Friday, 10 May 2013

A Gorgeous Weekend With Scooby

At short notice we decided to go away for the early May Bank Holiday and what a FAB time we had. We booked a pitch at the Cheddar Bridge Campsite in Cheddar which luckily for us still had a couple of places. Never been to this site before, but we thought we would take a chance as it was at short notice and we liked the idea of being able to walk into the village. 

It turned out to be a good little 'Adult Only' site for our weekend away. A FAB location and good clean facilities - albeit few in number. This did not bother us as we never had to wait for showers etc. as we always get up early! The only other slight down side related to the adjacent church bells which continued through the night - light sleepers should perhaps avoid this site.

So we were going to Cheddar. We packed up Scooby on Thursday night ready for the off the following day. We left home at around 10.00am on Friday 3rd May 2013, taking a leisurely drive West in the early May sunshine. Filling Scooby up along the way, we arrived at the camp site around 12.30pm and made short work of setting up camp. Then it was time for something to drink and a spot of lunch - sandwiches we had brought from home.After our leisurely lunch in the sunshine we decided to explore the village a little that afternoon.

We walked the short distance from the site in to Cheddar. The timing of our visit to the village - on a Friday afternoon of a Bank Holiday Weekend - meant that it was not particularly busy. (We heard later that there was terrible traffic on the M5 that afternoon. We were glad we got there lunchtime). We were able to capture a few pics of the village without the usual masses of people.

The skies were partly cloudy now, with the sun popping out from behind the clouds every now and then. By late afternoon we made our way back to the camp site trying to decide on the way which of the three meals we had brought with us to have that evening. We soon decided upon the Bar-B-Q, so the salad was prepared and the Rib-Eye Steaks were cooked just right as we sipped our wine during the rest of the evening. On the camp site we spotted a dark blue Brazilian Bay - we would chat to them latter in the weekend.

Later that evening we could not resist trying the 'Vintage' Cheddar with some crackers we had bought in the village that afternoon - AB FAB! As we sat under a clear and star filled sky we made our plans for the next day before retiring for the night.

Below is a photo montage of the first day: 

Saturday morning and we awoke to some light rain showers - it was forecast so it was not un-expected, but it was due to stop around lunchtime. We were therefore 'forced' to have a relaxed breakfast, no need to rush around. Fortunately for us the skies cleared quickly and sometime between 10.00 and 10.30am it had stopped completely. So we made our way to Weston-Super-Mare for the day. 

We headed for the South Parking, right on the beach, which was surprisingly empty at that time. It did however fill up with kite surfers and other visitors as we watched from Scooby whilst having a cup of coffee and a biscuit or two.

Our destination for the first walk of the day would be further South, to see the 'land yachts' speeding around the beach circuit. On our return journey we went closer to the sea to watch the 'kite surfers' and 'wind surfers' for a while on the incoming tide. A sandwich lunch back at Scooby and then we would take a slow walk North towards the pier and into the town itself, taking the odd pic or two as we went. We spotted a Yellow Brazilian Bay on the beach - the owner was preparing to go 'wind surfing' so we only had a brief chat - he knew about the Forum.

When we arrived back at Scooby at around 4.30pm we decided over a cup of tea that we would not rush back to the camp site to eat, but instead we would eat on the beach as we were still bathed in glorious sunshine. Having already had our Bar-B-Q we could not 'Barbie on the Beach'. Instead we would cook the home made Spaghetti Bolagnase we had brought with us. So we had 'Bollie on the Beach' around 6.00pm - it was great.

By around 7.40pm we thought we would make our way back to the camp site. Having thought to mark the wheel positions before disconnecting the awning, when we returned to the site we easily lined up Scooby so we could attach the awning once again without problem. Then it was time for a Pimms and a little later some more 'Vintage' Cheddar before retiring for the evening.

Below is a photo montage of the second day: 


The next day was Sunday 5th May 2013. We awoke to clearing skies and warm sunshine, so over  breakfast we decided we would doo the Gorge Cliff Top Walk that afternoon. A lazy Sunday morning then followed, when we would spend time on the camp site relaxing in the morning sun. We had the opportunity to also speak to the owners of the dark Blue Brazilian Bay on the camp site, handing out a Club Card and advising them of the Kombi Sleepover at the end of May.

After lunch we walked from the camp site, in sunshine and under blue skies, in to the village to obtain our tickets for the Cliff Top Gorge Walk. This would involve ascending Jacobs Ladder, 274 steps from street level and then going up the Lookout Tower for 360 degree views, including views across to the reservoir glinting in the sunshine.

The walk would rise up several levels before eventually rising to the uppermost point -  see the map route below - so we had several stops along the way for photo opportunities before resting at the top and sitting there a while just absorbing it all in wonderment. 

Going down would be easier we thought, but not so, some of it was very rough and the last was particularly steep. Then we were back at road level - on the road that goes through the Gorge.

We decided to walk the other side of the Gorge and along the top as from the other side it appeared to be a much easier path. Indeed it was, but there were many steps to raise you up to that level. We were not in any rush so we once again took it slow, with photo opportunities along the way. 

The views were unbelievable, as was the weather - total blue sky and sunshine - we were glad we had our water! The eventual decent was relatively easy, arriving at street level around 6.00pm, some three and half hours or so after we had started after lunch.

Before heading back to the camp site the closest ice cream parlour would be our first stop - the whippy ice cream with a flake was FAB. After we had sat down and eaten our ice creams we then took a slow walk back. 

Arriving back at the camp site it was Pimms-a-clock so we relaxed in the sunshine before thoroughly enjoying our quiche salad. That evening, as we looked back on the weekend, we could not believe how lucky we had been with the weather. With a clear sky still above us, the sun set and once more the stars shone brightly in the sky. It had all been FAB.

Below is a photo montage of the third day:


Monday morning and it was once again dry, sunny and bright. After breakfast we packed everything away and took down the awning, packing it onto the roof rack. We left the camp site at 11.30am and were back on the road home. However, to fill up with petrol we headed towards Weston-Super-Mare and the local Morrison's just off Junction 21 of the M5. (A lot cheaper than the Motorway Service Stations).

We could not believe the traffic going in to Weston-Super-Mare! After filling up we watched in disbelief as the stationary traffic was nose-to-tale all the way from the M5. On the M5 we were heading North from Junction 21 and there was some traffic - moving slowly - which eventually cleared. On the other side, heading South, it was three lanes of stationary traffic. We did not see the end of it until Junction 17 on the M5 - that is a very long way!

Just after 1.00pm we pulled into Leigh Delamere Service Station on the M4 for lunch - we had prepared our sandwiches at breakfast. 

Whilst parked we spoke to a VW enthusiast from Essex who came up to us, he had an original Westfalia Camper and also a Beetle - both of which he was working on to make them road worthy. We chatted for around 20mins about Scooby and his vehicles before they made their way back on to the motorway.

Then we spotted an old motorcycle on a trailer a few bays away in the car park so we went over for a  chat. It was an old Sunbeam and we discussed old bikes for a while with it's owner, but his main bike was a Harley Davidson - so more to discuss! This took around another 20mins or so. 

We also saw a glider in the skies above us, which we watched for a while as we had our lunch. So what should have been a short 20min stop for lunch extended into around an hour!

After his unexpectedly longer rest Scooby was soon back on the M4 and within the hour we were pulling off the motorway - nearly home. We'd had A Gorgeous Weekend With Scooby and  he did not put a foot wrong the whole weekend. We would certainly recommend the Gorge if you have not been. 

After unpacking everything at home we treated Scooby to a Meguiars Wash to remove the bugs and sand from our weekend trip. Thanks Scooby for another FAB weekend away. Here's to the next!

                                                                                                                           That's All Volks!