By: Blonde Two
2018 is approaching its end in a rather stormy fashion down here in Devon, nothing like going out with a bang! At the beginning of January (the month of my 50th birthday), I set myself the Get Outside challenge of sleeping outdoors (or very nearly outdoors) for 50 nights in 2018. You may have noticed that I forgot to update you on progress at the end of October but fear not, I have been outside and I have been doing some sleeping. The end of September left me at Gilwell Park in London with 41 outdoor sleeps complete. Here’s how I have got on since then…
50 Sleeps for October 2018
Outdoor Sleep 42
Location: East Soar, Devon
Date: Friday 5th October
Reason: To speak and run some navigation workshops at the South West Outdoor Festival
Supper: Delicious veggie and chicken wrap from World Food
Breakfast: Cereal in the van plus a few cups of tea
Comment: My first night sharing the campervan with Blonde One. She was instantly converted and we both agreed that van life was the way to go when your weekend is full of speaking and teaching activities. We also managed a van party for 5 ladies, which in a little Toyota Hiace was no small achievement. The deck chair, by the way, wasn’t ours but we did ‘borrow’ it for the night!
Outdoor Sleep 43
Location: East Soar, Devon
Date: Saturday 6th October
Reason: Navigation workshops for the National Trust South West Outdoor Festival
Supper: Pulled pork burgers (sorry pigs but you were delicious)
Breakfast: Bacon sandwiches… after a first breakfast of chocolate Hobnobs
Comment: The sun was out when we woke up but we Blondes had to leave fairly early, which was a shame. I am making a plan to go back and visit the East Soar walking options very soon, not least because they have a walkers’ barn there… with cake!
Outdoor Sleep 44
Type: Tent (wild camp)
Location: Dartmoor, Belstone
Date: Monday 8th October
Reason: Filming with Blonde One for a series due to appear on Channel Four in January (we can’t tell you any more yet but we certainly will be shouting about it nearer the time!)
Supper: Expedition meal – curry I think
Breakfast: We demonstrated the egg and Frazzle wrap for the camera but cheated and used pre-boiled eggs (which came out quite rubbery). We had eaten a first breakfast of biscuits about 2 hours previously whilst the crew filmed the sunrise!
Comment: We had such a fun time filming that we have decided the media life is definitely for us… cue contracts and sofa appearances! A highlight was actually a low light when we borrowed the film crews’ light overnight (they went back to the pub!)
Outdoor Sleep 45
Location: Dartmoor – Harford Bridge Campsite
Date: Monday 15th October
Reason: As part of my digital nomad experiment, I spent 3 days living in and writing from the camper
Supper: (Very naughty) beer and a bag of cheesy puffs
Breakfast: Full English at Fox Tor Cafe in Princetown (well… I needed to charge my laptop!)
Comment: This was my first solo sleep in the campervan and I have to say that I enjoyed it. I parked by the river and the only thing that disturbed me was the squirrels dropping their nuts on the van roof all night!
Outdoor Sleep 46
Location: Dartmoor – Langstone Manor Campsite
Date: Tuesday 16th October
Reason: Night 2 of my digital nomad experiment
Supper: Pasta with tomatoes, garlic and Peperami
Breakfast: Pain au chocolat (ordered the night before from the campsite shop)
Comment: I could get used to the roaming life. After a day going from car park to car park and having loads of short walks, I slept like a log (from about 20:00) and enjoyed both a sunrise and sunset
50 Sleeps for November 2018
Outdoor Sleep 47
Type: Campervan (are you noticing a theme here?)
Location: North Wales (in a layby)
Date: Monday 12th November
Reason: Mr B2 and I had decided to drive the long way home from Yorkshire to Devon through Wales
Supper: Tortellini and tomato sauce
Breakfast: Wraps with bacon and mushroom
Comment: This one was fabulous because we arrived in the dark (choosing laybys in the dark is interesting) and woke up to beautiful Welsh hill views. We went to bed at nine (well… it had been dark for ages) and I woke at dawn to open the van doors so that we could explore the view from our sleeping bags.
Outdoor Sleep 48
Location: North Wales (by a river)
Date: Tuesday 13th November
Reason: Heading south on our long way home after a fun afternoon down a slate mine
Supper: Casserole (I know!) It came out of a tin but I supplemented it with peppers and onion
Breakfast: A personal triumph – baked beans with a clean bowl!
Comment: It is difficult to choose a favourite of our three Welsh nights but this one was exciting because, once again we arrived in the dark, parked up by the river in the pouring rain and I at least spent the night wondering how far up the van flood water could come before we were washed away. We woke to find a bridge, a gate and a sign about explosions… as you do!
Outdoor Sleep 49
Location: Mid Wales (by a lake)
Date: Wednesday 14th November
Reason: We were still long way homing but both had a good reason to explore this particular spot
Supper: An odd mix of lentils, rice and bacon
Breakfast: I really can’t remember but it would have probably involved boiled eggs
Comment: A rocky night as the wind whistled down the valley and up against the side of the van (I discovered in the early hours that it was also whistling underneath the van!) Worth the weather for the views though, which were stunning. We were visited once by a nice man from the Water Authority, apart from that, it was just us and the rainbows.
Lucy and I would be this happy…
…if you chose to VOTE BLONDE in the Go Outdoors
Outdoor Blog of the Year Awards