We tried out a new campsite at the Bank Holiday weekend – and I think it was fair to say it was a trip of highs and lows.
The first ‘high’ was the temperature – the hottest August Bank Holiday ever recorded. Fortunately we had our gazebo for shade, as it really was very warm. A bit too warm maybe… but certainly better than our experience in May of camping on the coldest May Day Bank Holiday ever!!
The first ‘low’ was also the temperature – clear blue skies meant no cloud cover and the contrast between daytime and nighttime temperatures was huge. Sadly this meant some of our camping buddies didn’t sleep so well because they were cold.
In general, we liked our new campsite find. We were particularly pleased that we could walk through the shady woods to the sea at Pett Levels. We were disappointed that the pub and ice-cream stall had closed down, but the teeny tiny church on the beach had its doors open and allowed you to help yourself to tea and coffee for a donation – perfect! Swimming & paddling in the sea was a definite highlight!
There was general consensus that the compost toilets were a low point of the trip. Our newest camping recruit was not keen on them at all, and to be fair to her they weren’t great. Firstly you had to climb some rickety stairs to get to them – definitely a need for another hand rail, plus the door for one of the cubicles could potentially knock someone down the stairs! The toilets were a bit smelly – probably a combination of the end of the season, the hot weather and the fact they didn’t have urine separators on them. The toilets themselves were probably clean enough, but sadly the cubicle areas weren’t cleaned, so they were cobwebby and dusty… it wouldn’t have taken much to make a trip to the bog a much more pleasant experience, and less daunting for our novice camper!
One of our campers was a vegetarian – which provided opportunities for a whole new avenue of recipes. Sitting round the campfire eating freshly prepared food was another high.
On Sunday evening we sat round having eaten our fill of stew and beer bread and cinnamon swirl cake with custard discussing the highs and lows of our trip. Our novice camper was even beginning to imply she might come again sometime. And then disaster struck! A simple thing, she went to adjust the fairylights on her tent (yes, we camp in style!) and tripped on a guy rope. But sadly, it wasn’t a simple little trip and she was in agony. Fortunately we could get the car to her and take her to A&E, where we discovered the reason for the pain – she had a spiral break in her leg. This put the compost toilets into perspective and established a record low point for all of our camping trips.
Thank God for the NHS and A&E departments open in the middle of the night and X-ray machines and clever doctors! Distressingly we had to leave her behind in Hastings to have surgery, but 5 days later we are pleased to report she has had her op and is on her way home.
R & L