It’s the mid-summer solstice so it must be time for the Northern Chapter of the Brazilianvwbay Forum to hold their annual event. It fell to Alison and I to organise the event this year and it’s been in the planning stages for many months – months which involved a couple of recces to Waterside House Campsite in Pooley Bridge on the shores of Ullswater in the Lake District.
We drove up on Thursday, stopping off at the wonderful Tebay Services to pick up supplies for the BBQ and to have some lunch. If you’ve not been to Tebay Services then you’re missing out on a treat. It’s got a brilliant farm shop with top quality meat that would put most butchers to shame.
We were soon set up at the site, on what proved to be a lovely sunny day, despite the fact that we’d had quite heavy rain at home in the morning.
We weren’t the only ones stopping over on Thursday night so a few of us walked along the shore to Pooley Bridge in the evening for a meal in the Crown. It was too cool to sit outside but we managed to find a table that would accommodate all 9 of us (and three dogs).
Tim showing us his sausage
Later in the evening, Alison popped outside with Boris and returned a little later with a flat-capped gentleman on her arm.
Mr Vegas entertained us for over half an hour and what a lovely chap he is! He’s filming a show for the BBC (I think) and has been in the area now for a few months. So popular is he, that he was grabbed by Karen, another member of our group on Saturday for her own selfie opportunity.
Friday during the day was a bit of a wash out – it rained quite a lot but, luckily, faired up later, by which time our other friends had started to arrive. We managed to set up the BBQ, whilst the field filled up with campers, intent on enjoying their own weekend fun.
It was great to see some new members join the gang – a massive welcome to Tony and Karen and their lovely van. Their SheltaPod awning got some envious glances too…
Saturday morning meant a walk to the Ullswater Steamer jetty to set sail on the lake. There were blue skies and glorious views across both sides of the lake as we travelled the 60 minutes, first to Howtown and then on to Glenridding.
We split into groups in the village – some heading for a walk whilst others found somewhere for lunch. Quite a few of us found our way to the Travellers Rest pub where we had a good meal and a catch up on what we’ve all been up to since we last met.
Waiting for the ferry back to Pooley Bridge
Once back at the site, some of us had a snooze (OK, I had a snooze) so the BBQ was slightly delayed! Once lit, we all enjoyed our food, a few drinks and some great entertainment from Ian on his guitar. Fortunately, this year’s ensemble rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody was a bit less enthusiastic than at the beer festival last year. Small mercies. ladies and gentlemen, small mercies…
It wouldn’t be a Northern Event without some late night revellers enjoying a few crumpets toasted on the grill and a good giggle before bedtime. As we’ve said many times before, events like this, are best when they involve a joint effort and wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun without some fantastic friends to share the good times with us.
Sunday morning was a bit of a lazy one (I may have had one too many, rhubarb vodkas) which allowed us all to pack up before driving in convoy to Lowther Castle.
We stopped in the small, picturesque village of Askham for a photo opportunity which, I suspect, came as a bit of a shock to some locals.
Lowther Castle had agreed that we could park in front of the Castle rather than the main car park and the wonderful building made a great back drop for our vans. I’d like to thank everyone at the castle for looking after us so well, and, in particular, Ben Melling, who couldn’t have been more helpful. Thanks again, guys.
A few of us drove back to the campsite before setting off home from what was another brilliant fun packed weekend.
I’m off to start planning next year’s now…
THINGS WE’VE LEARNED
Whether new or old, our Campervan friends are great fun
You can have all four seasons in one day in the Lakes
A few hot sunny days will mean the next weekend will attract loads of campers
Michael Joseph Pennington is a babe magnet – as it says on his website, “comedy is a campfire, come and be warmed”
Boris loves a sausage…
…so does Tim
Free gin samples, make Angela like a moth to a flame
Every event = more gadget envy (on the list? a bio-ethanol burner, a sheltaPod, a drone…)