Thursday, September 20, 2012

Carry on Camping

The weather forecaster had said summer was back for a few days; sunshine and warm temperatures to last a least a week.  Perfect I thought, time to get out and about in the countryside again...something which has been seriously lacking in my life this year.  I got on the phone to my best mate, who is always up for shenanigans & adventures, & suggested we venture to the New Forest just a couple of hours away from us by train....the land of Enid Blyton.

We had time for an excursion of a few days and found a great campsite right in the middle of the New Forest and a short walk from the village of Brockenhurst, which meant pub close by after a tough day of exploring.  Sun was truly on top form on the Saturday so we gathered out stuff and headed west.

Brockenhurst village

Being the weekend in the last spurt of summer, the campsite was stacked, luckily for us we were backpacking and managed to squeeze a decent spot on the furthest side of the site.

Tent up pose

Meet the neigh-bours: Boris, Felicity & Norman

The New Forest is home to masses of wild ponies who wander around nonchalantly, occasionally sniffing in the general direction of the interlopers but generally noshing in the fields to their hearts content. 

We totally owned putting up the tent first time.  I had only just bought the thing & am fairly certain it is idiot proof.  Chloe had one job; remember to bring the stove & matches...she completed the task at a solid 50%....forgetting the matches & with neither of us being able to use our glasses anymore to Lord of the Flies a fire we opted for the local pub for sustenance.

A nearby creek provided much appreciated relaxation & splashy fun for families.  I watched from the bank as Chloe discovered just how warm a running stream in September actually was...the subsequent unrepeatable words which spewed forth suggest the water temperature was lower than expected.

Er, Clogs...stay still, you have a wee man jumping on your head

 Chloe chose the most difficult route out of the creek, I tried to persuade her a comical fall back into the water could make us a bundle on You've Been Framed...she wasn't keen.

After a rather nippy first night, we were up at the crack of dawn with map & picnic packed for exploration of the most spiffing kind.  The plan; to navigate through the woodland to the open moorland & back again.  Easy I thought since the place was littered with tracks & bike paths where dozens of folks were doing the exact same thing...the problem, it turns out, was that there were dozens of tracks & bike paths.

Early morning in camp, someone's burnt breakfast provided an atmospheric shot.

 Could be in ET's forest Reese's pieces to leave a trail...which would've been a good idea

We met several other explorers who each had an idea of their intended journey & where they thought they were currently....none of which corresponded with each other, my estimate, or the maps we each had.  So, back to basics...we followed the sun.

'If we circle back the way we came, jump over the rainbow and through the wardrobe into Narnia, I will still have no clue where we are'

Eventually I had a break though, Duke of Edinburgh would have been proud of, I spotted a body of water we had walked over & found it on my map...then did a happy dance.

Explorer 1 in cool shades

Explorer 2 in a cooler T-Shirt

Fallen tree provide minutes of fun for a couple of over grown children....'Falcor!'

 Essex Lion...Found!

A picnic in the sunshine in the middle of heath land where ponies wander is a glorious thing. Clogs & I rested & feasted, alas without any ginger beer, & then set off back to camp.

The next day the weather took a decidedly crappy turn, overcast & showers.  We decided to wander to nearby Lyndhurst through the woodland & dodged the rain for the most part.  The weather continued its downward spiral as we had lunch & we made the decision to bus it back to camp where we packed up during a dry spell and caught the next train home.  New Forest was beautiful & has lots of exploring left to do.
Our hike route..circles & back tracking ommited.