It’s funny how quickly perspectives can change. Usually if we were heading out on a cold and drizzly November evening like this to find a spot to pitch our tent we would be using phrases like “roughing it” and secretly hoping that the weather would clear. Tonight was different. We’ve spent so many of our past few camps sleeping in bivvi bags; exposed to the world and never quite comfortable. Lying here, in a dry warm tent, not feeling like we are wearing straight-jackets and not having to make that impossible decision whether to keep the bivvi bag open and get wet from rain or close it up and get wet from condensation, feels so very extravagantly luxurious.
Between working, spending a few days away with friends in Sark, and working on some DIY projects at home, we seem to have neglected to find any time for micro-adventures recently. So, with a spurt of motivation, we loaded up our panniers and peddled off into the grey, damp Friday afternoon. We set our target on the Clarence Battery; a fortification that I have always known as The Cow’s Horn (though that is really the name of a nearby bay), that overlooks St Peter Port. The main steps and path that lead up to this spot collapsed in a landslip a few months ago which meant we needed to take an alternative and much nicer route through woodland paths and muddy tracks. This also meant that we had the place to ourselves for the the entire time, uninterrupted by the usual traffic of joggers and walkers with their curious dogs.
By the time we arrived, just after 4pm, it was already dusk. Castle Cornet and St Peter Port were beginning to ooze an orange glow. The night came quickly after that and so, before 7pm, the tent was up, firewood collected, dinner had been cooked & eaten, and we were already wrapped, warm and cosy, in our sleeping bags, smugly listening to the rain outside and glad to be in such opulent accommodation.
Other than the small issue of a leak in Lucy’s sleeping mat, which we patched semi-successfully using a bicycle puncture repair kit, the long night seemed to pass almost as quickly as it had arrived. We planned to wake at sunrise (which isn’t too hard this time of year!) and have another go at some kite aerial photography. But without any wind we didn’t get very far and this will have to wait until next time.