Studs, Poppers and an Epiphany 

We’ve had Pod now for a year and a half and boy we’ve had some fun in her and enjoyed coming up with ideas to improve our experiences, from designing our bed slats, our chopping board and modified the 12V system to meet our needs to name a few, but no matter where the location the weather has always been the testing and changeable factor, certainly made some trips very interesting.  

The rain and the temperature have always been manageable but the one that always tested our set-up was the wind. Without a doubt Pod can withstand anything, the awning however because it’s a generic fit in our eyes has always needed a bit of tweaking.

This we’ve already done by sewing in beading so it gave the required fit with the awning rail and this was soon followed by moving the guy line triangles to a lower position to give a tight, snug fit down the sides. This worked well but in high winds, dependant on its direction it would still cause the sides edges of the awning to flap away from the sides of Pod, no major issue really but we still wanted to improve on it, so thinking caps were always on and when we’ve been away we’ve couldn’t resist a nosey at other set ups for any possible ideas.

The Camping and Caravan show at the NEC provided us with plenty of ideas but the one that caught our attention was the Protec covers display, as part of their range of towing cover attachments were YKK plastic press studs with 3M adhesive backings, as these were plastic and not metal there wouldn’t be any corrosion and a further search revealed they were available in black or white.

Lots of ideas were floating around in MrB’s head but nothing firm had been set so the decision was to put it to one side and hope for an epiphany.

Pod Powwow in Oban came around and during a walk round the site this ‘light bulb’ moment occurred and this is all thanks to Powwow pals Julie and Robert. They had attached heavy duty suckers to the sides of their pod and the guy lines running from the awning were fastened to the suckers, good use of suckers we thought and we do use them on the back of Pod for coats and the toilet roll holder but we wanted something smaller.

Now with the press studs and this combined we came up with a permanent fixture that due to their size blended in with the sides of Pod, it would just require more sewing.

Once home from the Powwow lots of research took place to locate the press studs and YKK Snad fastener self adhesive 40mm stud and poppers were decided on from Ebay, four black and four white were bought at £3.94 ea., white for Pod and the black for the awing.

They arrived promptly and 4 x 1.5mm holes were drilled into the black studs, in effect turning them into buttons, next came the ‘fun’ bit, sewing them onto the four guy line triangles. 

Once a decision was made as to where on the triangle to sew them LB used the rot proof thread from the beading blog and set about sewing the buttons on, only went through 3 needles on this occasion and thanks to a thimble no blood was shed ;).

The next job to be done was the securing of the white poppers and this had to wait for our next trip out, which was Cirencester in a few weeks.

Once at Cirencester the awning was set up and LB’s hairdryer came out, it was November and temperatures weren’t brilliant, we needed the glue side of the popper to warm slightly to ensure a permanent and secure fit to Pod, once these were on, they wouldn’t be coming off very easily.

After making sure the guy lines were equally positioned on both sides and the area to be used cleaned, we set about warming the sticky pad of the popper and the chosen spot on Pod. Once adequately done, the sticker back came off and the popper went on, no going back now we thought.

Tape measure was used through out and eventually all four poppers were secured to the side of Pod, the temptation to try them was there but we needed to let it set and with a great deal of patience we waited for our next trip out to Delamere Forest in December.

Between mid November and December Pod was checked occasionally and this was done with a little trepidation as we thought they would either fall off due to cold temperatures or slide off from the torrential rain, but no, they were still firmly in place and we arrived at Delamere Forest with them intact.

Pod was set up along with the awning and the stud/poppers, it gave a lovely streamline look to the sides and stopped the sides from bellowing in the wind, a much snugger fit. If guaranteed good weather (we can dream) we even gave consideration to not using the guy lines on the sides the press studs were doing an excellent job.

Another modification done on the awning we are extremely pleased with, but what now, well, watch this space because something is already in the pipeline.

Posted in Accessories, Awning, Caravan, Caravanning, Modifications, Travel, Traveling, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

York : so good they should have named it twice.

Once Christmas and New Year were out of the way the time would come again for a Podding trip. One of us has never been to York so as this is only a hop, skip and a jump away.. 1 1/2hrs to be precise this seemed like a good option.

There’s a few sites in the area but we wanted one as near to the centre as we could, thereby eliminating the need to use transport; taking the car and paying for parking and likewise waiting for the appropriate bus to come along, but if it meant taking the bus this was the lesser of the two evils.

After a bit of research we found York Rowntree Park Caravan Club site and it looked like it couldn’t get any nearer to York centre without encroaching the mighty stone wall that surrounds it.

The decision for York was made well in advance of January our chosen month, July in fact, and we were about to book it through the club when a huge ball dropped, one of the concrete type that had the capability of shattering our plans into tiny pieces.

The Caravan Club have a policy that the following years sites can only be booked in advance after the first week in the preceding December. A very annoying policy, from previous experience we’ve noted when the highly promoted ‘booking date’ arrives it has proven difficult to book any site in January, especially any that included weekends, but the site had been decided upon so we bided our time.. till December.

Lots of trips planned and completed in the mean time but before we knew it December arrived and a couple of days after the initial booking date arrived we eagerly logged onto the clubs page to begin our 2017 adventures.

First of course we checked York to discover as we’d thought all of January and February weekends had been been taken, all brightly coloured yellow so no mistaking it for anything else. We knew it was a popular site but none of the week dates were coded yellow and this discovery resulted in a debate around the booking policy of the club, but lets not go there, not today anyway, it just meant our 5 day break would be reduced to 4.

Date of departure arrived and the weather seemed to be neither here nor there, not particularly dry, cold or windy, just a constant central theme of a little of everything.

Arrived at the site as the clock in the car past 1pm, there were two arrivals in front of us and we were met by a member of staff at the gate who quickly ticked us off the sheet and allowed us passage through.

After a slow trawl round the site we found a pitch on the far side, the site isn’t huge so any pitch is in easy reach of the facilities. Pitches are of a fair size and we found it easy enough to pull onto and manoeuvre Pod into place, she looked all grown up with the GB sticker on the back, already for her Irish trip in June.

We were soon set up and the new Thermal Wrap was added to the pop-top roof. Vlog was completed, in one take (thankfully), although MrB did slip on the step and managed to remember he was being recorded and eliminate the need for a ‘bleep’ machine, we then set about making ourselves comfy for the next few days.

Now, LB has come by an old knee injury which has prevented us from doing too much walking, not even a good leg stretch never mind one of our mammoth walks, so a slow potter round the site, up the path that runs along the River Ouse to the bridge and into York to get a taster for the place was called for.

Didn’t take long to find a suitably haunted pub, The Golden Fleece, whilst enjoying a pint of Hobgoblin and Yankee pale ale we soaked up the atmosphere along with taking in all the historical pictures that surrounded us, no unusual visitors though, thank goodness.

We were soon on our way back to Pod for dinner, but not before passing Yorks shortest street, Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate, which depending on what you read translates to ‘neither one thing, nor the other’ in Anglo Saxon and was the site of York’s pillory, a post criminals were tied to for humiliation and punishment, much like the stocks.

We also found an activity for the upcoming October Powwow, ‘Ghost walk of York’, at £6.00 a head and £3.00 for children it looks like a lot of fun.

Once back at the site we passed the office and facilities, these are all in one block and up on stilts, the reason for this became apparent when we also passed three large stones from Rowntrees old Cocoa bean grinding mill, two of which displayed flood markers. The earliest and lowest being from 1947 and its most resent flood, the middle marker from 2012. It would seem the River Ouse can get closer than you think.

Dinner eaten we availed ourselves of the facilities and they were of a really good standard, new, clean and the showers were of a great size, hate it when the shower curtains sticks to you, none of that here.

We were soon tucked up in Pod, didn’t feel the need for the fan heater as the thermal wrap seemed to be working admirably, but by morning we’d definitely know the answer to that one.

And we did, we slept solidly, the wrap was a resounding success and once a cup of tea was in hand we took a peek outside to see it had rained over night and after watching the weather forecast it seemed drizzle looked set for the day.

A mixture of indoor and outdoor activities were decided upon and all had to be within a short distance of the site, so once breakfast was eaten we headed out of Pod and went on the hunt for a local legend. Thanks to google, this wasn’t too hard.

John Palmer, otherwise know as Richard ‘Dick’ Turpin, we found his headstone in a very small bleak graveyard in an unremarkable spot, surrounded by office blocks and housing it didn’t belay itself to anyone of importance, or maybe, considering his history and lifestyle some would say it’s the befitting end to someone like him. Even the sight of the grave can’t be confirmed as the expect spot although he is believed to be in the churchyard of St. George’s somewhere.

Next stop was York Castle Museum and in order to reach this we passed Clifford Tower, we believe the view from the top would have been spectacular but at a price of £5.00 each it seemed a little steep and we don’t just mean all the steps needed to walk to the top. We’re not penny pinching, just want value for money.

The museum on the other hand was worth every penny of the £10.00 each we paid. It took us along a wonderful timeline through the history of the castle, the raging ‘60s and up to the present day. The fashion exhibition and the old world village were brilliant, the memorabilia was incredible and of such good quality, all heavily detailed with their own individual story.

After a good few hours we eventually left the museum in search of food. There were lots on offer and a huge variety of eateries on offer but we decided upon The Yorkshire Roast Company, the image of the huge pieces of cooked meat on display through the window may have had a baring on our decision but it proved to be the right one.

Once ordered we sat upstairs and tucked into two huge Yorkshire Puddings stuffed full of roast potatoes, vegetables, red cabbage, stuffing, gravy and on one roast pork the other more vegetables. All washed down with two huge cups of Yorkshire tea, so filling and so very welcome. Not bad for £8.00 each we thought.

The walk back to Pod took us along The Shambles, today wasn’t the day for the exploring this but we couldn’t walk past Roly’s Fudge without calling in.

At this point we seemed to loose all reason and control over our actions, we did slightly run away with ourselves and left the shop with over 1kg of fudge! Great variety within the bag, so not that bad really is it?! On leaving the lady behind the counter did say it would last a few days if in a cool sealed bag but the chances of any of it lasting any longer than our stay were very remote.

Dinner consisted of sandwiches and of course the fudge, after our wonderful lunch neither of us had much room for anything else.

Our last day arrived and we decided to head to York Minster, it towered above all of the shops, rightly so and it had to be seen didn’t it.

Another walk along The Shamble and we were amazed at the buildings, their overhanging timber structures were incredible and in such good condition, including the shelves at their fronts which had apparently been used by the butchers of the past to display their wares. 

We soon reached the Minster, architecturally it is an incredible piece of work, as you walk round the outside the stonework and towers reach up like fingertips, to the sky. Beautiful.

Work is also ongoing with the renovation of the Cathedral and it can be seen in a cordoned off section, stonemasons were busily at work replacing over 2,500 of its stones and some of the grotesques.

We walked to the entrance and looked for a sign which would display an entry fee, we expected something, if not a fixed price a donation of sorts. Nothing to be seen, so in we went. This was as far as we got, sadly. The price of £10.00 each for us was too much and unethical, if you wished to go up the tower it was an addition £5.00. A place of worship and prayer should not only allow admittance upon a fee being payed, whilst we viewed the inside from the entrance we were passed by others on the way in and out again who thought the same.

We would gladly of paid £10.00 for the both of us as a donation but not as a condition of admittance. The church itself is by no means a pauper and they have cut themselves off from those who do not have deep pockets and wish to visit and experience its history and atmosphere.

For those wishing to visit, from tripadvisor it seems the tickets do last 12 months and if you say you are going into pray you are allowed in for free. How true the latter is we don’t know, but be aware… you may be watched and for those who like to do a little research, we visited the West window, from the outside and did the deed ;).

Food again came to mind and bellies, stodge was the order of the day so we called into Byron Burger bar and ordered two huge burgers, one being the vegetarian option, as a little treat a Boilermaker was ordered too, certainly warmed the cockles.

Over the bridge we went back to Pod and we noticed the river was up, once dinner and showers were done we, believe it not, finished off the fudge. Shocking we know, but it was soo good.

Last morning arrived and we soon had Pod packed away, everything on the outside was wet so it took a little longer to do. We like to wipe everything down as it goes in, that way she is ready to go as soon as we get home. Things have been bad, who likes to go home and back to work, but that is yet to be tested.

We left York eager to come back as we had only scratched the surface of its history, architecture and its shopping heaven, for us it would be October, the Powwow, pals old and hopefully new.

Posted in Accessories, Architecture, Awning, Caravan, Caravanning, Church, Glamping, Modifications, Photography, Sight seeing, Stately home, Travel, Traveling, Uncategorized, Walking, Yorkshire | Leave a comment

Pop Top Thermal Wrap 

Spending all year round using Pod we have noticed that a pop up roof does have its draw backs being material.

We had toyed with a number of design ideas over the past 18 months but took the lead from existing motorhome designs.

After searching on numerous camper van Facebook groups and forums we found the solution was there already, the issue being turning the design in to reality.

Several failed attempts to convince a number of manufacturers to take up this challenge were made but determination paid off.

In collaboration with Van Comfort and POLAR we have designed and had made this made to measure easy fit thermal wrap.

Designed to insulate the Pop-Up roof during the colder season whilst also being affective in keeping you cooler during the hotter months. Due to its quilted design it will also help with sound proofing.

As the wrap encases the roof mechanism it provides an air gap so the vents can still be used and due to the weatherproof material it will stop rain seeping through the roof material and vent zips.

Packed away in its own bag it measures 35cmx28cm and weighs only 650g.

Ours being the original prototype cost £185, which we believe is money well spent for the reasons above, but more orders may attract a price reduction.

For more information and to order yours contact Van Comfort Steve Beevers 01777 701804 quoting 2B’s in a Pod, Go-Pod Pop Top Thermal Wrap.

Take a look at the pictures, if they don’t convince you, nothing will :).

Also the YouTube vlog

Posted in Accessories, Awning, Caravan, Caravanning, Glamping, Modifications, Photography, Travel, Traveling, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Christmas Treats and Itchy Wheels

December arrived and we had itchy wheels again. Work and sorting Christmas festivities usually meant we wouldn’t be going anywhere but with a little tweaking we managed to rearrange a shopping expedition for a Podding one. No Mad Friday for us we thought.

Now, for us it was our Christmas trip away so we had to have some form of decoration didn’t we? The hunt then began for a Christmas tree, lights and maybe a little something else .. or two.

Self control had to be administered in bucket loads and between the two of us the extent of our decorations had been limited to a 3ft tree, flashing lights and a small sign to ensure Santa knew Podding wasn’t just for summer.

Location for our Christmas trip away needed to be roughly an hour away otherwise our two nights would turn into a driving expedition, not an escape the rat-races one.

With a little research we found a Camping and Caravan site at Delamere Forest, open all year round and less than an hours drive, perfect.

The drive was uneventful and we passed quite a few motorhomes, camper-vans and caravans travelling in both directions, it was great to see people getting the most out of their mobile homes. Each season brings different challenges and we like to think all of the above are capable of dealing with what ever the British weather has to throw at them and if not a few modifications usually help.

Site was easy enough to find and once we’d booked in we were taken to our pitch by one of the cycling wardens, once there Pod as usual became the topic of conversation and we were told a Pod had only left the site a few days earlier.

After describing its occupant and it’s fellow camper-van friend we had a good idea who it was, it was great to hear Victoria was still out and about and enjoying her Podding life.

Once all set up out came the Christmas tree, lights and Santa sign, after lots of moving around its location was decided upon and the tree was pegged down, weather as always is unpredictable and we didn’t want to wake and find the tree half way across the field.

Then came our newest gadget, an indoor/outdoor digital thermometer, we were always curious what the temperatures levels were in and out of Pod and this would allow us to finally find out.

The timer was set on the lights and off we went on foot to find a local pub for our obligatory local ale. The Carriers Inn had been recommended by a work colleague and it always pays to listen to recommendations we thought, as we didn’t know the area at all.

We took the direct route down the main road and after about a 1 mile walk we found the Carriers Inn, looked fine enough from the outside so in we went.

In through the main door and into a very warm cozy dinning area, lots of soft lighting and Christmas decorations added to the welcoming atmosphere, this lead to the bar area and the soft leather look sofas beckoned. This could turn into more than one pint.

Red Breast and Hobgoblin were two of the three ales on offer, both were bought and we settled into one of those sofas and felt the weight of everyday life ebb away.

The menus just happened to be within reach and once we’d checked them over we made the decision to stay for another pint and enjoy the food that was on offer.

Mixed grill for one and sea bass for the other, absolutely delicious and cooked to perfection.

By the time our evening came to an end darkness had fallen and we began our walk back to the site.

 Cars zoomed by as we tottered along a very narrow footpath, this became a little difficult when blinded by oncoming traffic and took a few seconds for our eyes to readjust. Would also recommend a torch for this one as there wasn’t any street lighting.

Didn’t take long to reach the site and on seeing our little Christmas tree outside Pod it made LB giggle, it was great and one year we planned to spend Christmas and New Year in Pod.

Shower and toilet facilities were near the office and once we’d collected our toiletries we tottled off to use them. A code was needed to get into the warm clean block and the showers were hot and very welcoming.

Feeling very chilled out we were soon back at Pod and after checking the temperature gauge we were soon tucked up in bed asleep with the fan heater on timer through the night, bliss. 

Woke to discover it had rained through the night but the day looked promising, dry and not too cold.

Blakemere Moss was on our doorstep and after breakfast we wrapped up, grabbed the camera and went to explore the lake and surrounding woodland.

After a good hour walking through the forest along the well marked path we found ourselves on the waters edge, the stillness in the air along with the seagulls echoing across the water gave it an eery feel, this was made even more spectacular by the sun attempting to break through the mist which was slowly moving over the mirror like lake.

We continued our walk around the lake and eventually found ourselves not too far from the main road and as it was lunchtime we called into the Carriers Inn.

Lighter option was chosen this time and the sandwiches ordered were stuffed full of our chosen fillings, a side order of chips were excellent, not out of a packet; peeled, chopped and fried, mouthwatering stuff.

The walk back took us through the forest and round Blakemere Moss, the sun was now disappearing behind low cloud and the temperature was beginning to drop, it wasn’t however raining, which made a change.

Dinner was eaten in Pod and before we knew it we were again tucked up in bed, last look at the thermometer had it at 3.8deg outside but a toasty 19.6 inside.

Alarm woke us from a deep sleep and as the sun came over the trees we stayed in bed drinking hot tea and reminiscing over our stay.

Delamere Forest has lots to offer, walks yet to be done and wildlife yet to be seen. Location spot on for us too and it will become a bolt-hole for those days when we just have the need to get away.

But now its time to pack up and head home. We’ve had a fantastic 2016 with Pod and met some wonderful people, long may it continue and here’s to a brilliant 2017 for us and for you all.

Posted in Accessories, Awning, Caravan, Caravanning, Delamere, Forest, Lakes, Lochs, Modifications, Photography, Sight seeing, Travel, Traveling, Uncategorized, Walking | Leave a comment

Kin, Cobblestones and Memories Made

Cirencester, never heard of the place and had it not been for visiting family in the Bristol area it may have been some time before discovering it, as it was we decided to combine a few days away seeing some of our nearest and dearest with hopefully doing a little walking or sight seeing.

We’d booked 5 nights at Cirencester Caravan Club site a few months before and as it was November we didn’t really expect any issues or for it to be very busy.

Set off Saturday morning and stopped off at Frankley Services on the way down, we had blue skies and clear roads and were making really good time, so much so we had a little mooch around the shops and Mr.B ended up buying a ¾ length coat for a very reasonable £20.00.

LB took over the drive and we arrived at the site just before 12, perfect timing. Booked in and we were given the map which showed all the free pitches, we then began the slow drive round the site looking for our perfect spot.

We were quite surprised as the site was over ¾ full but we managed to find a great spot which wasn’t overlooked at the front and wasn’t too far from the facilities.

Didn’t take long to set Pod up and after seeking directions we decided to take the walk through the Bathurst Estate, Cirencester Park to the centre of Cirencester itself.

Included in the directions we were informed that the park gate closed at 5pm and if we didn’t make it back before then an alternative route would have to be taken back to the site which would involved a walk along the main road, in essence, round the outside of the park. This wasn’t an issue and if anything else it would afford us another view of the town.

The walk was a peaceful one, down the side of the site, past the cricket and lawn tennis club and onto the main broad footpath through the park and past the old barracks.

It has now become a tradition of ours to find a local pub and if possible sample one or two of a local beer or something as near to that as we could.

On this occasion it was found in The Fleece located not too far from the Parish Church and on the main fairway through the town. Very cosy and bigger than you’d think from the outside, once in, the property extends way into the back and we later found out it’s also a hotel with beautiful rooms above.

A pint of 13 Guns and Hoggit were ordered and they went down extremely well whilst watching the world go by.

They went down so well in fact we ended up staying for dinner and sampling a few more of those specialty ales. People came and went and much to our amusement one of the locals arrived with her two dogs. The dogs were definitely the celebrities and even had a jar of dog biscuits on the bar. It was fun to watch as every new customer who came in would be nudged by the dog, who by now was very comfortable on a bar stool, the nudge would then be directed with a stare to the jar of biscuits and without fail this would result in a biscuit or two being given.

After talking to the bar staff and the owner we discovered this was nearly a daily occurrence and to our wonder it was amazing how the dog, a collie, remained so svelte like.

We eventually left our comfy seats and as it was way past 5pm we took the walk through the town and along the outside of the park, this was easy enough to follow as it was a 7ft high brick wall, more or less all the way to the entrance of the site.

The rain had started and we had warnings concerning Storm Angus blowing through so a few more pegs were driven into the ground securing the awning and we made a dash for the showers, once back we were soon tucked up snug in Pod.

We woke early as we had visiting family on the cards, we discovered temperatures through the night had dropped to 2deg and Storm Angus had blown through, thankfully without disturbing us.

We spent the day in Bristol, driving under the Clifton Suspension Bridge was incredible and we would love to have spent more time around it but today was about family and the bridge would have to wait for another visit.

The highlight of the day was visiting MrBs Grandad, 96 years old and still as independent as ever. Lunch out was great but it was soon time to head back to Pod and leave Mr.B’s G to his long awaited afternoon nap.

The rain continued for the day and it didn’t look like it was gong to let up, after visiting other family members we eventually returned to Pod and scoured the weather reports for any kind of improvement. It didn’t look promising but that wouldn’t stop us from getting out and about the following day.

Monday arrived and the terrible rain remained, people were leaving the site in droves, we presumed they were weekenders and it wasn’t necessarily due to the poor weather.

We stayed snuggled up in bed with large cups of tea watching the weather reports, the decision was made not to venture too far, just walk into Cirencester and attempt to do a little site seeing with a few photos thrown in.

Cirencester beckoned so coats were donned and we took the short walk through the estate into the town. 

 We walked along the narrow stoned roads looking at the wonderful architecture and all the fantastic small local shops that were dotted amongst the bigger retailers, we didn’t see one empty shop which considering the current climate was brilliant to see.

Called into The Fleece for a pint, just the one, and eventually walked back to Pod for steak and stir-fry. Pods little two ring burner worked miracles yet again. Dinner was eaten listening to the church bells ringing, the lack of leaves on the surrounding trees and the prevailing wind made them feel like they were actually nearer than you’d think. Thankfully, those practicing were very proficient, it was rhythmical and very pleasant to listen to.

Following day we woke to more rain and the weather for the day wasn’t looking any better but we decided to spend the day in Bath.

Roughly an hour later we arrived and headed straight for the Abbey, our words will never be enough to describe this incredible building. Slap bang in the middle of Bath, not far from the river Avon which was fast flowing and looked dark and menacing as it sped down under the bridge and away.

Once inside the Abbey the incredible structure came to life, the intricate stain glass windows allowed speckles of colour through casting a warm glow along the stonework. 

LB spent most of her time looking up at the ceiling commenting on and photographing the incredible patterns worked into the surrounding masonry. We wondered if this kind of work will ever be seen again.

Once outside LB noticed the angels climbing up the outer wall and noticed one on its way down. Incredible, a very peaceful place to spend a small amount of time in a very hectic city.

Now, we couldn’t be in Bath without at least casting our eyes over the Roman Baths, as it was nearing lunch time and we were both slightly peckish we decided to catch two birds with one net.. so to speak and headed for the Pump Rooms and afternoon tea.

Once seated we were soon presented with sandwiches, paté, scones, clotted cream and cakes, very enjoyable whilst listening to the pianist playing the odd request.

The Spa water was also sampled, very strange taste on the tongue and warm too. Had to be done though as it cures all ails apparently.

With full bellies it came to leave, we strolled back through the busy shop lined city to the car and we were soon back at Pod looking through our photos of the day and still marvelling at Baths tremendous architecture.

Wednesday arrived and it had actually stopped raining, at this we jumped at the chance to finish a modification we had started a few weeks ago but had been planning on for a while. In short, we planned to secure the awning down the sides (the top is already secured with an awning rail) with a press-stud type fastener.

This was done without too much hassle but couldn’t be fully tested until our next planned outing. Shan’t go into detail on here, but if you’re really interested it can found on our blog page under ‘Modifications and Accessories’ or January’s section, ‘Studs, Poppers and an Epiphany’. That’s enough on that.

Towards the end of this process we were joined by an Airstream to our left and opposite a very large motorhome, ‘twas great to see the variety of mobile homes and caused some comments and discussions amongst the owners.

It was our last day in the area and we felt we still had a lot to see of Cirencester, so off we went on our now familiar walk and decided to find the Museum.

As we wondered round the museum the history of Cirencester unfolded and the beautiful mosaics discovered underground told their own stories. Great place to visit, very educational for young and old.

This was followed by a walk around and into the Parish Church of St. John. It was very festive inside, the pews were lined with Christmas trees in various states of decoration and a volunteer at the church willingly explained the history of the building.

All this sight seeing and stocking up on history was hungry work and called for a visit to Café Nero where a huge hot chocolate and mince pie were devoured before we continued our walking tour of Cirencester.

After a further wander along the rain sodden streets who’s shops were slowly closing we found ourselves looking for a place to dine for the evening. 

 The Fleece was within reach and we knew we would be guaranteed a delicious meal but we wanted to try somewhere different and decided upon The Bear. Looked okay from the outside so in we went.

It wasn’t particularly busy but we decided to order food anyway only to find out what we were after was no longer on offer, not to be put off we selected something else and ate what was delivered, typical pub food, a little disappointed but quashed our hunger.

From here we moved to The Fleece for a final pint, lots of reminiscing of our great visit to the area and the fact we would be back, maybe for Christmas one year. We then began our last walk back to Pod and our very cosy bed.

Thursday morning broke and low and behold it wasn’t raining, this was great as it meant the awning could be dismantled dry and boy believe us, this was fabulous. Nothing worse than putting away a wet awning because once home, at some point it would need drying off.

Goodbyes were said to our fellow caravaners and one in particular who had taken the opportunity to photograph Pod with his drone. For this he was thanked and we awaited the footage with baited breath.. and it was well worth it. Take a peek at the below link and see if you can spot Pod ;).

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October Pod Powwow

Ledaig Caravan Park, Scotland and Pod Powwow here we come ! This has been in the planning for the past few months and for those uninitiated followers it’s the first ever get together of Go-Pods. Started as a conversation between ourselves and one other Podder in which we discovered we were both at the same site and the same time, from there we decided to open it up to other Podders and as the invitation was shared on our Facebook anyone who followed us was invited too, we didn’t want to be deemed Caravanist..
Soon we had expressions of interest and as time went on there were quite a few maybes and 3 other confirmed attendees. Perfect for a first event and all baby steps as we didn’t want to be too pushy and had to bare in mind the possibility we wouldn’t get on, God forbid. For ease the format decided upon was for all to meet up, be as sociable as you wanted, no pressure, at all.

Two days before leaving cup cakes were designed and made and the finished articles were both good to look at and palatable, good way to break the ice we thought. They were packed up for the journey up and once everything else was loaded into the car they took pride of place on the back seat of the car.

We set off at 6.30am and as expected at that time the roads were very quiet, we rolled along nicely and reached Gretna Green Services in good time.

The weather was looking good for the next few days and today it appeared to be holding true as we arrived just after 1pm with the sun shining down on us.

Now, as we drove onto the forecourt of the park a feeling of trepidation hit and all those thoughts and feeling came to the top, lots of nervousness and ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’ such as, what if we don’t get along, what if they’re a bunch of weirdos and maybe we’re expecting too much or maybe they are ? All expected motions and decided others may feel the same way.

We were shown to our pitch, perfect for us, first row along the front with a fantastic view of the bay. As we drove along we had our eyes peeled for other Pods and clocked one to our left four pitches along from us and one to our right further down the bank and on the edge of the beach.

Pod was set up as usual and as we finished we saw the third Pod role in and set up slightly to our right but behind us. Waves were exchanged and after a brief greeting we left them to set up. First meeting and all that, we didn’t want to encroach on their time away.

This also allowed us to play with our new wifi system which we had purchased from the Caravan and Motorhome Show and MB had fitted inside Pod. The unit consisted of a router fitted behind the TV and on this occasion took a ‘3’ data 12 month sim and an ariel which sat in the lining of the pop up roof. All is revealed on YouTube

Within an hour our last Podder arrived, very strange to see a car the same as ours pulling a Pod not dissimilar to ours down the road past us and pull up onto a pitch three down from us.

Visits to all were tentatively completed with cup cakes in hand and they seemed to go down well and achieved their aim, between all it was decided to meet at our Pod for drinks, nibbles and a good old chin-wag. This was it now, time to find out what we were all like.

Steak and stir-fry for dinner and preparations were made for our visitors as we made room in the awning for 8 people and 2 very cute dogs.

One by one they arrived with alcohol and nibbles in hand, all were wrapped up as the temperature had dropped but with a little planning and all sitting closer than anyone would normally on an initial visit we sat very comfortably around the inside of awning.

All our worries fell by the wayside as conversation, laughs and discussions around Go-Pods took place and carried on through the next few hours. With a bit of torch sharing to get to the loos and back and an introduction to the Scottish tongue the four hours flew by, we learnt ‘wheesht’ went down ok but add ‘woman’ on the end and you’d better learn to run and there was Oor Wullie, in lots of different forms.

The evening was going so well a tentative decision was made to arrange a meal out the following evening and one by one people drifted back to their Pods, all in the hope they made it back to the right one. The whole evening went extremely well, it couldn’t of gone better and with happy hearts we fell into bed and a well deserved good deep sleep.

We woke to the sun coming up over the hills and clear blue sky above, we weren’t in a rush to go anywhere so tv was put on to catch up on the news as we lazed in bed with a cup of tea and reflected on the previous evenings event.

We eventually got our selves up and out of bed, breakfast was eaten with the awing open looking out over the beautiful bay of Ardmucknish and as people emerged from their Pods we did a bit of a head count as some when leaving the previous night were shall we say.. very happy and relaxed ;).

The weather forecast looked good for the day so we decided that we would get the kayak out and head up the coast towards Benderloch, but before that we spoke with each Pod owner about a fair well dinner, strange to be thinking of it as such as we’d only just met but time was of the essence and we wanted to make sure we could find somewhere suitable at such short notice. Not everywhere would welcome 8 people and 2 dogs.

Names and places were banded about and one owner took the bull by the horns and decided to take on the challenge of finding somewhere not too far away that would cater for us all, with that in very capable hands we began the process of setting up the kayak.

Others went off to spend the day exploring or pottering around the site and we were off to paddle along the coastline, with one of us at each end of the kayak we were soon trotting down the dozen or so steps to the waters edge.

Soon had our usual technique pushing us along the coast, in unison, in and out of the water as we reached Benderloch beach. We carried on round to a small estuary, this was a little choppy and took a little more effort to get through but we made it into the very calm waters of the inlet.

The water was extremely shallow but the kayak floated along with no problems at all, once we’d circled the inlet we turned and began our way back to the open waters of the bay.

In the short time we had been in the estuary the wind and sea had changed and not for the better.

The kayak bounced along as we pushed through the turbulent waters that surrounded us, this wasn’t helped by a sea kayak coming up behind as it cut through the waves like a hot knife through butter. We now new the virtues and benefits of a ridged kayak but we persevered, not that we had any choice and made it back to the caravan park having discovered muscles in places we’d both forgotten.

As we reached the beach it was great to see Pods lining the coastline and knowing we had met some lovely people who for the time being lived inside them.

After a bite of lunch plans were firmed up for the evening, designated drivers were bribed and arrangements were made to meet at the Oyster Inn in Connel.

We all arrived shortly after 7pm and we were shown to our table which turned out to be one of a good size so we all settled down and began the festivities by ordering drinks. The menu was soon opened and the variety was excellent, lots of local produce and at very reasonable prices.

Conversation flowed round the table and continued in much the same vain as the previous evening, no awkward silences and lots of laughs and interesting conversation, it did stray to politics on one occasion.. Brexit ! but that was soon dismissed and it returned to Podding.. what else.

The evening eventually came to a close and it was hard to believe the following day we would be saying goodbye to 3 of our band of 5. Bonds had been formed between like minded people and their company and conversation was going to be missed.

The following morning soon arrived, another dry day ahead but tinged with a hint of sadness as we prepared to say goodbye, but not before ‘Podfather’ corralled us all together for a group photo. Those in the know.. you know who we mean.. those who don’t, you don’t know what you’ve missed.

All were hitched to the back of their cars for the last time and during this process MrB discovered that some had been shown the wrong way to connect the break-away cable. It is a legal requirement and other than causing Pods breaks not to work it could invalidate insurance. The type of cable fitted to Pod didn’t have a carabiner, if it had it could be connected to the tow bar mounting on the car, as they didn’t, the correct way was shown; by wrapping the cable around the tow bar and clipping it back onto the wire itself, forming a large loop, in an emergency the wire would then tighten on itself and apply Pods breaks. Also on YouTube

One by one we waved them off, leaving ourselves and Podfather to reminisce but also to await the arrival of another Podder, one who was fortunate enough to own a Go-Pod II which had a split screen and still had its original fittings inside, this belonged to a local who we’d had the pleasure of meeting last year and we couldn’t wait to introduce him to Podfather, as we knew he would love as we did a good old mooch around an original.

Evening plans were made and after a stroll along the beach Podfather joined us for dinner, he had been warned it was quorn chilli but he was willing to give it ago and we were grateful for his company, over a relaxed meal and a few beers we chatted and discussed life, its many quandaries, the success of the Powwow and of course the mutual fascination with Pods. PF eventually left us and after hot showers we crawled into our snug cozy bed inside Pod.

Woke to another glorious morning, considering the time of year we took each day as it came and so far each day had arrived with a sunrise over land which cast its rays down along the beach and out across the sea to Tralee Bay.

Today herald the arrival of Robin, no definitive time was know so we decided to drive into Oban for a wander round the shops and perhaps purchase a bottle of Scotland’s finest export, its whiskey.

MB had gone to wash the breakfast dishes and a short time later a droning noise could be heard slowly rolling over the bay towards the site. In the seconds it took for the noise to register as a plane with LB the bellowing sound of MB shouting her name was also heard from the other side of the site as she looked up and out of the window, above was a Hercules C130 skimming the tops of the caravans and below it MB running across the field with washing bowl and dishes in hand.

As is usual in these circumstances, when speed and coordination are required to work in unison, neither are apparent, but with a few screeches and fumbling fingers photos of not one but two Hercules was recorded as they roared overhead and in the direction of the airport.

Once composure was recovered we eventually drove the short distance into Oban and a bottle of Bowmore was bought. After a potter around the shops we sat ourselves down on the sea front and tucked into fish, chips and battered haggis, delish!

We didn’t hang round too long as we were eager to see if Robin had landed at the site and were keen to introduce him to PF. As we drove back onto the site we kept our eyes peeled but Robin was not to be found, no sooner had we put the kettle on we spotted him rolling onto the site with his Pod in tow and driving to a pitch not too far from PF.

Kettle was forgotten as we walked over to welcome him to what was left of our little get together. PF was collected on the way and after introductions were made we all began to tour the Go-Pod, discovering and discussing the differences between Mark II and III.

Most were minor differences, alloy wheels, fitted corner rear lights and the internal layout was entirely on the opposite side. Different vents and no drain ridges along the top. The most significant change for us was the loss of the split screen as it added so much character.

Robin was left to set up his home and we returned to Pod knowing PF and he had a lot to discuss and would probably continue into the evening.

The following day brought another dry day but the next few did not look so promising, the day also brought the departure of PF, another of the founding Powwow members.

By lunchtime he was packed and preparing to say his goodbyes but not before the obligatory Pod picture of new and old was taken. With as much enthusiasm as he has shown throughout our joint endeavour his Pod was drawn up besides Robins and the image was captured by all on their various mobile devises and with slightly heavy hearts PF was eventually waved off, leaving ourselves and Robin.

Robin had plans for the day which involved a bike ride up the coast and we made the decision to enjoy the remainder of the day on the site. The sun was hanging in there so a leisurely afternoon was enjoyed along the beach and preparations were made to batten down the hatches for the predicted high winds the following day and possibly the preceding night. This involved checking the awning guy lines and adding a few more to keep it grounded, we had heard of the high winds but as yet had not experienced them on the Scottish coast. Whilst doing this our confidence in our little structure wasn’t strengthened by the fact caravans were leaving the site in large numbers, we were soon one of only three others pitched on the front row, nearest the beach.

Dinner was eaten as the wind began to pick up, we had done all we could, the evening soon turned into night and an early night beckoned as we cuddled up inside Pod whilst falling asleep listening to the sea crashing against the beach and the wind buffering against Pod.

Through the night we were woken as the rain made an appearance, the sound of the sea has also grown in strength but had gained a rhythm that sounded akin to a giant breathing as it lay asleep in the surrounding hills. Perhaps it was a relative of Benandonner, leastways the thought of such a magical being soon had one of us back in the land of nod to be woken only by daylight peeping through the small gap left by the partially closed blinds, of course the rain and wind had turned into strong gusts that always sounded worse whilst sat in the awning.

Today was our last full day and we were yet again saying goodbye to a fellow Podder, Robin. Once breakfast was out of the way we walked up to Robin to see how he had faired through the night and also to help with the awing, the gusts were not conducive to a lone Podder attempting to dismantle a piece of canvas on stilts, which once airborne could have the tendency to cause more problems than was necessary.

Robin had faired well through the night with no issues at all, between the three of us we soon had the awning down and packed away and without further ado Robin pulled his Pod to our pitch for the now required picture.

This would be the third time of doing it and you could say as a group effort we had the positioning and hitching/unhitching down to a fine art. With a wave from us both Robin went on his way and then there was one. One Pod on the site and one lonely caravan centre position of the entire empty front row.

The weather was very changeable and moved from wet and windy to dry and still in a very irregular pattern. It didn’t spoil our fun though and it was fabulous to see the other side of the Scottish weather as all our previous trips had been blessed with warm temperatures and blue skies.

Once we had our wooly jumpers and boots on we set off up the beach to explore and take in the sights, sounds and smells for the last time because the following morning we would be heading home.

The rain stopped by mid evening and dinner was eaten monitoring the weather reports as the all important task of taking down the awning dry in the morning was crucial.

All looked promising so with heads full of wonderful memories we lay in bed recalling the pat weeks activities, new friendships and an ever growing fondness for a beautiful part of our country.

We woke as daylight broke to a dry day and went about our set tasks in an automatic state of mind, within a few hours we were on the road and homeward bound and thankful for this great holiday experience, with a promise to do it all again, after all.. isn’t that what Podding is all about….

Posted in Accessories, Awning, Caravan, Caravanning, Castles, Glamping, Highlands, Kayak, Lochs, Modifications, Mountains, Scotland, Travel, Traveling, Uncategorized, Walking, Whiskey | 2 Comments

MrB’s birthday boating bash 

It’s never easy trying to think of something to do for that special someone’s birthday but fortunately for us having Pod makes it a little easier and the answer is usually a few days away in our bubble but doing it in secret would bring a few challenges.
Normally the blogs are done in the 3rd person but because this evolves around MrB’s birthday its going to have to be done in the 1st, bit different for us so we’ll see how it goes.

Like I said, keeping it secret was another matter, I went into stealth mode, researching, booking and planing the route, there were a few near misses with saved emails but it was done.

So much so on the morning of departure MrB was given only the postcode and it was at that point he sat up straight in the car seat with a surprised look on his face.

On the run up to the day through numerous questions and attempts to steer conversations in a particular way he had assumed we were going to Wales. Not the case, we were off to the Lake District, Lake Windermere and Hill of Oaks Caravan Park.

Now, I’ve never been to this site but I wasn’t 100% sure MrB be hadn’t, the web site offered a great lakeside pitch and promised a wonderful chilled out few days away with direct access to the lake for the kayak, it was worth the risk and it sounded perfect didn’t it ? but it didn’t stop me from being nervous.

The journey up was uneventful, no major holdups and we arrived just after 1. We didn’t need to rush as the pitch was already booked. The roads were narrow and steep, easy for us but a few coaches in front of us seemed to be struggling.

We kept our eyes peeled for the site entrance and we soon began to wind our way down to the site. Reading reviews prior to booking I’d noted comments made around how narrow the road down was and boy they weren’t wrong, not a problem for Pod but could see how it would be for the bigger ‘vans.

As we reached the bottom Lake Windermere opened up to us and we slowly drove past a few excellent looking lakeside pitches and stopped outside the booking office and shop.

I left Mr.B in the car and went to book in and claim our lakeside pitch, fingers were crossed hoping that it was one of the pitches we had just passed.

It was indeed one of those we’d passed and I couldn’t have been more pleased, it was all going to plan. Even the surprise of finding out I needed to leave a £10.00 cash deposit for the toilet block key couldn’t dampen my excitement.

Back in the car I pointed Mr.B in the direction we needed to go and as we stopped on the pitch I watched Mr.Bs face intently and let out a big sigh of relief as he said he thought it was brilliant, perfect in fact.

We pitched Pod sideways which allowed us to have Pod and the awning the full length of the pitch, this meant our first view in the morning out of the window would be the lake and all our meals and last view at night would be too, through the day we would see the ever changing scenery and life along the waters edge, how wonderful was that.

Once settled we went for a walk around the site, we visited the shop and found the toilet/shower block, this wasn’t a great distance away from Pod so it wasn’t an issue but had been told about a nearer facility and we were pleasantly surprised to find a small toilet/sink housed in a little shed about 50m away from us, this would come in very handy during our stay.

Once back at Pod the kayak was soon inflated and we took the 5 steps necessary to get to the waters edge, without any delay we were on the water and paddling along the lake south in the direction of Newby Bridge.

There wasn’t a soul to be seen and as we worked our way along we couldn’t help but be impressed with the houses and grounds that lined the surrounding hillside. One that really caught our eye was one that had a Liverpool Football Club flag fluttering away high on a flagpole situated at the waters edge, after a little research we found out it belonged to David Moores, the former Chairman of the said club.

After half an hour or so of paddling we decided to turn and head back, we had a full day of kayaking planned for the following day and we didn’t want to venture too far in any particular direction as our route hadn’t been decided upon.

It was great fun spotting Pod along the waters edge, gliding onto the shoreline, stepping out and carrying the kayak the few steps that were needed to plonk ourselves down onto our well positioned deck chairs with an alcoholic beverage in hand, in this case a can of beer, bliss.

Now things began to get interesting.. we don’t normally drink out of cans, honestly, its normally poured into one of our shatter proof glasses, safety and all that. But on this occasion we thought to heck with it and the said cans were opened and enjoyed.

Pictures were taken, and we both pottered around a little during which the odd mouthful of liquid nectar was enjoyed, having decided to sit and enjoy the scenery I sat and can in hand took a gob full of its contents at which point my tongue and inside lower lip found something that shouldn’t have been there, a millisecond passed at which point I new without hesitation it was a wasp, but it was too late, I had been stung on the inside of my mouth.

Beer spluttered everywhere whilst I screeched and this brought Mr.B running, through hand signals and one syllable words he got the message. Having never been stung before a small amount of panic set in as I’m sure everyone knows this could go horribly wrong. My lip began to swell at a tremendous rate and the throbbing pain began to hit and of course the tears began to flow, I blame the shock of it , not pleasant at all.

Painkillers were taken and Mr.B scuttled up to the shop to seek any kind of help he could think of. He returned moments later with antihistamines and a huge ice lolly, all were welcome and the lolly was the most welcome of all.

By now my lower lip would of done Mick Jagger proud, that along with the red tear stained face was not a pretty picture and not how I had wanted to start Mr.B’s birthday bash, but over the next few hours the pain subsided and my lip reduced somewhat in size, needless to say all beer had now been transferred to glasses.

Dinner was eventually cooked and whilst I was busy doing the stir-fry and pasta on the two ring burner in Pod, Mr.B plugged in the George Foreman and grilled his steaks to his likeness, not quite still breathing, but not far from it.

All food was transferred to plates and enjoyed whilst sat watching the ever changing landscape as the sun set below the hills on the other side of the lake, once eaten we didn’t move far and sat just outside the awning with feet up on the kayak and watched as the lake seemed to come to life.

Boats of all shapes and sizes began going up and down the lake, a paddle boarder passed by with her little dog stood at her feet and a small wooden dinghy appeared not too far from the pier and it’s male occupant threw out a fishing line and began his attempt to catch the local quarry, what ever that might be. He was soon joined by another fisherman who sat on the edge of the pier and a discussion took place between them which was just out of our earshot. Very picturesque indeed. By 8pm the sun had disappeared and we were left with the shimmering remnants of its rays across the night sky.

From across the other side of the lake we heard the thunderous sound of a speed boat and watched as it slowly coasted in our direction, the pilot giving it a little kick with the engine every now and then to keep it moving along. Now to call it a boat didn’t do it any justice as it was very sleek, glossy in its black and red and extremely streamline with chrome glistening all around it, not a cheap toy.

Just as it reached the pier it glided to a stop and two people jumped from the pier and into the boat, what a fabulous way to get from one side of the lake to the other, or so we thought.

The boat edged its way slowly to the middle and within seconds amid a mighty roar, it was off up the lake leaving a huge wake at its rear.

We presumed that was the end of that but within minutes we heard loud blaring music coming from its direction and along with the music we could hear a boats engine getting nearer and equally as loud.

We watched the lake, which was now in total darkness and neither of us could believe what passed by, the speed boat that had left us moments earlier was now motoring down the lake with huge spot lights on, music blaring, pulling someone on a ski board. Up and down it went, soon to be joined by another.

We envied the people who live along the lake as it seemed to come alive after daytime work hours, this was obviously how they spent their time, from sailing a two man dinghy, little bit of fishing, paddle boarding up and down or water skiing.

We watched for a while not quite knowing what to expect next but the time soon came to pack up, move inside the awning and head for the showers.

Didn’t take long to reach them, along the road and then up a small gravel type path to the block. It was dark and no lighting along the way but we could easily see the well lit building and our eyes had adjusted by the time we reached it.

The unit itself was superb, each toilet had its own sink and electric hand dryer and the showers on first appearance matched. The only thing to let it down was the drainage in the showers, by the time I’d finished the water had worked its way along the corridor and was making a bid for the door.

Shower done and hair dried with a proper hairdryer I left the block and walked towards the top of the gravel path and back down it. Now, this next bit we’d considered leaving out, after all, my troubles were not particularly interesting but this is a blog and we see it as warts and all. So here goes.. 

At this point everything in front of me and below was in total darkness. The external lights from the block did’t stretch to down the path and my eyes hadn’t adjusted to the pitch blackness. I waited a few minutes but it didn’t get any clearer, none of the lodges below were illuminated and I wasn’t wholly convinced I was in the middle of the path so I tentatively edged my way down the path barely putting one foot in front of the other whilst clutching my toilet bag to my chest. Felt a fool but I didn’t particularly want to come a cropper, doing it once on holiday was enough and I didn’t plan on doing it twice, but no, I could just see the road a few paces in front of me, I smiled to myself as if I’d completed some challenge set by the Crystal Maze and promptly went flying landing on my side whilst my head hit the concrete road.

I had no idea what had happened, I hadn’t even had time to break my fall so my body took the full impact, I sat myself up but couldn’t see a darn thing, shock set in and the pain in my shins and head began to register. On hands and knees I checked myself over as best as I could and picked myself and what remained of my toilet bag up off the floor, as I stood up I reached out and at this point I realised I had fallen over a very large boulder that was slap bang in the middle of the entrance to the gravel path.

I had no idea if I’d lost anything but it was impossible to check in the total blackness around me, so again with tears streaming down my face I hobbled down the road to the only glimmer of light coming from a lodge some distance away.

As I reached the shop I saw a torch light bobbing a long and heading in my direction. I did my best to pull myself together as I didn’t want to look more disheveled than I felt and should it be a fellow caravaner I didn’t want to distress them by my appearance as at this point I myself didn’t know what I looked like. I soon realised it was Mr.B and I relayed by tail of woe through tearful eyes and stammered speech as he walked me back to Pod, a hot cup of tea was had whilst giving myself a once over discovering two red shins a tender ear and shoulder and a ripped toilet bag containing a cracked shampoo bottle, we then went to bed safe and snug knowing nothing could happen for the next few hours at least.

My determination to make this a memorable birthday outing was not going as I had planned and my attempts to keep a stiff upper lip were challenged yet again but I began to wonder what else was waiting round the corner as these things come in threes.. right?

Woke to a dry morning and a slightly aching body, no permanent damage done so set about planning our day in the kayak on the lake, it was also Mr.B’s birthday.. yay! And time for cards, carrot cake and candles and of course presents, all this with the additional extra of steak and egg for breakfast.

Before this could take place Mr.B who was still in sensed over the poorly placed boulder and inadequate lighting reported the matter to the reception staff, he also wanted to make a simple suggestion that if the boulder was painted white this wouldn’t have happened and it may prevent some other poor person befalling the same fate.

He returned to tell me one of the assistance was less than understanding and could offer nothing other than the comment of ‘what, no torch’. Yes we had torches but at no point were we told the lighting was non existent and they were recommended, once in the midst of my darkened dilemma there was little I could do but make my way down the path as best as I could. But now wasn’t the time to dwell on this, my legs were a little sore and my shoulder was uncomfortable but I was not going to let my misadventure detract from the purpose of our few days away, Mr.B’s birthday on the lake.

Kayak was still up from the previous day so pressures were checked and no adjustments were needed. Packed lunch made and by 10.30 were were in the kayak and on our way up the lake towards Bowness, we had no idea how far we would get but planned on returning late afternoon.

The steamers were on the move too and passed us in both directions, each causing small wakes which we managed to paddle through, didn’t hit us too hard as we stayed close to the water edge as this had the more interesting views of the landscape and hopefully wildlife.

We found our rhythm and in unison we dipped our paddles in and out of the water and slowly floated along, the sun peeked out from the clouds long enough to warm our backs and disappeared often enough to allow us to cool down a little.

The boat houses we passed on our way went from immense grandeur to the poor member on the block who was in dire need of some restoration, it was at these points we fantasised with what we would do if we ever won the lottery, would help if we did it of course.

The further we travelled up the lake the bigger and more luxurious the boats and yachts became. Some were moored in various little coves and as we paddled between them we imagined the lives the owners of these had.

Soon the ferry came into view and with careful timing we dodged its return to our side and minutes later Bowness on Windermere came into view, the bay was full of people, boats and bird life. Boats of all shapes and sizes were coming and going, the passenger boats were loading and unloading and voices could be heard over the loud speakers directing the next hoard in the direction of the next available tour. Birdlife smothered the bay, ducks, swans, geese and and any other winged life that was in the area, the reason being they were being fed from bags of food held in the hands of numerous people stood on the waterline. To our surprise there were four adult swans being fed by hand which saddened us a little and seemed to spoil my view of an area we saw as an avid supporter of conservation and preservation.

Now, we haven’t had the kayak that long and although we thought we had mastered the art of getting in and out of it there was always the chance one of us could come a cropper, today was not the day for this to happen and as we glided in, between people and wildlife Mr.B was heard to say ‘come on my love, lets get this right, people are watching’.. no pressure then.

We drifted in, the kayak skimmed the stones and we came to a stop. I’m normally first out so trying to look as relaxed as possible, feet and legs came out from under me and I prayed that as I put my feet into the water I didn’t slip on the wet stones. Once stood upright I held the kayak whilst Mr.B did the same. Without looking around we picked the kayak up and marched it out of the water, we did it and no hiccups.

Packed lunch was eaten on one the benches that lined the wall of the bay and after a deliciously creamy ice cream we made the decision to start heading back to Pod.

Back into the kayak we went and reversed out to turn and head back the way we had paddled, the sun was still out as we took the same route back andwe reached Pod just after 4pm. After a full day out on the lake we were both pooped but Mr.B’s birthday had gone accordingly to plan.

Curry and beer for dinner and as the sun went down over the hills we sat and enjoyed it all looking out over the lake and again watched as the locals all came out to play on what was one incredible playground.

Bedtime came round too soon and the showers were again visited but were uneventful, thank goodness.

Rain woke us and following breakfast the usual routine began of putting everything away, except on this occasion the awning was coming down wet. We have been away every month since having Pod and we’ve always managed to dodge this but it got us good style this time. 

Even though I had been the victim of what some may call bad luck we had enjoyed ourselves immensely and Mr.B’s birthday was filled with good memories of a picturesque caravan park, a perfect pitch with lakeside access for Pod and a wonderful calm day spent on Lake Windermere, we will be back and for a little longer too.

Posted in Accessories, Awning, Caravan, Caravanning, Cumbria, Glamping, Kayak, Lake District, Lakes, Travel, Traveling, Uncategorized | Leave a comment