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Blogging Around The World

Cover Design: Cara Williams Photography: Cara Williams Copyright ©2006 by Cara Williams All rights reserved

By Cara Williams


Chapter 1: Chapter 2: Authentic camping Teeth & Strange Markings! 3 5


Chapter One
Prologue Faye and I decided to take our friend Amy camping for her 30th birthday, as she loves the ‘outdoors’. After some searching around, we came across Blacklands Farm in Henfield, in West Sussex. 8th May 2010 We set off at 8.45am for London Bridge Station, with our array of ‘stuff’, including two tents, cooking equipment, food, sleeping bags and far too much luggage for two days, to catch our train to Hassocks. Once there, we tried ringing the campsites recommended cab company to take us to the campsite, but no-one answered the phone. We then rang the campsite owner, Phil, who said he would arrange a cab for us his end. After 20 minutes, (and no cab), we decided to make our own way to camp. We stopped in the Hassocks Arms (across from the station) to ask them to book a cab for us, but we couldn’t resist a drink as we were there. We were stuck behind a hearse all the way to the campsite and by the time we reached it, the rain and wind had started. Phil was nowhere to be seen as we drove down the path to the field at the back, so we dropped our £19.50 through the Reception letterbox and decided to try and put the tents up.


Obviously, the rain picked up at this point and Faye and I had never attempted to erect a tent before. As we went along, one of us was on tissue duty and was responsible for wiping the rain and mud off the floor of the tent. It took about 40 minutes to put the first ten up and 15 minutes for the second. We had wanted the authentic camping experience and had stopped off especially to buy tasteless spam hot dogs and baked beans, which we ‘cooked’ for lunch on Amy’s trangia, (it felt like we waited two hours for this very unfulfilling and disgusting meal to cook!) After lunch, we went for a walk and eventually reached Henfield Village, (about two miles away). We came across Norton tea house and stopped off for a very traditional English tea and scone, (served by a very strange, nosy old lady). After the tea, we carried on down the road, which turned into a wooded path and then a forest. We walked through bluebells until we arrived at a farm. We petted the pigs, goats and horses until we realised it was getting dark and we were lost. We asked for directions in a local farm shop and were told we had somehow walked ourselves back to the campsite, so we headed back and started up the trangia again (it was now 6pm) for another campsite favourite – Ravioli. Before cooking, Amy needed to add some fuel to the trangia, which she did - and immediately afterwards, the trangia exploded in a massive fireball. We couldn’t get near the trangia to turn it off and the flamers were getting higher and fiercer, so Amy rang her brother Graeme for advice. After managing to smother the flames, we realised that we had used petroleum on the trangia rather than mentholated spirits, as oil. Whoops! We then spent about an hour trying to find some petrol for our decimated trangia. We found Phil (who lived in a ten on the edge of camp) and used some of his petrol, which cooked our long awaited Ravioli, followed by ‘trangiered’ bananas with chocolate. We had a bit of booze and then settled down for the night. We all slept in one tent and used the second, soaked one for storage.


Amy and I had prepared some ghost stories in advance of the trip, which we read by torchlight (once settled in our sleeping bags) and as Faye is scared of the dark, she brought her Dr Seuss book, which she preceded to read to us in silly voices. After story time, I needed the loo (which was right across the other side of camp across a muddy field) and persuaded the others they needed to go too. Faye put her Frankenstein’s on (nicknamed as such because her hiking boots are so ugly and heavy) and we dragged yet more mud and rain in and out of the tents.

Chapter Two
9th May 2010 We are the only ones stupid enough to choose this weekend to go camping – the place is deserted! The site comprised of a huge field, with a fishing lake at one end and some portaloos at the other. It wasn’t very scenic and to be honest, was not what I was expecting. Very strangely, two weird things happened over night. Firstly, as I was looking for my toothbrush in the other tent, I found a large tooth. Amy said she was sure it had not been there the day before. I still have no idea who it belonged to or how it got there! Secondly, as I went to pack my waterproof trousers away, I noticed some weird chalk writing on them. It looked like Chinese writing, all over the legs. This was also not there yesterday! Again, bizarre!


None of us had ever tried fishing before, but decided that today was the day to try. As this was a flying visit, we packed up the tents and the rest of our stuff and had porridge for breakfast and went to hire our fishing rods. We didn’t realise however, that you don’t ‘hire’ rods, you bring your own. Phil was kind enough to offer us his personal rod to use, and gave us a 20 second lesson on how to use it. He gave us some bread to use as bait. By this time, a large group of people had arrived and were setting up their tents, but paused to laugh at us as we tried to look normal, carrying this huge, heavy fishing rod to the lake. At the lake, Amy attempted to put her training into practice, but the bread kept falling off the rod and Amy couldn’t figure out which way to wind it. I was in hysterics. Faye then had a go with the rod and managed to tangle it up to the point where it was stuck and broken. This all happened within 5 minutes of us being entrusted with this expensive fishing rod. We spent about an hour trying to unwind the reel and restore it to its original glory – (during this time, the end of the rod was in the water and Faye was convinced we had caught a fish). It turned out to be a very small piece of pond scum. At least we caught something! We retied from fishing once we had unwound the line and took the rod back to Phil (to the sound of titters from our fellow campers). We called a cab to take us back to the Hassocks Arms, (where we hoped to leave our bags while we went for a hike) before catching our train home. The cab arrived an hour after we booked it, (during which time we had decided to attempt an 8 mile hike from Hassocks to Lewes in East Sussex. After a stop for lunch at the Corner Cafe, (where I ordered a gourmet burger) (left), we started our hike (from Amy’s Country Walks book). It was a 5 hour walk in total, but due to time constraints, we opted for the shorter 2 hour version. The walk took us through Butchers Wood, across a field and up a steep hill over the South Downs. We stopped to admire the amazing view and I realised how unfit I am. Amy and Faye continued the walk up the hill to a windmill while I lay on the grass trying to breathe! 6

I started walking back down the hill and waited for the other two at the bottom, where we rushed back to the pub to collect our bags and make our train back to London with two minutes to spare.