Our third week on the road turned out to be a week of challenges. It all started on Sunday night as we were watching the 5-day weather forecast on Countryfile. Severe gales and rain were once again forecast, with the north coasts of Devon and Cornwall expecting to bear the brunt in the West Country. So we started looking for more sheltered places to go and we ended up in Wadebridge and Bodmin. We found a brilliantly sheltered spot the night before the strongest winds, but decided to try to stay on Bodmin Moor on the day the worst of the storm was forecast… What were we thinking? We had a lovely afternoon on the Moor, but we ended up with another late night dash to a safer spot, which turned out to be at the back of a B&M. So much glamour. Needless to say, there were no ‘sunrise from the top bunk’ social media updates the next morning…
The second challenge came in the form of an ear infection. I get these very frequently, and this one hit early in the week. We had a few quiet days of not exploring all that much while I rested up a bit. It was very frustrating as we really wanted to carry on travelling, but with me being a bit unwell, and the weather being bad, we were pretty much stuck for a few days waiting to move on again.
The final challenge was probably the biggest one… It is a side-effect of winter camping. As we got ready to go to the launderette, we noticed that our mattress had gotten wet. When camping in winter, our bodies generate heat which turns to condensation. Therefore it’s very important to keep plenty of ventilation going around the van. We know this, and yet it seems we hadn’t had enough windows open as well as the fact that the mattress is in the overcab and therefore has limited airflow under it. It seems counter-intuitive to have the heating on and the windows open. So we’ve learned a lesson the hard way. We cleaned Rex out top to bottom, and left him to air for a few days.
During all this, we couldn’t stay in Rex, so the next challenge was to find ‘dog-friendly’ hotels and B&B’s. Luckily we found one in Newquay, which was really lovely. The next day we thought we might be able to get back into Rex so we travelled on towards Perranport and St Agnes. As we got to St Agnes we realised we needed another night out of Rex. We were lucky again as the Driftwood Spars in St Agnes is dog-friendly and we had another night in the hotel. The nicest thing about these hotel stays was having big, long showers without worrying about using too much water!
We are now back in Rex with several extra dehumidifiers, more heating on and more windows open. My ear is slowly getting better as well, and the weather forecast isn’t too bad for the next few days… So things are looking up!
Despite all these challenges, we still managed to have some really good days too, like the afternoon on Bodmin Moor, a day hiking around the beaches near Padstow, finding St Agnes and hiking to the tin mines. Onwards and upwards!