It’s good to be back on the road in Rosie. Now you wouldn’t have heard me say that three years ago, but hey a girl can change her mind. So we set off for an April Bank Holiday weekend in Somerset – love that accent. Dubber has to make the transition from car to van so we race along the M42, changing up and down gears like there’s no tomorrow, until after about an hour he settles into her rhythm, and the drive becomes smooth again.
We are heading for Priddy in Somerset. We’ve taken another giant step in our investment in Rosie and joined the Caravan and Camping Club, which essentially gives us better access to camping sites around the country. We are staying at the Cheddar Mendip Heights campsite near Priddy.
We arrive at the campsite and immediately there’s a sense of this being a friendly and welcoming place. The setting is lovely amongst the Mendip hills but also where we decide to camp is secluded and quiet…so much so that when our friends Sean and Claire arrive they can’t find us!
This is our first outing with our new awning, a Kampa Travelpod Action…Dubber is full of technical knowledge… It’s an inflatable awning to you and me. It’s so much better than our previous awning because it goes up in 15 minutes rather than the frustrating hour accompanied by miscellaneous bad language from Dubber. He has no patience. Anyway the awning is lovely and brings in a lot more light.
We have just set up and our friends arrive. We put the kettle on and share ( yes I said ‘share’) the Hobnobs. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before but a staple to our Rosie trips is Hobnobs. Chocolate ones of course. What I have observed is that for every one that Dubber has I have about three. What?!
So we have had our cuppa then we head off to the pub, the Queen Vic in Priddy for dinner. A really nice traditional pub with excellent food. My goodness if you saw Sean’s pie – it was a wedge of meat.
Having said goodbye to our friends, who also have a camper called Verne but he’s off the road at the moment, (Look out for a Rosie and Verne adventure in the future) we settle ourselves in for the night. Have missed the cosiness of sleeping in the van.
After a great night’s sleep we decide to get out early for a walk through Cheddar Gorge. The forecast is rain. We park up in the Gorge and head to the Tourist Information Office for guidance on the walk. After some simple instructions which included “There’s a bit of an incline as you begin” we crossed the road went through a gate and OMG that’s a cliff not an incline!
I’m not kidding it was practically straight up. If we’d come prepared we would have had crampons! Anyway we made our way straight up with a huff and a puff half way and after about 15 minutes having been overtaken by a dog, we got up onto the top and the plateau that is the top of one side of the gorge. The views were fabulous and the weather was beautiful.
Now the good thing about going up is that you can go down, so after about 5 minutes we were back down on the road. The walk we were following however covered both sides the gorge, so yes you’ve guessed it we had to climb again. This time though the environment was more interesting and the view at the top was worth waiting for. Walking back down we earned the double chocolate torte and hot chocolate overdose in a cafe, along with the cheddar cheese of course.
The rain came down as we head to the cathedral city of Wells. It’s a beautiful cathedral and it was so calming to sit there in the peace. A quaint town and worth the window shopping. We spent the rest of the day back at the site and yes it did start to rain quite heavy, so Skipbo came out and I beat Dubber again, and again and again.
The next day we packed up and drove to the coast. Always good to see a bit of sea, our choice of place was Burnham-on-sea. Obviously we were slightly on the young side for most of the people we saw there but they had a good Clarks Outlet store.
Our aim was to get to Bleadon by lunchtime to hear our friend Unc aka Chief Engineer on the barge trip, playing with Chris Stinchcombe at a village fete. It was in full swing in blazing and I mean blazing sunshine. A bit of tan initiation for everyone that day. It seemed like a nice community and as we arrived the band had just finished playing and the Morris dancers were performing. We got ourselves a local beer but there was no food left – it was only 1pm. Constant throughout the fete was a Lady Commentator, obviously been trained by the WI with her pearls and twinset at some point. She got very excited at introducing everything to everyone and saying how wonderful everything was especially the food – what food?
After the Morris dancers there were more dancers. They called themselves Medieval but were dressed in Tudor clothes which I have to say in that heat must have been exhausting. What followed was a bit of madrigal dancing and then everyone was asked to get involved in what can only be described as country dancing. Not a medieval joust move in site. Anyway after the Medieval, sorry Tudor, sorry mock Victorian dancers died from heat stroke in the corner at the bar which was by now running out of beer, our boys got up and played again before they were interrupted by the Lady Commentator mid-song to call out the winner on the raffle for the bike.
Joking aside, small village communities do a great job at entertaining themselves and visitors. My own village of Hathern has a core group of people and organisations which do a fantastic job at putting on events. Looking forward to taking Rosie down to the Wicked Hathern Festival again this year. Come and join us August 11/12.
So the Rosie season has begun. Have missed going away with you, Rosie.