Monday, August 04, 2008

Camping it up.

Leamington FC faced a pre-season friendly against Wimbourne, and if you didnt know, thats located near the south coast. Pete, Vince and I had plans to stay in Bournemouth, in a nice swanky hotel, however due to the prices of 110 quid per night, we decided to B&B/pub it, but once again, due to the cost and also the fact we didnt get a reply, we decided to camp it instead.

Now, I've not been camping since I was 16, when I tagged along with Ian and his Dad in the lakes, and due to the fact that I'm now 33, and enjoy the finer things in life, not really had the need to do it since. I was a little excited, like a small child doing something for the first time, and also slightly worried. Why worried you may ask? Well, petal, sit down and I'll tell you. Go on.

Whenever I socialise with Vince and Pete, it always gets out of control, to the point where no (or little food) is involved, and alcohol takes priority. I was also worried that Vince, a married man, with 3 kids, decided to buy a midlife crisis car, you know the type, the roof comes off, with very little room. He also decided to be fancy dan, by purchasing a family tent that sleeps 4 - 2 seperate rooms and a "lounge" area in the middle. Well, Vince is a slim man, and I'd like to think I am too, and no offence to Pete, but he does look like Peter Griffin from Family Guy, both in facial and density. Of course, by the time they get to my place, theres very little room left (due to the style of the car, the family tent and all of their ruck sacks, leaving me wedged in the back of said car, with my own gear. Before we even got out of my street, calls for the roof down were heard - insert Stefan's not so short hair being blown in all random directions of the compass.

We already knew that there would be traffic difficulties around Southampton, around 90 minutes worth, so we decided to take the backroads route (via spending 16 quid on pies, sandwiches and sausage rolls at Warwick Services) which took 2 hours - so sensible - but at least it give Pete the chance to pick up some indestructable wine glasses in a small town in the New Forest (no idea what happened to the old one). Why wine glasses ? Well Pete's boss bought him a bottle of champers for passing his Level 2, and Pete thought it would be nice to share. I also took some Morgan Spiced Rum (with Cherry Coke) incase there wasnt a pub around for miles.

Anyhoooo, we got to the campsite (4.5 Hours later) and started to unpack the boot. It was a lovely afternoon with the sun shining, and it had been decided that this would be the priority, rather than getting lashed up, and trying to errect a tent at 00:23 in the morning. The label on the front of the tent bag stated "Build time: 25 mins". 45 minutes later, we were the proud owners of a stable tent, and the airbeds being blown up via some hairdryer device that plugged into Vince's car. It had been decided that Vince and I would take the two bedrooms, and Peter (not the Family Guy character) would take the "lounge" area that wasnt really pegged in, but the tent door kept it all together.

We got ourselves freshened up at the shower block, and cracked open the champers, which due to Vince and I being on anti-biotics, went straight to our heads. We went to the campsite bar and ordered 3 home made cocktails, this of course took us further to the edge, and we asked for directions into town. It was only 1.2 miles into Wimborne town itself, but we had directions from about 3 different people, so in the end, we avoided them all and made our own route in. We found a nice looking pub, ordered some food and more drink. The food turned up and it was nice, but not the type of food you really need to line your stomach before (and after) booze.

We managed to find a couple more pubs before the town centre, one of which was like the American Werewolf, where locals just stared at us, Vince not making it any easier, by giving a "HELLO LOCALS, WE'RE NOT FROM HERE, CAN YOU TELL" type of wave to them all gathered around the pool table. We managed to get into town around 10:40 and found this neat little pub. It was simple and the type of pub I like - in fact, it was the size of the tent we were sleeping in that night, but friendly people in there. However due to the "we're not busy, so we're shutting up now" attitude, we ended up in the only bar open in town. After J&D coke all around, we managed to get some space near the "dance" floor, where some young woman decided that you can bounce to any type of music, no matter what it was. So after a bit of Nirvana, some popular beat combos and Elvis, we'd seen her one card trick, and could barely stand up due to laughing at her. Before we left, we witnessed a punch up on the dance floor, only to be stopped by a door-woman, only for the guy who was throwing the punches, to throw more punches before he eventually got thrown out for good - nice.

Things from here on are a little hazy, but I remember trying to get the speed sign to register that I was running faster than 30mph - didnt work, I dont think. Claiming that I was "The Bat Man" running up a dark street, filming the "blair witch project" type movie in the middle of the woods, giggling back at the tent while drinking rum and coke and hearing a field full of people snore.

I woke up at 6am to rain dripping on my face. We buggered off into Bournemouth to get some breakfast, and paid £3.75 for a full English breakfast - it was lovely. We drove back to Wimbourne to the club, via meeting up with the minibus party, to watch the game. It wasnt very good, but hey.

Would I go camping again ? deffo! Reckon I'd take my own tent tho.