Of Ruth & Joe's Camping Trip
off reasonably well. Joe had been winding Ruth up "Something Chronic"
prior to their departure, and so by the time they got onto the
bus Ruth was refusing to sit next to him. With them they had their
large Rucksacks, each one packed to the brim with all the essentials
for the one night away from home. These included sleeping bags,
a camping stove, malt loaf and a Paddington Bear duvet, which
Ruth was to use instead of a Thermarest, the expensive inflatable
lightweight mattress that Joe had for his use. In fact the duvet
took up most of Ruth's Rucksack, and weighed a tonne too.
On the bus
they took great pleasure in observing the many strange locals;
people with ghastly ankles and stilettos, single mums much to
young to be any good at it and hairstyles straight out of the
last scene of E.T.
Abbot it was time to change buses, and once Joe had managed to
fall off the first bus they found their connection. As Joe made
his way up the central aisle to his seat, his rucksack belt strap
which was sticking out quite a bit touched an old lady on the
leg. He apologised before continuing on his way, this time accidentally
catching her skirt so that her knickers were revealed to all on
the small, intimate bus. Both he & Ruth cracked up, but managed
to contain themselves until they reached the back seat, whereupon
they burst into fits of giggles, the stress of their first holiday
together beginning to show.
reached the small town of Ashburton, and using Joe's unique sense
of navigation they proceeded to walk in the opposite direction
to that in which their campsite lay. At this point it hadn't started
to rain. Passing through the town centre Joe decided that it was
absolutely vital that they buy a map of the area, setting them
back a precious twelve pounds (on their return home he found another
map which also covered the area).
a mile or two, they found their campsite, situated in the heart
of a beautiful valley on the edge of Dartmoor. The field was empty,
so they had every pitch to choose from.
decided upon a sloping site under the shelter of some trees, although
it turned out that the trees provided virtually no protection
from the torrential downpour which began a couple of minutes after
they'd put the tent up, and still showed no signs of abating when
they departed the following morning. Also, the slope prevented
them from getting any sleep as they kept on waking up to find
that they'd slid down to the narrow end of the tent.
to spend their first holiday afternoon away from the centre of
Ashburton, and so Joe thought that it would be a nice idea to
take a track there instead of the road that they'd walked along
before. This proved to be a mistake, as the torrential rain had
turned it into a mud bath.
Once in town
they discovered that being a Wednesday, it was half day closing.
Eventually they decided to give up on all ideas of authentic camping
(cooking on a portable meths stove etc.), and so went into a cafe
to wait for the Chinese Takeaway to open.
Back at camp
a little after they'd eaten their Chow Meins, Ruth said that she
didn't feel too well... and had really bad diarrhoea!
evening, when the rain had abated a little, they decided to venture
out of the tent for a stroll up the hill. Unfortunately, their
walk took them along a well-used bridleway, which at one point
was impassable due to about six inches of squishy mud. Alas, they
only realised that it was impassable once they were halfway through
it with wet socks.
morning they were woken from their restless sleepy states by water
dripping on their heads. It was raining so hard that water was
flowing freely through both the outer and inner tents. Ruth &
Joe rapidly packed everything up, walked (along the road) back
into Ashburton and got the next bus home.
wait until their next day off for which they had a very appealing
action plan: stay at home and watch TV all day!
Tame's Tales Home