Light my fire


evergreen wooddland camping east grindstedLast Thursday I was utterly knackered and couldn’t see beyond my bed that night. But Peli managed to talk me into going camping since I had one of my rare weekends off. If we just train it down and then rest the whole day Saturday, I could go for a spin while you sleep, was her argument.

So we booked the cheapest train tickets we could find for the Friday and found a campsite that was within easy reach of the train station. Forgetting all about booking the bicycles etc and started to pack our panniers. Peli for the next morning as she would go direct from work to the train station. I would rush home hit the shower, pack and sprint to the station for the departure.

We arrived with minutes to spare and were told no bicycles on the trains between 16:00-19:00, rush hours. I was utterly creamed knackered and was quite keen on just packing it in and going home to bed. But Peli did what she does best and on our bicycles we went.

evergreen wooddland camping east grindstedI knew a route down to around 3 miles away from the campsite off by heart, so it wouldn’t be that hard to find. Though our planned arrival of 18:30 was set back to 21:30’ish before we arrived. 35’ish miles should normal take us just under three hours but it too
us nearly four hours.

On-route down we tried out or rather avoided the new Cycle Super Highway that is springing up in London, I do so hope that this is not the finished product, as it guides cyclist to take the wrong line. And when we came near Gatwick I was a bit worried that the campsite just outside East Grinstead would be right under the flight path, but we were very lucky that it wasn’t the metal birds that woke us up.

woollypigs meet a woolly pigWe arrived at Evergreen Farm Woodland Camping, to a friendly smile, even the biiiiig pig I’m sure was happy to see us. The proprietor had given us a plot on the edge of the forest, with two deck chairs and a portable table for us to use. Since he was sure that we couldn’t be carrying that on our bicycles and wanted us to be comfortable.

We pitched our tent in darkness and had quick bite to eat before we went to bed. As always with camping you are up with the birds, boy are they noisy, but we still had a good sleep on our very much worth it down maths.

The day was spend with eating, reading our books in the sun under a massive oak tree. Then we had a walk around the site, good size with plots spread out in the forest so that you were never too close to your neighbour. Though we do think that our plot was the best since we had a clear view of the sunset and was not too far away from the only compost toilet on the site.

enjoying a bonfireWe went to the local pub, The Old Mill, with a water mill still running behind the bar and had afternoon drink. Before we went back to our plot to enjoy the sunset and a bonfire.

I was a little bit worried since it has been a few years since I last started a fire. And I had a reputation to uphold e.g. the one match rule. I set up the fire and put my match to the kindle and the fire started up only to die down again, eek. Quick thinking and more kindle and a light blowing on the ambers I got it started again, so the one match rule is still on. And I could sit down and relax to a blistering hot fire. We then spend the next few hours poking the fire, reading our books or just getting lost looking at the flames. Peli crawled to bed at midnight but I still had wood to burn for an other hour or so before I hit the sack.

More pictures here than you can shake a stick at and read about the next day 14’miles lovely ride


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