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Dubs in the Forest, New Park Manor, Hampshire

Dubs in the Forest was the first VW event we were due to attend this year, an event organised by the New Forest Dub Club and held in at the New Forest Showground at New Park near Brockenhurst.

We made good time heading South, arriving at the site at around 6pm and found ourselves a quiet corner suitable for us and the two other Brazilian campers who would arrive a little later.

Preparing supper in the sun!

Despite the wet weather that had been forecast – we’d dodged a few showers on the way – the evening turned out to be dry and bright although the clear sky did mean we were in for a chilly night. The other campers arrived and the field slowly filled, and we sat around a picnic table chatting and enjoying the sounds from the entertainment marque at the other end of the field.

Saturday morning started well with our normal breakfast and tidy up routine, but rain soon arrived so we donned our waterproofs and went off to investigate the trade stands and displays.

Dubs in the Forest is a relatively small show, although it gets bigger each year, so there were only a few trade stands to look at. That said, there was a good selection and several we’d not seen before, so great to have a good look at everything they offered.

There were a few displays and activities organised, and although the weather was trying hard to interrupt things, everything went as planned and those who braved the conditions (including us!) enjoyed them.

We treated ourselves to fresh baked pizza for lunch, thanks to the Great British Pizza Company then headed back to our campers to catch up with a few other Brazilian camper owners who had come along as day visitors for a visit.

The weather continued to worsen into the evening, but there was a great band playing in the entertainment marque and a supply of good beer from the bar so everyone continued to have a good time.

Packing up in the rain

On Sunday morning it was obvious just how much rain had fallen over night and several of the campers (mostly T4 and T5s!) struggled to get out of the field. A few needed ‘extra’ help and one or two needed to be pulled out with a 4×4. I’m pleased to say that all the Brazilian campers made it out of the field without any problem although they would all need a good clean to remove splattered mud!

Once packed up we joined the cruise through the New Forest to Lepe beach, the route had to be altered due to local flooding and only half of the car park at Lepe was available for the same reason, but lots of people stopped to look at the convoy and once again everyone had a great time.

Looking forward to Dubs in the Forest 2013 and hoping for better weather!

Fforest Fields, Powys, Wales

We were meeting some friends at Fforest Fields camp site on Friday but decided to arrive on Thursday so we could have a good look around and enjoy the wonderful Welsh countryside. All went to plan except for the weather, but wind and rain can’t stop the smiles and fun with Tallulah!!

The rolling hills of mid-Wales

After a stop-over in Cheltenham and a quick re-stock of supplies, we headed NW and crossed the border into Wales near Kington and arrived on site at around 4pm. We received a very warm welcome and were shown to an all-weather pitch – the weather was due to be soggy – with space around it where our friends could pitch their tents.

After sorting ourselves out, leveling Tallulah and plugging her in, we went for a wander in the beautiful surroundings before the wet and windy conditions arrived – expected early evening. As it happened, the rain never really came to much, but it was more than made up for by VERY strong winds. Luckily, our sun canopy had been kept tucked away in it’s bag, but we also opted to lower Tallulah’s roof in the interests of a decent nights sleep.

Feeding time

In the morning we made our normal bacon and eggs breakfast and after a quick tidy up and shower etc we set out on another exploration adventure, this time heading along a marked trail toward the all important ‘pub’. It was a around a mile away cross-country, but we were in no hurry, taking time to explore along the route.

A top-up of fluids in the pub and a chat to the landlord before heading back to the site, just in time for the first of our friends to arrive. The rest of the afternoon and evening was taken up with pitching tents, cooking a meal for 15 and preparing for the following days BIG adventure.

Saturday morning greeted us with brilliant sunshine, and just as well given what some of our friends were about to put themselves through! They were running as a 3 man team in the annual Man vs Horse race in Llanwrtyd Wells, a mere 22 miles cross-country against 300 or so other teams or runners and 50+ horses!

Man vs Horse 2012

Our team finished a very respectable 102nd in around 3 hrs 20 mins and the race was won by a horse. You might think this was to be expected, especially given the heavy going conditions, but the fastest human runner at this years event actually won outright, beating all other humans and horses back in 2004.

After a well deserved rest and some refreshments we all headed back to the site for another group camping meal and enjoyed the evening sun and a few games with the kids.

The following morning was simply a case of packing everything up and  heading out on the long, but very enjoyable drive back to Berkshire.

Tallulah enjoying the evening sun

A great few days, despite the weather, and an amazing experience to watch man and horse doing battle. A great camp site too, with lots of space and things to do as well as great facilities. There’s a better than average chance we will be back at the same time next year!

 

Anita’s Caravan Park

Tallulah was on the road again last weekend, this time heading to a great looking camp site 5 miles north of Banbury – Anita’s Caravan and Camping Park.

On this adventure we will be properly testing our new larger awning both in terms of living/sleeping space with friends staying with us, and weather proofing as the conditions are forecast to be wet and windy for at least the first half of our stay.

The main reason for our trip was to attend the inaugural ‘Kombi Sleepover‘, a meeting of other Brazilian VW Bay owners from around the country, but also to test our new awning as we had friends staying with us and sleeping in it.

Tallulah with some of her friends…

We arrived shortly after 6pm and set about levelling, plugging in and pitching our awning which was somewhat challenging in the windy conditions.

All done an hour or so later so we then unpacked our picnic table and benches and had a nice relaxing meal then after a short walk to a local pub we settled in for a chat and a few more drinks before turning in for the night.

Saturday morning gave the awning a thorough test, persistent rain until after lunch and two small kids needing space to be entertained, and I’m happy to say it passed with flying colours!

The weather brightened up shortly after lunch, as did the campsite with the arrival of 9 more Brazi Bays in a wide selection of colours.

With total number of buses now at 12 the fun could really begin, everyone being introduced and having a good look around each others vans. A game of rounders ended in a tactful draw (air-cooled vs water-cooled) and we all sat round the campfire (BBQ) waiting for Kiteman’s solar lights to glow.

All setup ready for the weekend

A well earned late breakfast Sunday morning and a leisurely pack-up before heading south for a spot of lunch in Oxford.

A great weekend with lots of very nice people and great looking buses, it looks like becoming an annual event.