I went on the camping trip with my in-laws this week. Here’s a quick summary of things that happened:
- The tent was terrible
- My wheelchair broke
- People were awful to the animals
- I got ill in the middle
- I got ill at the end
- I had a lovely time with my partner, his family, and my two favourite dogs
We went to Roundhill campsite, a lovely place in the New Forest that we’d been to back in 2014, and we were quite aggressively burgled by horses. For those of you not local to the New Forest (although I suppose I’m not any more): animals are everywhere. Horses, donkeys, cows, pigs, in the roads, in the forests, in the fields, in the villages. Although essentially wild and wandering wherever they like, all of the animals are actually owned by people with Commoning rights. However, they are not really tame, even though they belong to someone and are visited every now and then. Anyone who isn’t an out-of-town idiot knows to leave the animals alone, and there is a sign at the entrance of the campsite saying “DO NOT TOUCH THE PONIES.” It’s even the law that there’s a £200 fine if you are caught interfering with them.
Despite this, as we drove further into the site after being given our map and tags, we saw a woman almost get kicked twice, and then trip in a puddle, because she had her phone out and was trying to bother a foal. I’m not sure if she’s evil, stupid, or a combination of the two.
I sat in the car for a while when the tent was being put up because the wind was bad (and also I can’t really help with any of that), and the foal and parent came past. Some stupid girl kept trying to selfie with the foal, and the adult got so flustered that it accidentally kicked the foal in the face instead of the girl.
On other days, groups of kids started deliberately poking the baby donkeys so that the adults would chase them and make angry sounds. They thought it was hilarious and the parents could not have given less of a shit. STOP BEING HORRIBLE TO ANIMALS. People honestly don’t deserve places like Roundhill.
So, it turns out that tunnel tents kind of suck. It was a real pain in the ass to erect, and then a huge strip ripped out of the side during a gust of wind. Will’s mum managed to use a windbreak to shield the side but it still wasn’t ideal.
The tent did have windows, which was a nice touch and not something I’ve experienced before (although the ones at the front looked like the damn Amityville windows), but the tunnel caved in so much whenever there was wind. There wound up being damage on all sides of the tent and random items had to be used to try and plug the gaps. Not exactly the most secure and homely camping feeling.
Hopefully my mother-in-law will be able to get her money back because she was clearly sold a really shitty tent.
But aside from the obvious problems, we did settle in and have a really nice holiday. I packed my hearing aids but didn’t actually put them in once, because I realised that there would be a lot of background noise I didn’t need to hear. I still managed to hear cows loudly hooting to each other throughout the nights 🐄❤️.
We visited Beaulieu Aerodrome, an old favourite place which is actually right next door, saw a lot of ponies and gave the dogs a run around. There was also just a lot of sitting outside with drinks. We had solar-powered string lights which lit up the outside at night.
Unfortunately, my wheelchair broke! As I’ve mentioned before, my foldable chair has manual wheels which can be locked in position to be used with an electric controller, so that the wheels turn when I push the joystick. One of these locks has stopped actually clamping the wheel, so it doesn’t spin when the wheelchair is powered. This meant that I had to be pushed everywhere, even though I brought that chair so that I wouldn’t need pushing! I’m going to get Will to ring the company up because it obviously needs repairing.
I’m not sure why the wheel lock has broken, but it might be something to do with the ramp at Roundhill for the accessible toilet. It’s just not legally compliant. Sadly I think it’s been replaced quite recently too because I remember it being dark brown the last time we were there, it’s now light-coloured, new-looking wood (completely uncoated with anything and very splinter-giving). But it’s far too steep, I still need to be pulled up it by Will, and it’s got a horrible ridge at the bottom that my wheels can’t cross on their own.
I woke up with a migraine on one of the days (I had aura the day before but was in denial about it), slept a lot, then later when I felt a bit better we went into the woods, it was beautiful in there but the path was so bumpy with twigs that I felt very vomity.
I felt better the rest of the time (especially when eating camping stove nachos) but got really car sick on the way home 🙁
Perhaps being in a car so soon after a migraine wasn’t a good idea. We got iced coffee on the way home though and now I’m in bed with my laptop.
I’m impressed by how well the dogs take to camping, I suppose dogs are den animals and the act of huddling in bedrooms at one end of the tent is quite natural to them. I can’t imagine doing it without them anyway.
I’ve been eyeing-up this tent for the past couple of years, but after staying in one made by the same brand, I’m not sure it’s a good idea!
We want to camp at least once a year when we can afford it, so a tent that is going to rip in a gust of wind is not very good.