Tom's Field again

'I've done a poo but I've locked the door,' was the first sentence I heard anyone speak today. It was followed, somewhat randomly, by 'what happened to woolly mammoths?'

I was showering under pleasantly hot water in the men's toilet block at Tom's Field in the New Forest when I heard these words.
It's our second visit to this unique slice of countryside on one of the most tranquil and laidback campsites you're likely to stumble across.

The kid's dad told him, rather unhelpfully, woolly mammoths became extinct. I'm not sure how the poo/ door locked situation resolved itself.

Back at Cleopatra, in the adults only end of the campsite, I put the kettle on for coffee and dressed for a day of hiking. We'd got an unexpected upgrade to a pitch with a view over the rolling hills upon arriving the night before. When checking in, I was asked the standard campsite-checking-in question, 'Have you stayed here before?' And on saying 'Yes, it's my blog post at the top of the testimonials page of your website,' pitch W6 became W11 in gratitude for our glowing review. A lovely and much appreciated gesture.

Breakfast was, unusually, fish finger sandwiches, the same as our dinner the previous evening. We'd only eaten half what I estimated and it wasn't going to keep.

Then we walked. While trying not to, we ended up walking almost the same route as when we were here last time, leading to many deja vu moments and a return visit to a fish and chip shop in Fordingbridge. We bought a cone of chips each and took them to the sports ground to eat on the park benches, sharing them with the ducks.

We resolved to try harder at returning back to camp by a new route. The sun broke through as we wandered down footpaths across the countryside and I strapped my fold-out solar panel to my backpack to top up my phone's battery. I'd been videoing some of our walk and Google had been dutifully backing up my footage to the cloud via 3g - I was down to 49 percent.

My phone was back up to 90 percent charge soon after. The Rav Power solar charger is great even when cloudy and I make sure it's always in my backpack.

The Fighting Cocks pub was a welcome sight and I took a table in the sun out the front while Tony fetched two pints of real ale. I got a quid back from a tenner when back home i'm used to getting nearly three times the change! Still, we had another pint each, and pork scratchings, but drew the line at getting another round - Cleopatra was well stocked with beers.

We sat in the late afternoon sun. I read a little and dozed off in my chair. We gave in a bit too easily when a fish and chip van visited the site. I'm adamant I'm not eating fish tomorrow!


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