Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Camping at Golden Valley

Friday. Arrived Golden Valley campsite mid afternoon. One of our favourite sites - lots to do. Put tent up and gradually rest of party arrived - 4 tents and two camper vans. Total of 17 from pensioners to a four year old.  Had a large bunch of flowers delivered just before we left so took them with me - made tent look very posh. Sent Stuart out in car to forage for food and he came back with fish and chips. Ate in gazebo, washed down with some gin, wine and beer. Some music from various instruments and we got to see Paul's jubilee socks!

Saturday. A lazy start. Big communal breakfast with everyone cooking something different. Walk along canal towpath, then round Codnor park reservoir. Saw coots, moorhens, swans, irises, bullrushes.

 Lunch in the Moulders Arms, Riddings, commonly called The Thack because of its thatched roof. Arrived late, about 1340, and were followed in by another party of 16. Its a small pub, and they were a bit put out by the numbers, but managed to feed us (but not the later party...).
Then a gentle walk back across fields, past the Midland Railway centre to the campsite.

We think we saw an orchid but we're not sure.

Then it was pimmsoclock.

Followed by a BBQ. Followed by toasted marshmallows, kids playing, and more music and drinks in the gazebo. Some played pool in the bar.

Sunday. Rain. Lots of it. Set off early to walk to Midland Railway Centre. Got there in time for coffee, and caught the steam train which had bunting in it. Sat on it for an hour, this is the view from the window as we crossed the reservoir

had a jubilee chocolate,

 then got off where we'd got on, and walked to the Butterley Park pub, about 20 minutes away. Still raining. Had lunch. Enormous deserts were purchased and demolished.

 I dried my shoes under the hand drier in the loos, they were so wet. Back out in the rain for another walk across a different field to catch the train at Butterley.

I had trench foot by then. Back on steam train.

 Still raining. Had bottle of wine on train to cheer us up.
Back to campsite, and got dry, changed. Whiskey mac to warm us up. Then a fondue evening in gazebo. Cheese fondue with bread and crudites, followed by chocolate fondue with marshmallow, grapes, strawberries and bananas. All was great till Beka broke the cheese fondue. As soon as small kids were in bed and bigger ones were playing pool again we huddled in friends camper van with heating on to warm up. Still raining.

 Monday. Sunshine. Yay! Another big communal breakfast, then some of men set off for walk. Rest of us stayed on campsite. Kids played on playground, and bouncy castle,

 and Alice and Maya had a go on giant plastic balls on the pool.

Pint in site cafe. Some had a ride on the train that goes round the site.
Some of girls decided to walk to Dolls House shop (I wanted to go and persuaded them to come with me). Across a field. With mud, cows, calves and a very frisky bull! Lots of mud. 5 year old Maya put her foot (which only had crocs on) in a giant, oozing cowpat. Then fell over and put her hands in it. Then got it on her hair. Cow poo everywhere, and no wet wipes, tissues etc. Stoically she carried on to the shop, where she was stood in a sink and washed. I had to wash other little one 4 year old Lily, who also had mud, but luckily no poo, everywhere.
Then a walk to Butterley Park again for a very civilised girls late lunch, complete with sharing platters and wine.
Back to campsite for hedgerow cocktails. Elderflower cordial, prosecco and sloe gin. Gorgeous.

Another BBQ.

 Sat outside then with drinks, and got told off at 0130 for making too much noise. Oops. I blame Dylan's purple joke.

Tuesday. Up earlyish. Slow pack up. Discovered pool of water between our footprint and tent groundsheet. Debated how we were going to get everything back in car.  finally everyone off about 12 for traditional trip to Denby Visitor Centre for coffee, lunch and retail therapy.

A great weekend, despite the rain and mud. Great company, and a great site. We'll be back again next year.

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