Most of us have done a little camping in the past even if it was just in the back garden as kids but we just spent a couple of days and nights in top-league luxury, yet remote, camping.
I doubt the words ‘luxury’, ‘remote’ and ‘camping’ often come together especially when you add the word ‘winter’ but if you ever fancy an ‘away-from-it-all’ break with basic but carefully thought-out amenities adhering strictly to an eco-friendly code then read on and find out how partner Pam and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
This was my birthday present from Pam knowing that over the past 3 decades or more I’ve experienced many back-packing adventures, from wild camping Wainwrights Coast-to-Coast route, to leading numerous trips with my kids Dan and Shelley along with their friends to Scotland, Wales and England (notably the Lakes and Peak Districts). Pam, however, tried it as a teenager, didn’t much care for it and hasn’t done it since! So imagine my surprise when she announced a few days before my birthday that we were off to a remote part of Wales, by the side of a river to spend sometime in a tent, in November – with no electricity, no camp shop or club and no-one else around for miles! For Pam this is as far removed from a luxury break as you can get mainly because there’s nowhere to plug a hair-dryer into! And she’s not mad keen on creepy-crawlies either – read on for our encounter with a Devil’s Horse-Coach!
Actually, to call a Yurt a tent is sacrilegious and for those unfamiliar with the word (as I was) here’s a pic of our Yurt showing its situ.
It’s really difficult to show it’s true potential but it stands 10 foot high and is a roomy 18′ in diameter.
Can you spot the chimney on the left?
Let’s take a look inside…
Even in winter the log-fire keeps the place really warm. It’s a greedy eater though but there’s an ample log supply just a few yards away.
And it’s just such a fabulous place to be with the river just outside the wooden door and 30′ below
I don’t know why but mention camping to the uninitiated and the first question is ‘Where’s the toilet?’ Personally, it’s never been an issue for me but just so you know… there’s an Eco-friendly toilet just for the Yurt. I won’t go into the details of what makes it eco suffice to say; as it’s nearly 5 miles through the forest to the nearest village there’s no mains sewer, neither is it chemical but it is recyclable!
And round the other side is a shower unit fed from a nearby spring (as is the drinking water) and solar-powered, which means in November it’s icy cold – but I did it! Just once!
Although warm and cosy the Yurt is amazingly roomy complete with small pieces of furniture for storage, a simple twin-burner cooker and a really comfy double bed complete with duvet and sheep-skin covers!
It’s really light inside too – the canvas is white and then there’s a large clear dome above, which lets plenty of light in by day and a view of the stars by night.
There’s also plenty of room for doing the mundane but very necessary jobs like washing-up.
Chopping wood for the fire was a task we both enjoyed…
A twice daily task in order to feed the greed!
Apart from marvelling at the total serenity of the area there were meals to prepare which we pre-cooked back home and simply warmed through. We had sausage casserole first night with jacket spuds cooked in the log-fire embers and beef stew second night accompanied by hot wood-smoked, buttered toast. All swilled down with copious amounts of red wine. Fabulous! We know how to live!
And then there was a Reiki Healing arranged for us which was all part of the package – so along came Claudia making the 10 mile round-trip through the forest from civilisation just for us. The laying-on of hands was quite an experience and we both felt definite heat from her hands as she carried out her task. Very relaxing.
Then late afternoon another visit – this time from Annie who was taking a 14-mile trip just for us. She took us on a fabulous meditation experience to the Waterfall of Light.
An amazing and again relaxing experience that included the beautifully resonant tone of a singing bowl.
The scenery is stunning with ample opportunities to explore the hills, valleys and forest.
Did I mention the Devil’s Horse-Coach? They’re quite a common insect in the UK and look pretty fearsome. We found one scuttling across the bed just as we were about to climb in! Almost simultaneously Pam shouted and started scratching her leg. It seems the little blighter may have bitten her!
Now… I have to confess to being a bit of a fan of insects and as an extra pressie Pam had kindly bought me a new book: Insects of Britain and Western Europe so I searched for the the Devil and read out the description to her:- ‘Hides under stones and debris by day and hunts slugs and other invertebrates by night. When disturbed it raises its tail and opens its jaws wide in threatening attitude’. As she was still scratching I added for good measure ‘Bite – fatal’. You should have seen her face! She was obviously very relieved when I finally told her I lied about the last bit!
Anyway, everything about our trip including the above was just a great experience and one that comes highly recommended from both of us. To visit Eco Retreats website click here
To view pics as a slide show click here
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