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Dub Aid 3, Charlton Park, Wiltshire



The new VW show season is upon us and locally (ish) that starts with Dub Aid near Malmesbury in Wiltshire.

We arrived on site at around 7.30pm, just a few minutes after another club member (andhoops) and proceeded in convoy around the edge of the camping field – apparently too boggy to cross directly to our pitch – where we spotted the Brazilian flag and parked.With most of the country stuck in what appeared to be a never ending winter we left Reading heading West at around with some trepidation and as many warm (and waterproof) clothes as we could find. There would be no hookup at the event site so keeping warm and dry would be critical.

After a brief catchup with fellow Brazilian VW Bay members and a cuppa, we set off on foot toexplore with Wellington boots and thermal socks being put to good use. We

IMG_2722found the entertainment marquee and bar and enjoyed a few pints of mulled cider while listening to some local bands.

It had been raining consistently for most of the day, and although it was much lighter during the early evening, it became much heavier again as we settled in for the night, leaving the event organisers with some tough decisions for the morning.

Saturday morning brought us some blue skies and sun and the ground appeared to be drying out however as so much rain had fallen on Friday and during the night it would need to stay that way for the whole day to make any significant difference. The event organisers were therefore forced into the decision to close the event to day visitors and any new arrivals and hope that things might improve enough for Sunday visitors.

We sorted breakfast and spent the rest of the morning completing several laps of the show arena to look at the few trade stands that had made it in before the gates had closed and generally had a good look around, then with wise words and encouragement we helped our fellow crew members erect their sun canopy – just in time to shelter from more rain showers!


After lunch we attended the charity auction which with better weather would have been the highlight of the day, but with so few people it did well to raise approx £1,100 for Great Ormond Street Hospital – we didn’t bid on anything although we tempted by a large cake!

The skies were once again full of grey clouds so it was looking less and less likely the show would be open on the Sunday, so with a few hours to kill before the Saturday night entertainment would start and having seen everything there was to see, we made the decision to head home while it was still light and while there were still a few blades of grass for grip to get out of the field.

We packed and made our way to the edge of the field, then with a helping hand from the Brazi Bay crew, a toot and a wave and we were on our way. The journey home was no walk in the park either, rain, sleet, snow, driving rain and high winds, we saw just about everything except sun on the way back to Reading.

The event organisers had done a fab job planning and getting everything ready, only for all of their hard work to be undone by the great British weather.

Dubs at the Castle, Caldicot Castle

The schools were about to break up for summer which provided an excellent opportunity to get away for a few days and the timing was right for us to head into South Wales to attend Dubs at the Castle.


Welcome to Wales!

A VW event AND a thousand year old castle and grounds, what could be better!

We hit the road at around 4.30pm and headed west. We normally avoid motorways in favour of ‘A’ roads and open countryside, but in this case the M4 was the most direct route so off we went. We crossed the Severn Bridge at 6.30 – a real experience on a windy day! – arrived at Caldicot Castle shortly after 7pm and began hunting for a decent camping spot.

The weather forecast for the weekend was warm and sunny so the site was already very busy, but we eventually found a secluded spot in one of the fields behind the castle and set up for the evening.

View from the battlements!

View from the battlements!

As the light began to fade we went for a wander around the ‘entertainment’ field where the bar and music marquees were in full flow. There were a few rides for the kids, bumper cars etc, and some food stalls which provided an easy solution for dinner!

The morning brought us a clear blue sky and sunshine, a rare occurrence so far in 2012, so we sorted out breakfast and went off to explore the ‘display’ field. There was a good selection of show and shine vehicles to look at and plenty of VW related accessory stalls along with one or two activities, aimed mainly at children.

Entrance to the show included free entrance into the castle, which is where we had lunch, then we spent the afternoon exploring the ruins and following the history trail.


SUN canopy!

The bright sunshine stayed with us all day, so for once we could use our sun canopy for its intended purpose rather than as a rain shelter and for the first time this year we could use our portable BBQ. With our evening meal all sorted we added a crackle log which provided a small amount of heat on a chilly evening, but more importantly, kept the mosquitos and other bugs away as we sat out enjoying a relaxing evening drink.

There is rarely an electric hookup (EHU) at these events, so on this occasion we had also brought our new portable generator which we wanted to fully test. We set it up behind our van and ran it for approx 30 mins to give our leisure battery a helpful boost, and while it was a bit loud, it did what was needed and will be very useful when ‘wild camping’ in the future. (There are quieter generators available, but these tend to be quite expensive)

The great weather continued on the Sunday morning so we had a leisurely breakfast then packed up and relocated to the car park near the exit so we could have another wonder around the show.

All done and we headed East once again with some picnic provisions to be used at the inaugural Brazilian VW Bay Southern meet at Barbury Castle in Wiltshire. We spent the afternoon here chatting to some other Brazi Bay owners and flying kites before wending our way the rest of the way back to Reading.



Dubs at the Castle is a small but well attended event with lots to do and see, especially for the kids, due in no small part to the castle access included in the ticket price. An event for a slightly younger audience with a large number of newer T25, T4 and T5 campers and not so many T2s (splits or bays) compared to other shows. As far as we know, Tallulah was the only Brazilian Bay that attended and attracted lots of attention, points and stares as she was newer than the majority of campers there!

It was great to meet up with some of the Southern Brazi Bay crew on the Sunday too, and the weather was excellent throughout.

A great weekend all round!


Zoom in to see Tallulah!

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!