Monday, 29 August 2011

Jaspers Tea Room

In Llandaff there is a delightful tea rooms called Jaspers.  This is the sort of place that we always frequent while on holiday but often cannot find near to home.  So it is lovely to have Jaspers Tea Rooms within cycling distance—or even walking distance—of our home.  It is also close to Llandaff Cathedral and the walks thereabouts.  A great place for a Sunday afternoon visit.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Bundu Camping and Caravan Park

Ahoy toilet block in the distance!
I had a good week in Cornwall at Surya Eco Yoga Camp.  All too soon it was time to go home.  I decided to break my journey again and leave on the Sunday evening, so that I would be home quite early on the Monday.  Please go to my Ngakma Nor'dzin blog for more information about this event.

I drove till I was getting close to the beginning of the M5 and followed a sign to a campsite.  I quite like simply following a sign to a site rather than booking in advance or hunting for a site in a brochure or online and then having to find it.  I like the spontaneity of turning off the road to an unknown site.

The site that I arrived at near Okehampton is called Bundu Camping and Caravan Park.  I did not like this as much as the site I stayed at on my outward journey.  I decided not to bother with electric hookup as I was only there for one night, it was an extra cost, and I had lived without electricity for a week already at the yoga camp.  This meant that I was on a pitch in what I found myself calling the 'poor end of the field'.  The pitch was okay—level and with water and bins nearby—but a long way from the facilities.  The site is long and thin with the facilities up the top end.

Reception and shop.
The lady who took my payment was coolly friendly and gave me a code for the toilet block.  I thought key pad entry for the facilities was a good idea.  There was also a shop at reception which would be convenient for a longer stay.  The toilet block was clean and well appointed and again I was able to have a hot shower without extra cost.

In the morning I was a bit startled when a man suddenly came into the ladies' facilities.  He was sorting out a problem for another camper, but I felt he should have ascertained that there was no one in there in a state of undress before he entered.

I was not too keen on this site.  I didn't feel welcomed.  The facilities were fine and there wasn't really anything wrong with it... I just wouldn't want to stay there for anything more than a journey's overnight stop.

Colliford Tavern campsite, St Neot, Cornwall

I recently spent a week in Cornwall living in the van and teaching at Surya Eco Yoga Camp.  Unfortunately I chose the same day to travel as a lorry caught fire in the Malpas tunnel, Newport, closing the M4.  This caused a horrendous traffic jam which I was stuck in for 3½ hours.  It took me as long to do the first 15 miles of my journey as it did to do the rest.  After the first hour of moving slowly I had to make the decision of going home or going on.  Listening to the traffic news I realised that it would take as long to get home and the tunnel would probably still be closed the next day anyway - so I decided to sit it out.  At one point the traffic did not move at all for about half an hour.

Once I got back onto the M4 at junction 24 it was plain sailing all the way.  By the time I reached north Cornwall however, I had been on the road for 6½ hours and decided to stop for the night.

I turned off the A30 to St Neot and found Colliford Tavern.  As the sign says it is also a pub.  I thought it rather a delightful site with the pitches nestled under pine trees.  I liked the atmosphere of the shaded, wooded area.  The shower block was nearby and the path to it well lit.  I had a nice hot shower and settled down for the night. 

This site does not get very good reviews at but I liked it.  It was clean, friendly and an attractive site.  I felt completely safe camping there on my own.  I generally prefer sites with minimal amenities however, and tend to avoid the ones that offer entertainment of any sort - so I can see that it might be a bit dull for some people.  It is the countryside and being in nature that I want to experience when camping, not watching TV or similar.  I enjoyed the rabbits frollicking under the trees in front of the van.  It would be a good site for exploring north Cornwall.

I find it interesting that nowadays free hot water is common at campsites, whereas it used to be a rarity.  You always used to have to get a token or have money for a slot to have a shower.  British camping is becoming more civilised.