Friday 14 April – Good Friday
We normally avoid the bank holiday periods as if they were the Bubonic Plague to keep away from the crowds, unruly children and hiked up prices on campsites etc. This time however we were bullied into agreeing to go away at Easter by our friends Alan (Mouse) and Marie who were on holiday from work and we could spend a short trip with them without using up their Holiday allowance.
We decided to head up to Chester as Jane & I have been before and liked it and it was a new discovery for Marie.
Setting off just after 9.00 we were making good time until we started hitting the inevitable Bank Holiday traffic car park shortly before Chester, which added about 40 minutes to our journey and we eventually arrived around 12.30 at our final destination.
I had chosen a Certified Location (CL) because there is not normally more than 5 pitches for motorhomes or caravans and this one was £12 a night including electricity with a pleasant country backdrop and a toilet/wash basin and usual water/dump facilities. This was called Belle Vue Farm and is in Guilden Sutton very close to Chester and was not bad.
On doing my pre-visit investigation, I particularly liked the fact that there was a pub in the village and was on a regular bus route to Chester ( but there belies a tale !! )
After settling in and having finished a cuppa we decided to have a walk around the village and maybe pop into the pub for a swift one ( or two per chance ! ). It was only about a 5 minute walk to the pub, but unfortunately upon arrival, it appeared to not open during the day until 4.30. Bereft therefore, we thirstily continued our meander around but failed to see any shops or much of interest at all in the village.
We had previously decided that we would travel by bus into Chester on Saturday morning, but now finding the village of the damned had not much chance of any social interaction, we thought that maybe we would pop in just for an hour or so today. On closer examination however, we found that the bus didn’t run on Saturdays and Sunday’s at all and today being Good Friday didn’t run on Public Holidays either, Bummer !!
Wandering a little further around the village we came across a couple of locals just finishing off from a jog who told us that if we continued up the road a mile we would reach a pub that was thought to be open. The weather was OK and not having a lot else to do we decided that a short walk would assist in keeping the old exercise regime intact ( or is that started ! ) and after a short while we arrived at the Piper Hotel where in obvious need of essential liquid replenishment we entered and heartily partook of a couple.
Returning wence we came and settling down for the rest of the afternoon/ evening with a very tasty home made Chilli lovingly prepared by 3 star Michelin Chef Madame Cathcart and playing Canasta until it was time to call it a night. Unfortunately Marie & I have been on a losing streak for about 6 games now without a hope in Hell of actually winning, and this night once more we were subjected to yet more of the same tortuous misery inflicted on us ( Jane & Alan must be cheating methinks ! )
Saturday 15 April
Now that we know the buses are not running today we make the executive decision to walk into Chester which is about 2.6 miles and takes us less than an hour. On arrival we do a very quick shop experience exchanging a belt for me and Bear Grylls Mouse drooling everywhere inside the Cotswolds outdoor store.
By this time it was lunchtime and we dropped into a pretty crappy but pretty cheap Wetherspoons to imbibe in some brown liquid for a short while before saying momentarily farewell when the boys and girls split up and went their separate ways. The girls continued the age old female tradition of looking in every shop in town whilst us boys walked around the historic Roman walls looking for photo opportunities until we met up once more at 3.00 in a much more salubrious but much pricier pub along the wall close to the river.
On finishing there we walked up a short hill and had a very tasty meal in a little Thai restaurant we were passing. The meal was really gorgeous and we all thoroughly enjoyed it leaving fully sated and ready to return to “Cis”
A short taxi ride back cos we were too full to weeble the 3 miles home, delivered us safely back to “Cis”. Suitably settled inside, Marie and I once more succumbed to another miserable thrashing at Canasta by those gloating *#+¥~>*!!s sitting opposite us. Grrrr!!
Licking our wounds and refraining to rise to the incessant gloating from the winners, we decided to be magnanimous in our defeat and retreated to our beds and begrudgingly allowed the other two to join us and looked forward to the day ahead tomorrow ( We’ve got to win eventually… Right !! )
Sunday 16 April
This morning was a little wet when we awake so we had a very slow start with Bacon & Egg butties setting us up for the day. We had booked a table in the afternoon at the local pub which was thankfully going to be open later for a very late Sunday lunch. Not wanting to get soaked we kicked off the day with an outstanding win at Canasta for the underdogs ( and the crowd went wild !! ) before walking down for lunch to the pub ( in the now dry and sunshiny day )
The pub was the only one in the village and was called the Bird in Hand. The new owners had only had it for 12 months and were trying very hard to make a go of it with the provision of food. It certainly worked in this case as most of us had a gorgeous Sunday roast and the pet Muppet had 3 starters altogether. (always was a little strange that one ! )
On our return to “Cis” the underdogs once more thoroughly wiped the floor with the opposition by winning the next two games of Canasta and restoring our faith in the fact that the fickle finger of fate does actually have two sides to it ( Three in a row now , just 6 more to catch up !! )
By the time we had finished off this mammoth session of cards it was time for bed again and safely curled up in our cosy nests we listened as the rain played a gentle lullaby on the roof until we fell asleep
Monday 17 April – Easter Monday
On waking we found the owners of the farm we were staying at were hosting a Gymkhana in the fields next to us which was due to kick off at 10.00. So hoping to miss meeting up with any large Horseboxes coming down the narrow lanes through the village, we forgo breakfast and began our journey back home stopping after half an hour to eat it in a roadside lay-by.
Whilst waiting for breakfast we narrowly missed being held up due to a road traffic collision which we could see across the fields. The road was clear by the time we had eaten and we made good time back home without further delay.
Next outing in May, not sure where yet
Catch you later
P & J xx