Mini RoadTrip

Last weekend was good fun in the van camper on the Isle of Wight so we decided to go for a mini-road trip to the New Forest and this time with the dog. During the journey he hated being in the van – it’s noisy but he didn’t seem to mind that, he hated when the vehicle drove over any bumps, potholes or cattle grids and tried to get into the front footwells at every opportunity he could – the poor little thing.

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Terry had his GoPro toy to mess around with so I’m expecting a video or two to be posted on Facebook soon…

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We parked up at Matley and explored the woodland and area before heading to Bolderwood and walking around the woods. Here are a few photos of how beautiful the woodland is…

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The challenge here tonight would be our dog, Bailey, and the space within the van. We’d slept in the back together before so knew there wouldn’t be much room for another body – Bailey managed to squeeze himself on top, not under the bunk as planned! Through the night he got cold so moved in between us but this didn’t seem an issue like it has before; for you see, Bailey likes to lay-out and by lay-out I mean he sprawls himself on his back legs akimbo or on his side pushing his legs into your back (never your front for some weird reason) but last night he just seemed content to tuck himself between the two of us and sleep soundly. (I don’t think he did get a lot of sleep as he was very tired looking on the drive home…)

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The morning wake up bird call was welcoming and not a soul in sight in the am. We woke up around 7am- the blackout curtains did a really good job of stopping the natural light from getting in. I may need to find a way of stopping the LED lights from ‘showing’ over the top of the curtains, though these did not seem to be too obvious at night time when looking into the vehicle. Sadly though the light from the charge controller is very bright at night! I usually sleep with a hat pulled over my eyes so I don’t see the light but last night, for the first time in a looong time, didn’t so kept waking from the light. Will get the gaffer tape out next time!

It was just so lovely to sit in bed and enjoy the fresh morning air.

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We decided to head to Lepe Country Park based on a friend’s recommendation (Thanks Carrie!). We wanted to explore a beach we’d not been to before and that allowed dogs and Lepe didn’t disappoint!

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Lepe Country Park, has a mile long beach, pine-fringed cliffs, historic D-Day remains, and wildflower meadows and is near Lepe, a small settlement on the Solent in Hampshire. It was very misty when we arrived so couldn’t see much across the waters to the land beyond but the mist made for a great creepy atmosphere.

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The beach is sectioned off into ‘family friendly’ where no dogs were allowed to the rest of the beach being open to dogs. Fantastic views from the cliffs.

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We found a lot of interesting things whilst exploring the beach – the most interesting find was this dead stingray. I’ve never seen one outside of an aquarium before.

Besdies this we found a lot of interestingly shaped shells in a vareity of different colours which I’ve collected for home decoration.

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We took some lovely shots of the beach and sea, the seaweed, driftwood and previous wave defensives were all interesting to capture on camera.

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Prior to the invasion of Normandy in June 1944, Lepe was used as a secret manufacturing site. Six massive concrete caissons were built here and later towed across the English Channel where they formed part of the artificial Mulberry harbours after D-Day. Lepe was also one of the many places on the south coast of England used for the embarkation of troops and equipment for the invasion. Concrete mats like big chocolate blocks were used to reinforce the shingle beach for heavy traffic. Some of these mats can still be seen today along with pier remnants, bollards and various concrete and brick structures. Lepe was also the point where PLUTO (Pipeline Under The Ocean) left the mainland: it carried fuel across the Isle of Wight and under the English Channel to the Allied forces in Normandy and beyond. Source: Wikipedia

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So that’s our little adventure weekend. After a late breakfast at the cafe, we headed back home to visit family (as we’d not seen them for nearly a month) and a trip to the cinema to catch a film we’d been wanting to see. It’s been a fun weekend – with all the different activities we do we often don’t have time together just the two of us and it was nice to ‘catch up’ and just enjoy each other’s company without others.

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We haven’t planned to take the van camper out again for another journey though we might do next weekend as we have Wales booked in for a DofE expedition…

Just Joanne

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