like so I just had to hope it would turn out to be nice; there were several places I wanted to go to over the next few days and rain didn't figure in my plans at all!
- 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