I’m determined to max out my time outdoors before the weather turns wintry again (you could argue it already has!) so last weekend we headed off to North Devon for a couple of nights of camping at a quiet, coastal campsite called Caffyns Farm near the picturesque towns of Lynton and Lynmouth.
We wanted to get to the site on Friday evening with time to pitch the tent in daylight so we packed the car on Thursday night and got up early on Friday to start and therefore finish work early allowing us to hit the motorway from Bristol before 5pm. Unfortunately quite a few other people had also knocked off early so the first part of the journey was pretty slow but once we got to Weston Super Mare, it was pretty plain sailing and an episode of This American Life (#443) about amusement parks kept us entertained along the way.
Because we were taking the car, we could camp in comfort with an air bed, a duvet and a couple of extra blankets. We have learned to always pack at least two blankets more than you think you’re going to need! They’re handy for staying warm round the fire/BBQ even if you don’t sleep under them. Having pitched the tent and prepared our bed we decided it was too late to try to cook outside so just went into town for a pizza – another advantage of taking the car!
Saturday morning we fired up the gas stove (we’re using this one at the moment), made a fire (out of charcoal as we hadn’t managed to find any firewood!) and cooked up some bacon for bacon sandwiches.
After a hot (and free!) shower and a bit of washing up, we headed out to Lynmouth where we jumped between rocks looking for shells and other flotsam and then took the water-powered funicular 150m up the cliff to Lynton for a pasty and a coffee (from Origin) at a trendy little place called Charlie Fridays before walking back down the hill (on the path, not the train) and heading back to the campsite (via a supermarket) for some petanque and some campfire cookery – salmon, loosely wrapped in foil and placed directly on the embers so that it steams from above as well as cooking from below, and tagliatelle. We’d be proud of turning out something looking like this at home so definitely a success!
Sunday we got going early but slowly, starting the day with more coffee and bacon cooked on the fire and some extremely creamy yoghurt from local Jersey cows, then packing the tent into the car and clearing our pitch before showers and a walk from the farm down a wooded river path to Lee Bay.
After that it was back to the car for the return journey to Bristol, arriving in time to refill the caffeine levels (at Brew) before reaching home to unpack the car and have a quiet evening on the sofa before Monday morning.