Well that went better than expected!
We had planned for a while to go camping last weekend. Just about every social event on our calendars fell on those few days so we decided to camp so that we were a bit closer to the action.
So when the forecast showed rain we shrugged and thought it would be good to give the tent a bit of a test of its waterproofness.
Then it showed wind.
Uhoh. Not the best forecast for our first trip out with the new tent! It shows just how much we wanted to see all our friends that we decided to risk it. After all, if we got completely rained out we could pack up and either head home or crash at a friends house.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Cornwall there were flash floods that swept away an entire road at Coverack.
There was a bit of nervousness as we packed up the car, wellies and waterproofs were packed, as well as a very hopeful swimming costume.
We have a fairly normal car, it’s not huge, not tiny, so the tent, lilo, bedding and travel cot pretty much fill it. To make pitching the tent a bit easier we left the curved side poles in so the side walls of the tent fold up into an enormous banana shape. This just fits in the car with one of the back seats down. Then with the groundsheet and roof canvas folded on top the car is already 2/3rds full. We somehow managed to squeeze all the essentials in and still had a view through the rear view mirror. If we want to bring all the extra glamping stuff I think we will have to invest in a roof box!
We were headed to Penwarne Campsite, a little site just south of Falmouth. It’s not the best entrance, there is a very rough and potholed dirt track that leads you down past farm buildings. But as you turn and drive onto the Campsite you are met with the most wonderful view. Past the pitches which are fairly flat, the field slopes downward into a wooded valley that perfectly frames a clear view of the sea.
The site layout is simple. Caravan pitches and hookups are in a triple layer at the top, and then camping is at the bottom. Water points are at either end, and a basic shower/toilet block is near the entrance. There’s even a little cafe, play area and a pop up shop.
But it isn’t the facilities that are the most memorable features of the site. It’s the on site entertainment! No, not singing and dancing. They have a much more rural entertainment that kept the toddler fascinated for hours. And that occasionally mooooed in the early hours. Yep, half of the camping field is split off with an electric fence and held a herd of very friendly and curious cows. We were pitched only a few feet away from these gentle mannered hosts, who lined up to chat at every opportunity. There were even a number of calves, whose big ears seemed much too large for their heads.
There is also a small flock of chickens that are kept enclosed (no need to worry about chicken poo on your tent!) and were very keen to make friends with anyone who passed by.
The first night the tent rattled as the winds drove over us. Although I barely slept, the toddler didn’t seem to mind the storm. We have a new trick to getting her sleep, a Snooze Shade which is a black fabric cover for the travel cot- but more about that another time.
But even in the biggest blusters the tent stood solid as a rock. Even when the rain seemed to hammer down onto us we were dry and safe inside. We were glad to have our wellies to get to the toilets though!
By the second day the weather was starting to clear up, and luckily the big thunderstorms never materialised. On the last day it was so lovely we even dared a dip in the sea.
The cafe staff at the campsite are the loveliest I have ever met, after our rather chilly sea swim in the Helford bay we arrived back at the campsite just as the cafe should have been closing. Instead of turfing us out, they made us all much needed hot chocolates and even brought them over to our tent.
It was with both relief and sadness that we eventually packed up and drove home. Relief to be in our own bed again, and sadness that the adventure was over.
Now that we are back home, with Tylda all packed away I’m desperate to get away again. I can’t wait for our next adventure. We have only just brushed the surface of what I think Tylda is capable of, I think with a bit more kitting out we will be able to sleep in real luxury. It’s going to be great!