A campervan in winter

We took delivery of Cleopatra in January and have been camping with her since then. That means we've already camped in all seasons. I don't really remember the beginning of the year being particularly bleak, though I know it was - there are photos of us in snow. I think the novelty of having a campervan to call our own was still such a novelty we just didn't notice the weather.

Then summer came along and really spoiled us. We'd arrive on a camp site at 6 or 7 o'clock in the evening, crack open a few beers and watch the sun go down. That all seemed to change really quickly and on our last two camping trips we've arrived in the pitch black.

I didn't think the return of winter would put me off camping but on Friday it nearly did. We arrived at Cliff House camp site in Dunwich, near Southwold at 6.30pm. It was pitch black and raining. Reception had closed and our name and allocated pitch was on a sheet of late arrivals stuck to the door.

Our pitch was not easy to find in the dark on such a sprawling camp site. The maze of roads were barely discernible under the fallen leaves of autumn and the pitch numbers were small and to the back of each pitch. Our only saving grace was that the camp site has a downloadable map showing the exact location of each pitch, and that we still had a 3G mobile signal to access it.

Finally on our pitch there was nothing for us to do but shut ourselves inside for the night. And that experience made me wonder if we shouldn't just give up until spring.

On Saturday we cycled to Southwold. It was still raining and it was cold. It took us the best part of an hour and the paths were muddy and the puddles deep. I didn't much enjoy the ride there or back, though I enjoyed mooching around the shops, our fish and chip lunch. and walk along the sea front.

Then we woke up on Sunday to blue sky and temperatures that reached 17 degrees celcius. I made myself an espresso and took it over to the cliff edge near to our pitch. I sat on a log and looked out to sea and the sun was warm on my face. I woke Tony and we both took cups of coffee down to the beach. And then I realised why I still want to go camping in winter.


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