What an amazing three weeks I've just had cycling from my home in Devon to North Wales and back again in preperation for next year. There were more mountains than you can shake a stick at and more metres climbing than I could imagine before hand, which is good because it might have put me off. Seriously, I chose the route because it's recognised as the hardest on the National Cycle Network. I wanted to know where the flaws in my prep' were to rectify them for next year.
Rather than a long winded story of the route, I thought I might write about some of the groups of people I met and observed on the various campsites I used. This is not meant to cause any offense to anybody, so I apologise in advance!!!!!
Annoying dad man ( the original idea was that of a friend)
ADM as I will call him rarely leaves his children alone for a minute. Ultra attentative he explains in minute detail why his way of doing everything is better than that of his offspring. " no, don't walk on the grass like that, it'll damage it. Do it like this" At this point ADM trips on his own shoe laces and plummets down a bank inot the river, his kids in fits of laughter. Not perturbed he stands up and exclaims "Did you see how I did that parachute roll to soften the blow". Very very annoying.
Keep it all in the car love!
Yes, they do, literally keep everything in the car. What's wrong with that? Well, at some point every night and morning they need whatever is in the car. It goes like this. Flash flash (disarming alarm which is truly needed in the middle of Wales), clunk (door opens), rustle rustle, clunk Flash flash. That's not too bad is it? No but they've forgotten something, Flash flash, clunk, rustle rustle, clunk flash flash. Then you hear. "did you get my toothbrush dear" flash flash, clunk, rustle rustle, clunk flash flash. This goes on & on & on. AAAAAAArgh!!!!
This may be a family or group of families. On arrival at the site, they erect the biggest tent (s) you've ever seen. It takes at least three hours to do. If there are two or more, they are erected some way apart. In between these are at least two gazeebos of extra large size. By parking there multiple vehicules, trailers, kayaks, bicycles and other stuff on one side, and fencing the other with windbreaks (at least ten), they create a massive coral that is THEIR territory. Once they've done this they can do what they like because nobody is going to challenge them even if they can get through the outer limits, they're likely to face to face with hords of kids with waterpistols who drench them within 3 metres. STAY WELL AWAY.
OK, you can see where this one's going. The Dingles are a law unto themselves. They get up and sit around eating massive a breakfast. this is followed as soon as possible by lunch, when it's ok to start drinking. By the evening, they will likely be completely pissed and not responsible for they're actions. Dad will probably get up and shoot this son in the backside with a ball bearing gun (yes I saw this). Guess how son responds? Yes, he shoots his father. Soon enough all the Dingles are running around the tents shooting each other, all armed with their own BB gun!!!! Whilst this is going on, the barbecue catches fire and threatens to burn the whole campsite down. The Dingles don't really care, cos they're all pissed up anyway. STAY WELL AWAY
Bless, we've all been here. Arriving with a tent that is just big enough for a large airbed (that's all they need) they proceed to look totally confused at the instructions until a seasoned camper offers a hand to put the tent up. Bad move, as soon as the tent is up, the young lovers disappear inside to explore every sexual possiblity for two people in the middle of a field. They think they are being quiet whilst every other camper suddenly develops the desire to listen to their ipods!!!
Best thing to do here is to go for a long wlak, followed by a meal a bit of clubbing and a midnight hike up Snowdon. By the time you return, they might be exhausted, if not, you will be, so there is a chance of sleeping without the constant reminder of when you were young!!
Not at all offensive this bunch. They travel hundreds of miles pulling a lump of plastic or driving one to sit around for several days watching the telly. When not watching the telly. they can empty the toilet, empty the waste water and replenish the drinking water. These jobs take most of every morning, by which time the more senior caravanner is knackered and falls asleep.
When arriving at a new site, much time is taken getting the caravan exactly levl and square to the edge of the hardstanding. This, says the caravanner is a point of pride, and involves lots of driving forwards and backwards, giuded by somebody who probably hasnt a clue what she (cos it usually is) is supposed to do. Once in position the driver releases the caravan from the car and parks this exactly parallel to the caravan on the same side as everybody else!!! Then, just when you think it's over he will make minute adjustments with an radio controlled hand box attached to a driver on the wheels. After a cup of tea, the boot opens and the biggest piece of canvas you have ever seen emerges. This is what they call 'The Awning'. It's another wing, because the 5 birth double axle caravan isnt big enough for two and they dont really want to sit OUTSIDE.
This is struggled with for hours ensuring absollute depletion of the owners energy levels for the rest of the week. So now just the pot plants, decorations, solar lights, tv ariel................................
Weight is the enemy for these guys. Half a toothbrush, half a saucepan half a sleeping bag (you can always put it on the cold side later!!), half of everything. Tiny cooker that takes a week to boil a kettle and precious little clothing means that these people are the more likely to need first aid than any of the above listed due to mal-nutrition, hypothermia, setting fire to the tiny tent trying to cook in the pissing rain etc.
They don't look healthy because they arn't. Camping too close means you will be kept awake by the constant coughing and farting from the poor diet and the failing body of the people next door. Not only that, they will leave at 4.30 am after rustling around with hundreds of plastic bags that get stuffed into panniers/rucksacks to keep stuff dry. Don't even think about going to the bathroom for at least a hour and a half adter one of these people have been!!!
Single Sex Groups
Very very dangerous whatever the sex. Over a period of hours a male group will degenerate into something akin to a troop of baboons. The more alcohol consumed the more you can clearly see the link to our furry ancestors. Within the corale they have probably created (see above) they will stack unfeasibly large amounts of beer and sausages, get completely pissed, attempt a barbeque which later becomes a bonfire and at some point they will run around naked taking pictures of each others genetilia and posting them on You Tube.
Girls,Safe? No Way. The conversations get more and more lude with the amount of wine consumed and the group of what appeared to lovely ladies, degenerates into a howling mass of gossip & laughter. All of the group will end up talking at the same time with no way of telling if anybody is actually listening to anybody else. The laughter becomes so raucous that from your tent you are convinced that the campsite is being invaded by laughing Hyenas, Jackels and the like and just when you think it can't get any worse, they start to play truth or dare whilst dicussing the shortcomings of their various partners sexual ability/genitalia. Stay well clear
These folk can strike fear in the hearts of family campers. They arrive on a variety of machines from Harleys to Hondas and proceed to put up tents, Fart and belch loudly, laugh raucously at very rude jokes and all this wearing leather. They take the piss out of each other, nobody is spared and they will build an enourmous bonfire, whether they are supposed to or not.
Eventually they're all completely pissed and go to bed.
If you get up early though, you might see the other side. Bikers heading to the toilets in their favourite pyjamas, clutching 'teddy' or 'Blanky'. There are reasons bikers never open their panniers in public you know!!!! Bless em, they are one of the nicest bunches of people you could ever meet, hidden by shows of ritualised behaviour.
That's it really. I'm sure there are other groups I havnt written about. Let me know