Monday, 18 March 2013

Dot's Birthday Barnard Castle

Day one 7th of March

It was a miserable day as we packed up in York ready to move on to Barnard Castle for Dot's birthday. The van started OK, I had the battery on charge for two days before we were due to move.

It was overcast and foggy for the whole of the drive and it was also a lot cooler than it had been for the previous few days. The site had only been open for a week but there were a few vans already there.

We got set up and had sandwiches, so it was quite late in the afternoon before we ventured into town.   The path in is not very good so we had our walking shoes on, we had also started wearing warmer water proof coats.  Some of the shops were already closing when we arrived on the high street, so it wasn't long before we picked out a pub The Coach and Horses, to warm up in.

The path back was slightly treacherous in the dark but we had a very small flash light with us.

Day two 8th of March

We where going to do some walking while we were in Barnard Castle but the weather was just not good enough.

We did pop out later in the afternoon and did much the same as the previous day, only we had a look in The The Golden Lion pub first before moving on to The Coach and Horses again. We did intend to get back to the van before it got dark but failed.

Day three 9th of March

The view from the window says it all.

View from the van, one

We didn't go anywhere at all, just watched TV and read books.  Didn't even drink much beer, even though there was plenty in the van.  We also had an early night after watching a couple of films.

Day four 10th of March

I did bacon, eggs and mushrooms for Dot's birthday breakfast, it was very nice.

The view from the window isn't getting any better.

View from the van, two

But we ventured out for a birthday Sunday lunch anyway and we went fairly early, as you never know when these country pubs will stop serving food and it was also Mothers Day. We went straight to The Coach and Horses it seemed to be the best pub but we had not seen the food. Well the food was quite good, it was roast beef for me and roast pork for Dot. Dot also had the chocolate brownies with ice cream but the toffee sauce it should have had over the top had run out, not very good.

As we finished the food the England v Italy rugby was starting, so I treated Dot to the rugby.  She did pop over to Morrisons to do a bit of shopping while I watched the second half.

Birthday Girl

After the rugby the weather was looking better but is was bitterly cold. We set off to walk back the longer way, there was one pub we hadn't checked (we hadn't been in them all for a drink but had looked in the others). Dot remembered that when we were there for the Olympic Torch Relay and sat on the old buttermarket, people were getting beers from down the street leading to Bowes Museum. Anyway is had closed down, so we went in The Well Inn instead.

We walked back to long way to the site completing the round trip we did for our Barnard Castle Walk.

Day five 11th of March

The view from the window is getting better but the weather isn't getting any better.

View from the van, three

I went over to the tap to get water but there was none, I walked to another tap and it was the same there, I do not think it was frozen I think it was isolated. I had to get some from the vegetable preparation room in the end. I took some more photos while I was wandering about looking for water.

After lunch the snow had stopped, so we took the chance to go walking. We though we would walk along the south bank of the river tees to Eglston Abbey. It was very cold but we were well warped up and the ground was mainly firm. We came to some falls that we didnt know existed as stopped for some photos.


All was going well until we missed a way point about half way there, at the static caravan park. It started to snow heavily again anyway so we made for the town and shelter in the shops and pubs there. You can see from the photos of Dot, the difference between the walk out and the walk back.

In The Coach and Horses the landlord was helping a farmer with a laptop problem, as I was getting served, I heard the landlord say "it looks like your file has gone sorry you've lost it".   I asked if they had looked in the recycle bin, it was there, good deed for the day (although neither of them said thank you or even acknowledged that it was me who found the missing file).

By now the snow was set in for the night, we sat in the warm The Coach and Horses, watching cars struggle to get up the incline out of Barnard castle.   For a time the traffic was at a stand still.

During a short break in the weather we walked back to the site.

On the way back it started to snow heavily again though and the door to the van was frozen shut, when we got back, I had to go in through the cab doors and boil water to free the lock.


Day six 12th of March

The snow we no worse that when we went to bed but the water to the site taps was still off.

The van started OK, again I had the battery on charge for two day before we were due to move, we will have a new one before our next trip, whenever that is.

We went straight home partly because of the weather and partly because of the battery.

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