Claire, Florence and Sniff Winter camping

Adventures in the snow with Bungle and the bell tent.

In Ice Sculpture, travel by Claire Jamieson0 Comments

Since following a dream of ours to own a campervan, we have had a summer of adventures in Bungle, our beloved T25. He has been to festivals, beaches, baby showers and Bradford! He has more often than not been towed home from trips away, but that’s all part of the fun of owning a T25! This time, Bungle faced his most challenging trip to date.

Floss in her play area in the boot of our VW T25

Floss in her play area in the boot of our VW T25

At the end of the summer, at a VW Festival, Jamie and I, a little merry on local ale, convinced ourselves it would be a good idea to spend my overdraft on a bell tent awning, complete with wood burner, to attach to Bungle. The regular awning we had didn’t seem to fit with Bungle’s beautiful presence. As luck would have it, we had seen earlier in the day a stall at the festival selling such creations, so off we staggered, cash card in hand and bought one. After much mocking from our friend and magic T25 mechanic Richard, who was also at the festival, we put up the bell tent and loved it. Now we could go winter camping!

Jamie and Floss at Dub int Dales VW Festival

Jamie and Floss at Dub int Dales VW Festival

Fast forward to January and the coldest snap of winter, Jamie said to me, “Lets go camping this weekend, we deserve a little break.” “Is it going to rain?” I asked. “I don’t want to go camping in the rain.” “Nope, no rain” Jamie assured me “but maybe a little frosty……”

 

When Jamie suggests ideas like this, my head says nooooooo, don’t listen to him, he is crackers, but my heart says this will be awesome, let’s do it! I have spent most of my life following my heart, rather than my head, much to my parent’s concern, so why change now. I’ve had many adventures in my life and all have come from just going for it and having a go. I have always encouraged Jamie and his crazy ideas, I love this side of him so much and this part of his personality has made Sand In Your Eye what it is today. To him, things can be a challenge but never impossible.

Claire Jamieson and Jamie Wardley on a family holiday in the Dales with Flossy

Claire Jamieson and Jamie Wardley on a family holiday in the Dales with Flossy

So we packed up Bungle and Jamie, Floss, our one year old daughter! and I headed over to Hardraw Force, in the Yorkshire Dales, one of very few campsites that are open this time of year. By the time we had set off it was getting dark and the weather was a little wet, but Jamie assured me that it would stop raining very soon. An hour later as we were driving, I looked up from my IPad and from the back of the campervan, I could see nothing but thick snow all around. Jamie was very quiet, which to anyone that may know him would know this was very much out of character. Bungle’s engine screamed as the road was so steep he was in first gear to get up, then the wheels started to spin as he struggled to grip in the snow!  Finally we reached the summit of Fleet Moss, he started to laugh and relax as I asked him “Are we in Norway?!” The landscape was so different to last time I had glanced out of the window, I was a little taken aback. Jamie praised Bungle on managing to make it up the hill in the snow, as he thought we may have had to reverse all the way back down!

 

Bungle the T25 Campervan battling the snow on Fleet Moss

Bungle the T25 Campervan battling the snow on Fleet Moss

Jamie and the VW camper made it to the top of Fleet Moss!

Jamie and the VW camper made it to the top of Fleet Moss!

We finally arrived at the campsite and Jamie set up the bell tent, while Flossy and I played games in Bungle where it was warmer. When we got into the tent, Jamie had started the fire and it was amazing. So cosy and warm, I was glad I went along with Jamie’s crazy idea.

Jamie, Floss and Sniff get warm by the fire in the bell tent

Jamie, Floss and Sniff get warm by the fire in the bell tent

The next day we visited England’s tallest waterfall Hardraw Force, it was just around the corner from our tent and we were the only people there. The height of it is quite breathtaking. The last time Jamie was there, he had set up a mastermind chair in front of the waterfall and was testing his friend and stag Mike on all things RSPB related, so he has fond memories of the waterfall.

Jamie's love of the Yorkshire Dales

Jamie’s love of the Yorkshire Dales

That evening it started to snow and in the morning when we woke up the scenery was incredible. Snow covered the landscape and Bungle. There were icicles hanging off the outside of our tent, but inside we were toasty. The only footprints on the ground was ours and rabbits, who looked like they had quite a party last night.

Yorkshire Dales winter camping

Yorkshire Dales winter camping

We continued our holiday, walking, drinking tea, eating cake and sampling the local beers. Even though we work together, we don’t spend a lot of time just being together, so it was nice to spend time with just our little family and no phone signal.

 

We were quite the talk of the village. It possibly went something like this.

 

“Have you seen that lunatic couple camping in the snow at Hardraw Force with a baby?!!”

 

But once people had come and had a look, they realized, that actually it looked great fun and how lovely to have a little stove burning with a pot of mulled wine warming on the top. Many thanks to Kitty and Andy at the Heritage Centre campsite for making us their only campers in the snow feel so welcome.

Claire Jamieson and Floss have a tea break in the Heritage Centre at Hardraw

Claire Jamieson and Floss have a tea break in the Heritage Centre at Hardraw

 

On our last day it seemed only right for us to make a snowman. We are ice sculptors after all. We wanted to make Percival, but as our resources were limited (we didn’t even have a carrot), we decided to make two of his hapless friends instead. Bernard and Barry took to camping in the snow like us, but much to Bernard’s amusement, Barry had decided to put the kettle on to make a warming cup of tea……..big mistake!

Even on holiday we love making snow sculptures!

Even on holiday we love making snow sculptures!

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