The pleasures of camping

The next two blogs are inspired by our last weekend away camping in Dorset. We were staying at a lovely secluded campsite near Corfe Castle. Now I don’t know whether Him up there has a sense of humour when he knows we’re just about to spend a few nights under canvas but just before we leave, when we’re packing the car up to overflowing, there’s usually weather warning of gale force winds. Last August in we arrived at a beautiful little campsite in the Cornish sunshine. Not fooled by the lovely day we’d listened to the weather forecast and mentioned the severe storms expected when we booked in.  

‘Oh, I haven’t heard anything like that,’ smiled the proprietor as he showed us to our pitch. half an hour later when we were mid construction, usually a time when tempers fray, he returned on his sit on mower laughing, ‘You were right. I’ve just been speaking to the Coast Guard. You’d better tighten your guy ropes. We’re in for a stormy night.’

There are times when we’ve even headed for the B & B for the first night to wait until it improves. A couple of years ago in Devon we did just that and stayed on the edge of Brixham. The following morning we were debating what the weather was going to do since it was still pouring with rain, so we asked if the B & B had a bed for that night too.

 ‘No problem,’ the cheerful lady had replied and so we booked for another night.

‘You can turn the water hoses off the roof now that they’ve booked in again,’ called out one of the other regular guests. Everyone laughed.

Don’t get me wrong. Once the tent is up then it’s quite enjoyable listening to the rain pattering down as you try to sleep. In fact a gentle rain while camping can be quite soporific. I never sleep more deeply than I do under canvas. I don’t know whether it’s all that fresh air or the sound of the birds in the morning, but I seem to be able to leave any worries or stress far behind and truly relax.

This time in Dorset the first night was fine.  It was the following day when the heavens opened up. We only had our little tent with us. If we’d had room to sit it out then we may not have been tempted by a night at The Pines Hotel in Swanage. It felt amazingly naughty to look out  smugly on the wind and rain which lashed against out hotel room window. Then there was the treat of a wonderful supper and a comfortable bed to snuggle up in. The following morning the sun was shining again, so much so that after eating a hearty breakfast we could not wait to get back to our tent.  

As we turned the corner and saw our little blue home still sturdy and holding firm, we felt a twinge of guilt for our nights’ extravagance. That night I had the best night’s sleep i’ve had in years. Strange isn’t it.

As far as the weather, the one and only holiday camping when it was dry and sunny for the majority of the fortnight’s holiday was on Guernsey. I rest my case!

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