Posted by: digibirder | September 24, 2010

Struggling on

So, I have been back in the land of the unemployed for a few weeks now, but nothing seems to be happening with anything at the moment. I am drifting in and out of feeling quite depressed about things and I am not sure how it’s all going to turn out. A brief upturn in mood was when we collected our new car, followed a few days later by the new folding camper. We collected the camper and after a demonstration of how to pitch it, we set off to the wilds of Wales again, but further south than our previous trip a couple of weeks earlier. Being a little geographically challenged, I wasn’t aware of just how much further south, but at least we arrived and pitched before it went dark! Somewhere a little nearer would have been better, this being our first experience of this camper, but we coped. We camped at the Camping and Caravanning Club’s site at Cardigan Bay, which we have visited before, in 2004, but we remembered little about the area, so we decided to re-acquaint ourselves with it. The car coped admirably with towing the camper and we had no problems at all, except for Keith almost falling asleep at the wheel, that is! I noticed we were heading for the edge of the road and shouted something, which promptly brought Keith back to life.

On arrival, we were shown to our pitch and we set about reading the instructions and erecting the camper. It did not take too long for a first attempt, so I’m sure we’ll get faster as time goes on. The following morning we attached the awning, which tested our powers of understanding very basic instruction sheets! However, the awning is not strictly necessary, as the camper makes an ideal unit without it, which makes it handy for one or two nights away, as there is no pegging out. We then drove into Cardigan to get some provisions and have a look around, then drove back to the site, calling in at nearby New Quay before heading back to the site to relax.

On Sunday we drove to Dinas Head and walked around the headland. We did this walk last time we were down here, but we were a little disappointed in not seeing any Choughs this time. We thought we saw a Raven, but we couldn’t be too sure. Back at the car park, we headed straight for The Old Sailors pub that sits looking out over the bay. It was a glorious day and back at the site we were sitting in the sunshine in shorts and t-shirts.

After this the weather turned a bit blustery and rainy, and it was a little scary in the trailer with the wind blowing the unit about. I think part of the problem was that we hadn’t quite pitched the awning perfectly and the wind was catching it, and in turn that was making the trailer sway a bit. The following morning we discovered a couple of leaks, but this was only through the seams, which need ‘weathering’ before becoming water-tight. They certainly got some weathering that night and the following day!

We were due to leave on the Tuesday, but as we were a bit damp we decided to book an extra night, after checking that the weather was going to improve. This gave us a chance to dry out properly before heading home, as we do not have a suitable place at home to open out the trailer for any great length of time. It also gave us chance to pack the camper properly with all the stuff from the old trailer tent. In this unit we can leave everything stored in situ, and much of it doesn’t have to be packed and unpacked from separate boxes each time. This will make pitching and packing up much quicker, once we  get used to it. As we had an extra day, we went for a drive, despite the rain, and explored some of the various backroads leading down to small bays and coves along the coast. The rain and wind continued, so we didn’t linger too long in these places, apart from Aberporth, where we sat in the car eating our sandwiches and watching dolphins in the bay. We then made a dash through the rain to a nearby café where we had a welcome cup of tea and piece of cake. A short time after arriving back at the site following our excursion, it began to brighten and was indeed a much better day. The following day was also kind to us as we packed up to leave.

I did some of the driving on the way home, and I found towing the trailer was very easy. We called in at the camping place where we bought the camper, as we needed to clarify one or two points and purchase some extra equipment. Following this, the remainder of the journey was quite frustrating, as we seemed to get caught in every traffic jam possible. We were quite exhausted when we arrived home, so we stuck the camper in the garage (which we’d had to clear out in preparation for the camper), unpacked the car and then called in the village chip shop for fish and chips. It wasn’t long before we were ready for bed.

New Quay harbour

New Quay from above the town

Start of walk round Dinas Head (pub on left)

Looking over towards Fishguard

Rugged coastline

Soaking up the sunshine – water glistening below

At the far side of the headland in Cwm-yr-Eglwys and the remains of a church destroyed by a storm in 1859

So, we are now planning our next trip with the camper, which may be quite soon. It has heating and hot water facilities, so it will make out of season camping a much better proposition. I will get some photos of the unit next time. I meant to take some on this trip, but never managed to get round to it.

Earlier this week we set the alarm for quite early and headed out to the Peak District for a sunrise photo session. The forecast was for fog, so we thought that would make for some good shots. We parked in the Surprise View car park near Hathersage and walked up to Mother Cap rock. I’d done this same thing on a photo workshop with Doug Chinnery back in April, but that morning was dull and wet, and we got very few decent shots. Sunrise was at about 06.50, so we managed to get in place and set up a little while before. The fog in the valley was amazing and I managed to get some decent shots from the viewpoint at the Surprise View bend in the road. We then headed into Hathersage to the Pool Café and treated ourselves to a full English breakfast – yummy! We also had a drive around the Peak area to see what other scenes we could see. The views near Mam Tor were also quite spectacular.



  1. Well – even though you’ve had an eventful time, you’re pictures are still amazing and the last two particularly atmospheric 😀 I love that misty look…

  2. some lovely photos di!

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