We have had the little red van for 3 months now (more or less) and we decided it was high time it got properly tested. After all we have tried out the coffee making facilities, we have filled it full of awesome stuff, we have got a colour coordinated cheese knife… it was time for a test!
After all…the last weekend inFebruary is the perfect weekend for a camping trip!! Shortly after 3 on Friday we were all packed up and ready to go. Barnsworth and Tobermory were all set and we had had clothes and shoes and bikes and food…
After a pleasent 2 hour trundle through the english countryside (and a motor way or 2 but shh) we arrived in the rather lovely area of Savernake Forest, Marlborough in Wiltshire. I had never been to this area before and I have absolutely no idea why!! We found the campsite and after circumnavigating it several times we found a not too wet pitch that wasn’t by any bins or facing too many caravans. 😀 This was harder than you might think…the site was surprisingly busy for a february weekend with a wet weather forecast!
Look at the van, all set up and ready for camping 😀
The first evening of the adventure was spent in an excellent Indian Restaurant in Marlborough called 100 Chai Street. It is not at all what you would expect from a British Indian restaurant, it is more like you have been invited into the home of some indian friends! The food is authentic and super tasty!! I highly reccomend it of you are in marlborough!
After an evening with good friends…who I met for the first time that evening…but who are undoubtedly good friends now 🙂 we holed up in the van for the first night camping that wasn’t on a driveway…
It wasn’t the *most* comfortable nights sleep I have ever had I have to admit… I woke up a lot and if I inadvertantly woke up laying on my back I couldn’t move…the bed is slightly on the harder end of the scale. Not to worry though, we have a plan to improve it 😀
As the day had dawned drier than we had anticipated but with evidence of rain around us, we decided to head out for a walk. After all we were camping in a forest, going into it seemd like a good idea 🙂
And it really was a good idea! Savernake forest is lovely, it was designed by Capability Brown so this isn’t really a surprise. And because it was designed by Capability Brown, well designed by anyone really, it has a lot of planned in paths and avenues to walk on without getting lost! It turned into a lovely walk which would be better described in pictures:
After a brief vist to the van…just to check on it you know…wouldn’t want it to be lonley after all (Ok we really needed to pick up a bag). we decided to head down into Marlborough once more to hunt down some lunch. We had been given a recommendation for what purported to be a very good tea rooms and thought it only fair to go and try them.
The walk down to Marlborough took a little longer than I anticipated…not only (but mostly) because we couldn’t find the top end of the pat that leads from the campsite to the town… It wasn’t too long before we arrived at the tea rooms with a healrthy appetite and somewhat more muddy boots than the tea rooms looke like it was used to! Undeterred by the queue and the feelign that we were under-dressed we sucessfully had a very tasty steak sandwich followed by an excedingly good piece of coffee and walnut cake!
This more than adequate fayre bolstered us for our return trip up the hill back to the campsite 😀
just as we arrived back at the van, the rain that had been promised arrived… not bad really as it was 5pm and the rain was forcast to start at 2…I think we got away with it ;-D
During the evenign, we proved to ourselves that it is perfectly possible to cook a meal in the van and as an added bonus we managed to get the front passenger seat to swivel around 😀 It is supposed to swivel…it wasn’t just a strange modification…honest!
Ok…technically the eggs were the next morning but it seemed silly to give them a spot on their own.
Yes, we do have square plates with little vans on 😀 they are awesome!
The second night in the van was a lot more comfortable…yeay! I still can’t sleep on my back but it ewas generally better so that bodes well! We are still going to invest in a memory foam matress topper though…
The second day dawned and we decided that, as we had brought them all the way on a fancy bike rack, we would go out on our bikes 😀 so we tracked down the start of a disused railway line path / cycle path and headed out for what turned out to be a very muddy excursion! The advantage of doing this in a van is that we could get changed and have a civilised lunch bebefore heading home 😀
All in all, a very sucessful first camping ad-van-ture 😀 one or two leassons learned, but that was the point after all!!