Eskdale Dubfest 2016
We missed last year’s event because Alison and I both had ‘flu and, typically, they had glorious sunshine. In 2014 when we last went it was one of the wettest weekends of the year, so we were a bit worried about how things would pan out in 2016.
The meeting is held at the Camping and Caravanning Club site in Boot, deep in the heart of Eskdale, in the Western Lake District and is brilliantly well organised by the owner, Martyn and his team. We had a good turnout of Brazillians to add some colour to the various Dubs attending and we were given our usual spot in the corner of the field. Martyn deliberately puts us there because we can fairly well guarantee that we’ll be able to drive out, even if the ground is soft.
We arrived on Thursday night, even though the event doesn’t start until Friday – one of the benefits of being retired. It’s a long drive to Eskdale, even from Lancashire, and we always seem to arrive via a different road. We were travelling light (for us anyway) with no Glawning or Trailer so soon had the pop up storage tent up and the sun canopy attached.
Gill and Alan soon joined us and had their first attempt at putting up their Vango inflatable awning.
It was soon up and their finish seemed to signify beer o’clock – which was nice.
We ate in the Brook House Inn on Thursday night – it’s a lovely pub with a fantastic selection of whisky, if that’s your thing, and some great food.
Friday started with bright sunshine and the usual Eskdale breathtaking views. Unfortunately, Boris had been unwell during the night and needed a walk from me at 4am and another at 6am by Alison, so we cancelled our plans to join Gill and Alan on The La’al Ratty Narrow Gauge Steam Train to Ravenglass. Instead we decided to go for a walk to Eel Tarn.
We had a mid walk break at the Woolpack Inn for a pizza and a beer which should have been uneventful, but wasn’t. We sat outside in the beer garden, but as the waiter was bringing our pizzas out, he tripped, depositing them on the floor halfway out of the pub. What was worrying, was that the pub dog which had been leaning against the doorway, sniffed them but refused to eat any – even the bit sticking out of the door after it had been shut.
|Leaning on the doorway|
We headed back to the site as more people began to arrrive.
Friday night took us all back to the Woolpack for food and drink – there was entertainment from The Coulton Brothers and, as usual, the pub was using their army truck to ferry people back to the site.
|Alison leading the singing, in the Army Truck|
The Lakeland Steaks catering stall was open when we got back, so it was a quick burger before bed and sleep, although, once again, Boz had us up in the night to be walked, at 4am.
Saturday was another glorious lakeland day. Whilst lots of people headed to the steam train, we decided to walk to Stanley Ghyll waterfall – a fantastic walk at anytime but made better by wall to wall blues skies.
First though, Alison and several other rmembers of the Brazilian crew had a go at driving a Segway. Lakeland Segways, based in Cartmel, were giving free taster sessions and they were great fun.
|Stanley Ghyll Force|
We were back in time for lunch outside the pub, where I watched the second half of the Boro vs Bolton game – another 3 points towards promotion…
We walked back to the site and watched the children’s entertaininer leading a game of Hungry Hippos – it was suggested that we enter two teams, but they didn’t seem to playing by the rules so we ducked out.
|Panograph – more work needed…|
There was a raffle in aid of the Wasdale Mountain Rescue team – at least one of our club won a prize – and more entertainment in the Boot Inn, but we chose to entertain ourselves with various strong drinks and food.
Sunday was packing and cruising day. Four of us set off to drive through the Duddon Valley, over The Wrynose Pass and into the Langdales for lunch. First though, as is traditional at Brazilian meets, we had a photo call with our vans.
The drive back was spectacular and this video doesn’t really do it justice:
Eskdale Dubfest is one of the first dates in our Calendar each year – I’d recommend it to anyone, but sign up early as it gets sold out very quickly.
There’s a full set of photos here: Flickr
Simon’s Blog (with much better photos, some of which I’ve borrowed) is here: Skooby Blue
And here is his video:
I’ve also used some of Jane’s, Gill’s and Geoff’s photos – thanks guys.
THINGS WE’VE LEARNED
Sharing a bed with a schnauzer is never easy – sharing it with one who’s got an upset tummy is even worse
It’ll never, not be fun, to ride in that Army wagon
I may have mentioned the Caravanner of the Year show once too often for Claire’s liking
Over one weekend, Simon can eat his own weight in bacon
That may be why he had to have the large helmet for the Segway
There’s strong liquor and then there’s Stroh (Austrian Mr Muscle)
I could write a book about Daz’s adventures
Jane is the new cake queen and worships at the Church of Saint Mary (Berry)
Moira, Mike and Yvonne are great new additions to the Kombi Krew
Doing a hill start half way up the Wrynose Pass is interesting…
Cumbria is a truly beautiful place