This weekend consisted of two of my favourite things: camping and wild swimming.
Also camembert, hot chocolate and pizza were involved, so that makes it five of my favourite things I suppose!
On Friday, N and I travelled up to Dartmoor to meet Alice and Adam at our teeny tiny campsite in the middle of quite literally nowhere. After a pretty abysmal start to the journey (involving fog, rain, forgotten BBQs, and a 1-and-a-half hour journey that turned into three-and-a-half due to traffic), we finally arrived in beautiful evening sunshine.
Yes, everything was still a little damp, but we powered on with a BBQ (acquired last minute at a service station by Adam) and a roaring campfire into the evening.
I don’t know why, but I have always loved camping. I love being in the outdoors and snuggling down into a sleeping bag at night to listen to the sounds nature around my head, and I love waking up at dawn to hear the birds, and sitting out on the grass in peace and quiet with a book or cooking up a breakfast on a little gas stove.
Alice came prepared with the most extravagant of treats as always, and made us some delicious hot chocolate to warm us up in the morning.
^ Yep, whipped cream and everything!
I suggested Dartmoor for our trip as I used to explore the River and tors as a child when visiting my Grandma in Ivybridge. Of course, I didn’t appreciate the beauty of it when I was younger, and used to kick up a fuss at being made to go on walks (sorry family, I was a troll of a child!).
It’s so beautiful there, with infinite places to explore and I was desperate to show N how nice it is in this part of the country, which is really (unless the traffic is not on your side) only 90 minutes away!
After our very chocolate-based ‘lion’s breakfast’, we decided to make the most of the good weather (the Saturday afternoon at this point looked like impending doom – more on that in a moment!) and popped down the road to a place called Spitchwick, which is known for being a particularly beautiful, swimmable section of the River Dart.
But not before some impromptu blackberry picking, of course!
We found a spot to set up camp by the river and got prepped for a swim! Being the very start of September, the air temperature was still fairly mild, although the river was icy as always.
Being the wuss I am, I was super prepared and actually brought my wetsuit. I may have looked like a tit, but it kept me toasty! Meanwhile, Alice – being the hardcore gal she is – went in swimsuit only. #Legend.
You could imagine this place could get really busy in the heat of Summer, but we pretty much had it all to ourselves! There were even random rope swings dotted about…
Which I failed at being cool at, obviously.
Once we’d had our swim we made our way back to the car as the rain was starting up. At this point it was only a smattering, so we stopped and said hello to some wild ponies before heading off to find a local tea room for shelter.
Aaand those are the last photos I took for the weekend…
During our tea room lunch in Holne, the rain got heavier and heavier, until it was pretty much torrential. Getting back to the campsite to find the tent wasn’t able to withstand this kind of tropical rainstorm and all our stuff was soaking wet was rather unfortunate!
We had been supposed to stay for two nights, but our tent was basically one big puddle, so we sacked it off and went back to stay at Alice and Adam’s flat in Plymouth to dry off. We ended up making ridiculous amounts of pizza and watching movies, so all was not lost!
Welcome to camping in England!
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