Last time, on Adventures at Camp Bestival…lists were made, cars were packed, sandwiches were eaten. Now that is what I call a cliff hanger.
Today, dear readers, you find us in the Camping Plus car park which is exclusive to Camping Plus ticket holders and the nearest to the Camping Plus site. Easy to find, a slight delay getting in due to some dodgy traffic lights but, all in all, pretty painless.
We unload all our stuff, ALL OUR LOADS AND LOADS OF REALLY HEAVY STUFF, onto the grass and look up to take in our surroundings. We really do look up. Up a big hill that stands between us and our pitch. But, no matter! The CB team have thought of everything and there is a free tractor and trailer shuttle service continuously running up and down the hill.
Fortunately , we had procured a huge fishing trolley so with that, a smaller trolley and two reluctant teenage helpers we made it up and down the hill in three trips. Yes, three trips. Suddenly our extensive list of essentials didn’t seem quite so essential but you live and learn.
We passed through security, grabbed our wrist bands and hunted for our pitch. The site is marked out in a grid of coloured zones and the alphabet, so it is pretty easy to find your booked space. I’d opted for a place nearer the action which was, by default, further from the car park but the trade-off was a good one. Now all we had to do was put up the tent.
This was going to be easy! You’ll remember from Episode 1 that we had a very successful tent practice.
On that sunny, still, breeze free day.
In a very sheltered garden.
Fast forward to an exposed hilltop.
In 30 mph windy gusts.
We spent forty minutes wrestling with fly sheets and ground sheets, snapping two tent poles as they got caught in the wind. Helpfully, Teen 1 rolled around the grass in fits of laughter as we grappled with what was basically a massive parachute ready to carry us away into the atmosphere. I could feel my camping bonhomie slipping away.
Lucky for us that Camp Bestival folk are a friendly bunch and, just as things felt desperate, the cavalry arrived. Four extra bodies, one bearing a roll of duct tape for our pole casualties, and between us we got the tent up and secured.
From then on it was a short hop and a skip to fill the tent, string the bunting, light the fairy lights and head down to the Magic Meadow for some food.
Time to relax, let the weekend begin!