After delaying my ten-day Anglesey holiday for two days due to a rather odd set of circumstances I was finally on the road by late morning. It was a very wet road too as it had been raining since early morning, but an hour or so away from home I left the rain behind and it was just dull and grey for the rest of the journey, though as I drove along the A55 coast road and got to the point where Anglesey came into view I could see that a large part of the island was bathed in sunshine - that would do for me.
There was no-one around when I finally arrived at the camp site - reception and the warden's caravan were both closed so I just drove in, headed for the bottom end of the family field, picked a spot in roughly the same place as last year and started to set up camp. Everything went well until I was pegging out the guy lines then all at once there was a horrendous ripping sound and a huge tear appeared right along the tent roof. The rip in the side, which I'd sustained just over a week previously, had been bad enough but this was much worse and was probably irreparable; my lovely blue tent had finally died after four years of faithful service. Luckily I'd previously thought of a back-up plan in case the worst happened and I'd packed the van accordingly, so the disaster wasn't insurmountable.
A couple of years ago a friend had given me her 4-berth tent which had only been used for three days when she came camping with me for a long weekend back in 2012. It didn't have a groundsheet and I hadn't been able to find the bedrooms for it (they were in the loft somewhere) but I'd packed it as a spare and though I couldn't really live in it as it was I could sleep in the van and use the tent for storage and as somewhere to wash and dress. So with the bedrooms taken out of my own tent I dismantled it and packed it away again then erected the spare tent in its place on top of the footprint groundsheet.
Although it was the same style as mine it was slightly smaller and not quite as high so the bedrooms were a bit on the saggy side but at least they were functional, and having their own groundsheets would provide weather-proof storage for my clothes, camp bed and anything I would not now be using. With the kitchen unit set up across the back of the tent, the larder unit in one corner and the loo in one of the bedrooms everything was soon sorted.
My bed in the van, which was already made up from the previous weekend, was supported at the end by a spare workout bench which stuck out across the width of the van behind the two front seats - this provided a great table/sandwich preparation/brew making area, so with the vacant middle passenger seat as my armchair and my tv on the small camping table slotted over the arms of the front seats I could live quite comfortably for the next eight days. I would need to transfer the electric cable into the tent and move the tv and the table when I wanted to go out somewhere but that wasn't a problem, and at least the dogs and I would be cosier in the van than living and sleeping in a tent with no attached groundsheet.
While I'd been sorting everything out the weather had been getting better and by late afternoon it was glorious - time to take the dogs for a walk so off we went down to the beach and back. Walking through the camp site I could see that half a dozen or so permanent caravans on the main part were occupied but other than those there was no-one else around; it looked like I was in for a nice quiet few days, at least until the weekend. Back at the van I spent the rest of the day and evening relaxing with my book and watching a bit of tv, then after the usual bedtime dog walk round the site the three of us settled in for our first night in our alternative living quarters.
- 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