04 August 2009

Out In The Country, Living In A Tent

4 Hestia - Year 88 p.s.U.

Pixie and I spent last weekend camping in Dorset. Pixie had booked a pitch at a site that her parents recommended, called Wareham Forest Tourist Park. The facilities are quite nice there and the pitches allow for plenty of space. We set up the tent, packed our supplies inside and then headed off to Studland Beach. Pixie's parents joined us, as they had driven their camper-van to the Park.

By the time we were back at the site, the sky had clouded over. We stopped over in Wareham, met up with Pixie's brother, his wife and the neices and bought some food. A plan was made to meet at the camper-van for dinner. Dinner was relaxing, but cut short by the inevitable rain.

Saturday was mostly rainy, which made a lot of outdoor activity choices tough. We decided on Monkey World, a primate sanctuary near Wareham. Luckily, most of the rain had stopped, as the sanctuary is mainly outside. There are footpaths that take you around the various enclosures and you are allowed to take photos of the critters. My favourite ones were the Capuchins and the Chimpanzees. There are quite a few Capuchins at the sanctuary, in three different enclosures. They're quite lively and some of them definitely enjoy having an audience. Some were rescued from a lab in South America. The Chimps were fascinating as well. Some must have been at Monkey World for quite a while, as they didn't seem fazed by the groups of humans peering into their indoor homes.

We also saw a few Orang-utans and Gorillas. The Squirrel Monkeys may have been in hiding, because we didn't spot any as we walked by their enclosure. We did get to see a baby Yellow-Cheeked Gibbon. I think the one shown in the photo at left is of the baby we saw. I'm guessing she's slightly older now. She swung around on one of the bars for a bit before cuddling again with her mother.

The Lemurs are kept in their own gated-in area. It seemed as if the weather had got to them as well, because we only saw a couple of pairs, huddled together on a tree branch and on the roof of their shelter.

Pixie had a text message from her brother. They had gone to Chesil Beach and wanted to know if we would like to meet up in Weymouth. We arrived before they did, so we grabbed some lunch from a stand on the seaside promenade. While waiting some more, we walked around the high street. I found a charity shop, but unfortunately, no vinyl goodies to be had. Lots of easy listening LPs and what seemed to be a complete Cleo Laine catalogue (O.K., I'm exaggerating...). We finally met up with the others and strolled around the promenade. Then it was time to go to the arcade for some lightweight gambling and after, the girls went on a few of the rides. We left Weymouth and travelled to the Black Dog pub, about 10 minutes away from the town centre. The food was decent and a pint of Foster's tasted nice after all the walking. The sun finally appeared on the drive back to the campsite and Saturday night was dry--much to our relief.

We decided to head back home on Sunday, instead of staying 'till Monday, which was the original plan. The tent was packed up fairly quickly, in just under an hour (not bad for our first time using the tent 'in the field'). Pixie suggested we drive through the New Forest on our way back and I agreed, as it's a lovely route. We stopped off in Burley, a little village where Pixie and I honeymooned nearly five years ago. Lunch was at The Old Farmhouse restaurant, then Pixie bought some cider from the local wine shop. I bought a Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon mug at a shop called Face The Music and a purple velvet bag for my Celtic Tarot cards, which didn't have a proper storage container. Pixie bought a funny witch sign for her work desk and a witch mug, from the same shop I bought the tarot cards bag.

We left Burley and made the journey home. After unpacking the gear and leftover food, we settled in to a good night's sleep. Roll on, Cropredy!

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