The van really is very comfortable. Now I’ve spent many nights on a cold tent floor, I can really appreciate the luxury of being able to roll over without getting a damp sleeping bag, or finding my shoes nice and dry instead of wet through next morning from the rain. It’s cost a lot to get my camper up and running, but I guarantee it was worth every penny when a miserable morning like this comes along.
Scott, being a well prepared outdoors-man has a good quality tent and all the accessories that make camping as pleasurable, comfortable and practical as possible. Simon, on the other hand, has a £10 “festival” tent from Tesco and his old scouting sleeping bag and roll mat. We were all unconvinced of the waterproof-ness of Simons tent so we let him camp under the tarp I erected to make an awning off the side of the van. I mean, we all started with this sort of kit, and it does work, at least once but…. I’m so glad to be in the van.
This morning, while it couldn’t be described as heavy rain, it was continuous and permeating. The clouds started at grass level and faded into light grey in all directions you looked. (It was like the fog you see on PS2 driving games so the programmers don’t have to load all the scenery at once) There was no telling where the sun was, for all we knew we had slept through the whole day. This was Aimi’s plan, I think canoeing and walking had had worn her out. Also her idea of a holiday is something you come back from feeling relaxed, and mine is something you come back from, needing to relax. This was fine when I had a 9-5 job as sitting in an office is not very physically intensive. But maybe I should take a leaf out of her book more often now I’m busier than I ever have been.
Alas, today was not planned to be relaxing. While Aimi slept in the van, listening to the patter of rain on the metal roof, Scott, Simon and I went to Keswick. Kong have an indoor climbing wall there to entertain us for the day. It seems a shame to come to the Lakes and not touch any real rock, but it would be pretty miserable up on the mountains today. We contented ourselves with a few climbs and Scott and Simon went through the artificial caving tunnel. This is not something I joined in with. As a larger than average gentleman, small dark spaces don’t appeal to me, especially if I have no idea how to get out.
On the ride into town, I think we commented on a new squeak that Simons car had developed a little too much. He went off to a local garage to see what it was and if anything could be done about it. It turned out to be nothing fatal, but as with any unexpected motor repair, expensive and needing imminent attention. As we got tired of climbing we headed back to the campsite. Simon had chosen to head south today so left Scott, Aimi and I mid afternoon. The weather didn’t look to be very good tomorrow either and he may as well get a head start on the repairs that needed to be done.
The weather had cleared a little and after Aimi’s nap, she felt keen to get out and do something. We didn’t fancy a long walk, but spotted a waterfall in the distance, now the clouds had made it above tree level. It was only an hours walk there, and less coming back, but it was nice to be outside and wandering around, exploring.
The mist gave the the evening a magical, deep glow, hanging heavy in the sky, casting a shadow-less dull light over the world. Boulders around us, huddled protectively from the wet misty wind and moss clung to the boughs of wizened and twisted trees, dripping with magical knowledge. I can understand now where stories of pixies and unicorns came from.