Friday 9th July 2021
I had driven Voyager to Julia’s place on Thursday afternoon. We loaded everything we needed for the weekend, trying not to forget anything important.
On Friday at 3pm I picked up Julia from her workplace in Trowbridge. We made a short pit-stop at her place to drop off her work gear and collect her cat Pandora.
Now Pandora is a mature 13yr old pussycat. She spent her early years living exclusively in a 4th floor flat in London but her last five years or so have been in a bungalow with a small back garden. Now she is to become ‘Vancat’ – no doubt she will take a while adjusting.
For now a travel cage (small dog size) sits on the rear dinette seat with her in it for travelling. Ultimately we want to just keep her on a reasonable lead to just prevent her getting under my feet while driving, but for that she has to get used to wearing her harness.
We set off on our two hour journey to Roundhill ‘Camping in the Forest’ site near Brockenhurst (in the heart of the New Forest). I had checked on the ‘net’ for road works etc on our route and found nothing but the usual Friday ‘Volume of traffic’ type hold ups. So with Pandora vocally expressing her displeasure at being caged and, no doubt, the unaccustomed feelings of Voyagers motion we were on our way. At least she did not suffer with any sickness so that at least was a blessing.
We ignored the satnav route around Salisbury (it being the city I grew up near). Using my local knowledge we avoided just about all the holdups associated with its ring road. Only minor congestion on the rest of our journey so we managed to shave 15 minutes of our estimated travel time.
Arriving at the ‘Rally field’ we found a good selection of Motorhomes, Campervans and even a couple of caravans. We pitched up near some trees but still with the chance of some sun getting to the Solar panels on the roof if the weather permitted.
A quick stretch of the legs, meeting some new friends in the closest units to us, and a brief meeting with our organiser Ads of ‘Herman Hits the Road’ YouTube channel fame. As well as a brief chat he did give us our Rally sticker to add to the few we have already stuck up.
Pandora was much happier after we let her out of her cage to explore her new ‘house’ while we prepared and ate our fish & chip supper.
Saturday 10th July 2021
Overnight there was a lot of rain and Saturday morning was mostly heavy showers. We watched other brave folks trying to film Vlogs using golfing umbrella’s for cover. We also saw some New Forest ponies snacking on the grass around the vans as they progressed across the rally field.
Even Pandora noticed them through the window. They must have been the biggest animals she’d ever seen (by the look on her face) and she quickly jumped down onto the floor to hide.
Today was to be Julia’s introduction to Vlogging but we decided to wait for the promised improvement before starting. In fact was about lunchtime before the precipitation diminished enough for us to venture out.
We did the basics first, introduction to the GoPro; how to hold it etc. Then the harder stuff like walking and talking. This is surprisingly difficult at first. Walking, thinking of what to say and speaking clearly as well as keeping the camera level at the same time as avoiding stumbling over holes and avoiding, on this occasion, stepping in horse poo.
We did manage a little chat with our hosts Ads & Zoe as we walked, looking at all the vans, around the edge of the field.
Now I know I’m biased but I do think that Julia did a very good job of her first Vlog.
Later in the afternoon the sun made an appearance just as we all congregated in a large circle for the much anticipated ‘Tea & Cake’ event. A really good selection of cakes (some very fancy decoration work too), biscuits and even a bit of fruit.
I didn’t see much tea, but a lot of beer, lager and wine was consumed while we all enjoyed a few words from Ads, a Bingo session and a tricky Brain Teaser quiz. Charades followed which did get a lot more people involved and was a really good laugh.
We stayed for a while chatting with folks around us but were concerned not to leave Pandora on her own for too long so returned to Voyager for a proper meal. After the washing up we did the ‘make the bed shuffle’ while talking about the day and how pleased we both were with how Pandora was coping in her new environment.
Sunday 11th July 2021
What would a Sunday away be without a full English breakfast so as the sausages and hash browns were cooking in the oven we set about re-arranging Voyager into ‘travel mode’.
There had been more rain overnight but the morning turned out to be pretty overcast but mostly dry. Good enough to cause no problems with the emptying jobs outside.
After breakfast and with the washing up done and stowed safely away we ventured out to say our goodbyes to our new friends. Everyone agreed it had been a terrific weekend. We were chatting with a small group when a loud noise alerted us to the sky as the Red Arrows performed a diamond formation low level fly past above us. Ads said it was all arranged and as he was the only one to get a video shot I’m tempted to believe him – He is after all an infamous YouTube creator.
We left the rally field late morning and had an uneventful journey home. All the usual unloading done before the heavens opened again except, of course, for that essential USB charge cable that requires going through every last cupboard in the van to locate.
As they say on all YouTube vlogs: Please like, subscribe and leave a comment below.
Link to Julia’s Vlog – https://youtu.be/hA1nPuCEETI
Link to ‘Herman Hits the Road’ Hermanfest 2021 Vlog (playlist of all the other vlogs made is at the end) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iMDeEzpI1o