We met up at Woodall services on Friday afternoon to drive down together to Eastnor. It’s just down the road from Ledbury and about ten miles east of Hereford, just a mere 150 miles away. The M1 was very busy in both directions but at least it kept moving although quite slow in places. Rob rode down with me whilst his son rode down with Dave in the silver Range Rover.
We got to Eastnor Castle in the twilight, the overcast conditions finally showed its true colours and dumped rain on us, but only whilst we erected the tents then it bloody stopped again, aside from the wet cool rain it was still pretty close. so not at all uncomfortable
Two Oztents zipped together with a dark green 6 inch wide panel
An Oztent in its basic form. extra side panels and front piece can be purchased. This sleeps two drunks…I mean people
Rob “The Crocodile” Drysdale
The tents were up in minutes, we zipped two together which allowed us to turn the middle space into the foyer/vestibule/kitchen/WMC/living room…what a triffic tent the Australian Oztent is, even if it is made in China!
To be honest the bar opened was soon as the Landi’s engine shuddered to a halt on the slope. It’s always a bit of a buzz when arriving at the final destination and the prospect of a great boys weekend in store. Yes…. we brought no wimmin!
Dave “Overlander” Moulds
Mr Moulds performed as good as one and showed me round his decked out overlander with shelving, fridge and a plethora of kitchen utensils and a big bunny boiling tin pot, strung up all around in strategic places he had hung T towels, I was to pick up many tips of this man and would discard most of 30 odd years worth of motorbike camping ideas were small was beautiful (except for the beer of course)
The very spacious dining area
Rob and Dave cooked up chicken curry with rice and I examined a couple of Fosters tinnies. Mathew checked out his Aye Pad, sorting out some photos to show me later from his recent trip to South Africa.
Talking tekno stuff with Mathew
Camera’s and tinnies!
There’s really no point in having a shower then going into our kitchen!
So the jobs developed unspoken, those two blokes would cook at tea time and I would cook the heart attack breakfasts, Cooking bacon outside in the open is a favorite thing of mine, the washing up would get done by whoever was doing nothing particular at the time. I agree it sounds a bit loose and fast but men are hunter gathers and not 100% domesticated, it’s the wimmin that are mostly expert at multi tasking and completely at home in the kitchen arena but like I said earlier nobody packed one!
We did however managed to speak at length all evening about the ladies and those fascinating ladyboys of faraway Asia. The Fosters and the Grappa loosened ones reserve and I could see young Mathew begin to shuffle uncomfortably on his chair. Men, eh what are they like?
I was wide awake at dawn so got up to have a mooch around, unfortunately the showers stayed locked until 7 even though the night team of security volunteers were based close by. So I came back and had a look at some of the trucks parked near us.
This was next door, I waited until midday though as a the light was poor with wall to wall cloud cover to start with!
No worries about the showers because I always carry baby wipes to clean the bits the sun never seas, this usually does the job for the week, anyway ones “manky” clothes would be masked by wood smoke. So there I was at 05.45hrs sat on the roof of my truck with my bino’s and followed the herd of deer up one side of the valley, first all the girls came into view their large ears scanning the area in front for danger munching on the wet grass and moving forward a bit more, I could see now and again baby deer as they mingled in the pack then right at the back came all the chaps with their thick necks and jutting antlers, strutting along in that way that they do. Dozens and dozens of them just kept walking across my front from right to left about half a mile away. we’d seen a couple of buzzard on Friday evening but this morning I saw and heard two short-tailed eagles within half an hour of each other as they slowly crossed the valley in search of breakfast, their screech is kinda long and sweet and definitely grabs ones attention. Once they had flown over I saw a fat pheasant fly awkwardy low across the gorse. If they’d done this five minutes earlier I might have witnessed a murder!
Zulu’s on the ridge-line sir….Farsands of em!
Big camera’s… Even bigger dogs….little willies?
I don’t remember seeing him on the Land Rover logo
A prototype Land Rover for the forestry commision, but it needed a huge flat football field to turn around on!
I’m still new to the world of Land Rovers so wandering around the show presents many opportunities to empty the old wallet and frazzle the edges of the plastic. Over the weekend I spent up, I thought Id got some brilliant bargains though and so came away well pleased with myself. It’s also a oppertunity for me to pick folks brains about Landi’s, the trips and new equipment, which to buy and which to steer clear off. It’s an art though to decide as to the validity of some information gleaned and so one would do well to take some opinions with a pinch of salt…or sand! I may have heard some bollix being offered by an “expert” …Dont use the maps mate, they are all 14 miles adrift from what they state!!….you dont want to go there mate the roads mined!!..you don’t want to buy that book mate it’s all lies…
I got the chance to sit in all the range of Land Rovers on the market, they had brought all their toys for everyone to sample, though I never managed to find any ignition keys! I climbed into a sleek-looking Land Rover Evogue, it was just like a very posh car, bear in mind folk I’m no expert I’ve only been driving two years! I tried the Land Rover Discovery, this too felt like a very posh car. I also tried a tricked up street version Defender but luxury looking with blown side panels, one of the instrument gauges was red and had the words “Chelsea Tractor” embossed in it! The seats were for slim hipped Italian dudes and were treble stitched and made of better material that the seat I’m sitting in now. BUT it was quite uncomfortable! Next I went and sat in a new bog standard shiny black Defender, it was nice and high, also it had a lorry length gear stick and smelt the part. It was the only one I really fancied. Id like to thank Land Rover for letting me and hundreds of others climb around the range of vehicles all the same.
The only way to drive around a congested city
An amusing number plate
Saturday evening was a repeat of Friday except we had a proper bonfire, Id brought logs from my log store back home so we had a big fat barbi then sat around the fire talking about man stuff (lies and sex) the cit chat ranged from ideas..plans..jokes..serious character assassinations which were sprinkled with obscenities and some outragious stories or daring do, the stuff only us adventurer types could recount… of Berlin’s bordello’s..Northen naughtyness..Bulgarian tarmac.. Ukrainians well-heeled ladies..the Italian highway code..ladyboys (again)and a couple of colourful fibs, until one by one we drifted off to our cots full of meat and ale
We had a somewhat late breakfast on Sunday we drunk lots of tea and coffee as we slowly came to life. By mid morning however we had filled our bellies washed and packed away most of the stuff before having one last look around the show buying a few more bits, long-handled gas fire lighters for example!
The alternative to camping on the snake infested grass in southern England is to sleep in your truck with this roof tent, you will just skin your shins every morning instead!
The sizzling bacon and sausages made me fancy a bap or two..it really did!
Then back to camp for a last cuppa and shared chunks of tasty cake with the resident wasps. The tents were the last to get packed away after a quick wipe down, mine would be used again soon in September in Scotland hopefully and this time I WILL remember to double check all the flipping tent pegs!
On the roof of his Land Rover Disovery lashing down the tent
You cant do with with a couple of fiesta’s can you?
The drive home was of clear roads and in stark contrast to the earlier journey. We drove in splendid golden sunshine with a sky full of the blue stuff that ranged from wall to wall. my window was down all the way and now my right elbow is slightly more tanned than the left one I swear it! I’m really loving my truck and looking forward to more adventures in it.