Planning, planning, planning.
I love a bit of planning! Rarely is there any time when I’m not planning what may be our next adventure.
Even before we went skiing we were making some commitments for the late spring. Over May bank holiday weekend we had a Landrover event to attend; the Landrover ALRC Nationals were being held in South Wales. And during the last two weeks of June I had been planning a charity walk with my Mum in Yorkshire.
Between these two commitments we had a three week period and what would be a better use of the intervening time than some more time travelling in the UK. So we decided we should spend some time mountain biking in Wales, especially as I had just invested in a new mountain bike.
Then we remembered that brother-in-law Paul’s 50th birthday fell in this period. So we slightly tweaked our plans, we would spend a couple of weeks in Wales. Pop back to Taunton for Birthday celebrations, then spend a few days on Exmoor before picking up Mum and making our way to the Yorkshire Dales for the final two weeks of June.
With the general shape of the month planned we started to think about possible places to stay, walks and hikes to do, bike rides and mountain biking centres to visit. A list started to come together.
The trick for us is to get the balance right between planning and freedom, organisation and spontaneity. For me that means even MORE planning, looking at options for different eventualities so that when the time comes for us to make a decision we don’t spend too much time investigating and deciding. Perhaps it’s just an excuse for me to indulge in an activity that I love.
The ALRC Landrover National Rally
This is the second time we have been to the Landrover National Rally. It’s an opportunity for Landrover clubs to meet and compete. There are several different disciplines; Paul sat in on the CCTV with his friend Mark driving (think slow but extreme off road driving over obstacles). Mark also competed in the Comp Safari (timed racing around an off-road track) and our favourite event; the Team Recovery. This was an event in which pairs compete to finish a course in the quickest time possible, but the course is designed to be almost impossible to complete without the pair working together to tow each other out of obstacles such as deep mud.
This year the rally was held in Wales, on farmland near the top of a hill. The entrance was up a steep and gravelled track, but it was nothing we haven’t had to deal with before. The ice-cream van managed it every day so it was no surprise that Bertie made it with ease.
From the camping field we had beautiful views across the valley. The weather was very dry and sunny but a cold wind blew across the slope. It frazzled us during the day but gave us a good excuse to get the fire pits out in the evening. By the time our five nights were over all our clothes smelt of woodsmoke. Several people went home with some level of heatstroke.
We weren’t going home though, we were off on the next stage of our little UK tour.