We got back yesterday from our first trip of 2017! We went down to Woolacombe on Friday night for 3 nights and it was perfect
We packed the van when I got home from work, Joe fixed the boards on the roof, filled the coolbox and we were off. For an early birthday present, Joe got some Kanu Locks which are lockable straps to secure our boards to the roof but are great because they can’t be cut and they are locked with a key so no one can steal the boards whilst we are sleeping or out and about.
The first drawer is the perfect size to fit a weekends worth of clothes in for both of us and it’s good because they are kept out of the way.
The drive down wasn’t bad to say it was a Friday night and we made good time, we parked up on the Esplanade at about half 11.
Setting the bed up was a dream, everything just went so smoothly. We took our proper bedding with us as I find sleeping bags uncomfortable and we thought we might as well make ourselves at home! The insulation blinds stayed up for 3 days, keeping all the moisture out and keeping the heat in which was great. We were waking up too hot which I actually prefer! The cushions were really comfy, I slept super well. We were both a bit worried “what if they werent comfy” and “what if the bed doesn’t work that well” because we spent so much time and money into it but we shouldn’t have been so silly cos the whole thing is exactly what we were expecting.
My favourite part of roughing it on the roadside in Woolacombe is when in the morning you slide the side door open and see the sea. I wish we could get that everyday (not always best when you are comfy in bed and need a wee though because the sound of the waves crashing really doesn’t help!)
Saturday morning we headed to the Red Barn for breakfast as we knew it was “the big breakfast” which meant all proceeds went to the North Devon Hospice. We had planned to go self sufficient for breakfast and lunches but the Red Barn do a mean fry up and donating to charity at the same time was the perfect excuse to go.
The weather was exactly what we wanted, mild with no wind and occasional bursts of sun. Getting into wetsuits outside the van was comfortable and noone got too cold. The waves were pretty big compared to what I’m used to, seen as though I am still a beginner but we both had so much fun and were in there for a good few hours.
After wrestling out of wetsuits we put them on the bonnet, started the engine and plugged in our coolbox and charged phones for a bit in the hope that it would also dry our wetsuits (it surprisingly helped a lot which was ideal because we knew we would need them the next day too) We had planned a chicken curry for lunch as its quick and easy and also warming to stop us getting too dithery from the sea.
I left Joey D’campo in charge of the cooking whilst I ran to the chippy for a portion of chips to accompony the curry.
It was seriously yummy, and we were both so impressed with how easy it is to cook in the van, sure it’s only a jar of sauce and some chicken breasts but with only 1 gas stove and minimum equipment it worked soo well.
And it was warm enough to eat outside and watch the surfers.
A nifty thing the seats can do is go in lounge position which means both of us can lie on the sofa instead of us both sat up or one on the sofa and one on the camping chair. Basically the extension flap is bought up with the driver and passenger seats bought back and this means we can lean against them.
Ideal to have both the back doors open and look at the view or even just look out the side door.
Dinner in the Red Barn is lovely, their normal menu is full of really tasty dishes but we both like to choose something from the special board. I had salmon and crayfish tagliatelle and Joe had a sweet and sour pork. They were both to die for.
The pub itself is really casual, the food I’ve pictured makes it look really fancy but its a surf bar. There are surf boards lining the ceiling, they have live music on, it’s not a fancy restaurant by any means but their food is high quality.
It’s always busy too, even out of season, it was full. Granted we didn’t have to wait for a table like in Summer but there was still a decent amount of people in.
Sunday started a bit rainy but at 7am its not a big deal. For all the ladies out there that have to base their camping around toilets you should really invest in a Shewee, it allows you to wee standing up which is great because there is nothing worse than having to squat down. It allows you to relieve yourself without having to remove any clothing. I swear by mine and I also used another one of my discoveries on Sunday morning which is called a PeeBol as it was too light in a mornig to wee outside and also too early for toilets to be open but basically its a bag which you can wee in, you can seal it up and then the wee solidifies after a few minutes and its safe to throw in any general waste bin. You can apparently seal it and keep adding to it until the 1l bag is full but even I drew the line at keeping a bag of wee in the van. Now it may be too much information but when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go and I think they are such a useful tool to have! Ladies, invest in one!
We had a leisurley morning and cooked our own breakfast in the van before having a mooch round the shops, quick g&t then into the sea for more surfing (or bodyboarding in my case to mix it up a bit)
Sunday afternoon was spent in the Red Barn (again!) for scones and clotted cream and gin. I tried a Cornish gin as Joe picked it for me at the bar seen as though we were down South (I know we were in Devon before you think my geography is that bad but there wasn’t any Devonshire gins on offer)! and it was really tasty. I will definitely be having that again when I’m down.
Monday morning wasn’t like any usual Monday morning, firstly it was Joe’s birthday (which meant he got a candle in his bacon and eggs) but also Joe was able to go for an early morning surf before we headed home. I think he wishes he could do that every morning, be in the sea at 6.30am and have bacon and eggs at 8am watching the waves but reality was looming.
The beach was so peaceful at that time. I packed the van away and then headed down to watch Joe surf. I stupidly took my shoes off to walk down the sand and oh what an error.. the sand was soo cold! I don’t know why I thought it wouldn’t be but I manned up and stood and watched Joe whilst thinking of ways to warm my toes (marching on the spot seemed to help, may have looked a bit odd to the dog walkers who passed by though haha)
All in all we had such a fantastic weekend, laughing constantly and both smelling together due to no showering for 3 days but roughing it on the roadside in our Caddy Camper is where we are happiest.
Becky & Joe