It began around 4 on Saturday evening, I suppose, as we stood debating whether to knock off early and stay at this campsite, or ride another 40km to the next one. I was at the stage where I could probably do another 20 but more would be a stretch – especially as Jamie had requested Bolognese for dinner.
So here it was to be – Munchhausen municipal campsite.
We wandered in and scouted around for someone to talk to – or pay. No-one official around though the site was clearly occupied. A group of elderly folk stood chatting, and as we approached a gentleman made appreciative noises about the state of us and our bikes. He pointed us in the direction of an empty spot for us to pitch with a shrug.
All going well so far.
Then Jamie noticed that his beloved leather Brooks saddle was starting to tear. He looked utterly inconsolable.
“It’s ok love, we’ll get you another one – it’ll be worn in by the time we’re home.”
But no, it won’t be the same.
So as always in times of stress, we put the kettle on and made a cup of tea. While the kettle was boiling Jamie nipped to use the facilities and returned with a concerned expression regarding the state of his bowel movement. Hmm… Perhaps it wasn’t sadness for the saddle making him blue.
We got the tent up and Jamie had a lie down while I made a start on dinner. It soon became apparent that Jamie was not going to be having dinner, he was violently sick. I won’t go into details – although I’ll say that our appreciation for the smell of wild garlic (which we’d gorged on earlier) will take a while to return.
Meanwhile we ran out of fuel so I was unable to have a proper dinner either. My appetite was also a little diminished…
So a sleepless night all round, Jamie in terrible discomfort. The morning came round with abated symptoms though we were no happy campers.
It started pissing with rain.
All else being well we would have stayed put but we needed fuel, and we only had a little salad to eat raw. Being Sunday, and Easter Sunday at that, everything was shut.
We managed to get going by about 1. We cycled the 20km to the nearest petrol station with a brutal headwind, and a F**ING HAILSTORM at times. We got fuel.
Where now? The next nearest campsite was another 20km. Ok, we can do this. Heads down, headwind all the way – barely making it over 10km/hour (Jamie says it was a bit faster, but I’m telling this story). I just tried not to think the lamb my mum was cooking for Easter lunch.
We did it, both running on empty though poor Jamie must have felt wretched.
The campsite was closed. Ok… What now?
Eat. Food will help.
The burner wouldn’t light.
Jamie, with much more patience than I had left, took the thing apart and found out what the problem was.
Luckily, I had a big tub of Bolognese, so food was reasonably quick to assemble, though we got some very odd looks from the families out for their post-Easter-lunch afternoon stroll.
While cooking Jamie did some more reconnaissance of the park/ campsite. He found us a spot to put up the tent in the very closed campgrounds*, out of the wind. We crawled in to bed at 6.30pm.
14 hours later we arose out of our cave (tent) like Jesus refreshed, reborn and determined to find an open bakery.
All things pass. That’s the moral of this Easter tale.
*we have – by mistake, chance, luck – now managed to stay in more closed campsites than open ones. Clearly this isn’t wild camping, we’re calling it feral camping. We think it may catch on.