The outdoors. Tranquil; Clean; Calming. And now forever marked with our presence. Our little adventure took us to the New Forest, a large expanse of land that is part camping sites/ part nature reserve. Most of the area animals are free to roam the streets, the parks, the camps and on occasion the driveways and gardens of houses. Why, well I'm sure theres a reason horses and the like feel the need to eat Mrs Smiths carnations, but that's something for you to find out yourself.
The drive down started with a convoy meet-up at Green Park, to which i made a joke about some old guy running down the road, and as we passed him, it turned out to be Mr Reading himself (John Madejski). Once we had our respective cars all packed we took to the roads to get to the camp site, stopping off for some coffee and nostalgia (coin + my nose + blood = every ones laughter). We got to the campsite around midday which was good, and despite a little parenting from the camper guides (Quiet by 11pm, don't have wood fires, don't ride the horses) we found a spot with enough room for 6 tents and a gazebo. Set up and started drinking.
At first it pissed down, hard, and we had to do some modification to the gazebo when one of the legs buckled, cue duct tape and branches. Aside from the first bit of rain it was glorious sun for the remainder of the trip. Me and a couple of mates trekked into the Forest to have a look, and the old game of smash a stick on a tree ensued. It was fun. And afterwards a nice night fuelled of Westons boxed Cider (lovely) and Heineken mini keg (not so great) began.
Sat was a day of sitting around getting sun burnt, trekking through the Forest in any direction, then a game of Manhunt and Capture the Flag [Hat]. Thoroughly enjoyed both and was a highlight of the trip. Saturday we had Chinese takeaway, not exactly camping food, but you make your own camping experience. Some people go into the wilderness to find themselves and forget the hustle and bustle of the city life, bills and Angel delight. But we had something else to do, we had boxed cider, team showers and an all round decedent camping experience.
You may have noticed i said team showers, allow me to elaborate. The camping showers were amazing, one button you press to turn the water on (much like taps) and it was instant bliss. The right temperature, every time. So 4 of us took a shower with the cubicles next to each other, and usually you try to make as little noise as possible since its a pretty solitary experience, much like going to the toilet, but we had fun, joking and whistling the theme to Jurassic Park.
Sunday was a day of minor walking, still getting sun burnt and a trip to the nearest village for a pub lunch, and for some a trip to Beauliu, a classic car museum with a Top Gear attraction, Monorail and James Bond cars. The rest of us however went back to camp and drank. The whole trip was just an excuse to chill out, have fun with friends and just forget about things for awhile. We saw shooting stars, Jupiter was seen many a time, and talk occasionally went a little deeper than expected considering the amount of alcohol being consumed.
I think we all came away from it with a sense of enjoyment, mild sunburn and most probably a lot more damage to our livers.
So a success then. Roll on the next camping trip