This was our third attempt at camping and this time we stayed at Conwy Touring Park. On arrival we were met by a very friendly and helpful receptionist who kindly showed us which plots were still available, she enthusiastically said that we could pick any we liked. Despite having requested a pitch near the park and clubhouse we couldn’t have been given a selection further away, but we later discovered that this didn’t really matter.
While Jez put up the tent and unpacked I took the children to the adventure playground and park, giving me an opportunity to check out the clubhouse (which wasn’t open and looked closed for the season!) I discovered that walking with a pram to the adventure playground from the ‘red’ area where we were located was not a great idea, I forgot that Wales was hilly. Next time I’d take the car! The adventure play area and park was probably good in it’s day, but now looked a little tired and I was worried about the safety of the equipment. However, Charlotte loved it but I couldn’t relax as there were so many potential hazards for William who was now taking a few steps here and there.
Our first night was great, we had learned from previous trips that ‘bedtime routine’ doesn’t exist when camping, so after visiting sunny Llandudno and enjoying fish and chips on the promenade, we returned to our tent and just waited until it was dark before even thinking about getting the children in bed. We played outside and then inside the tent until the children were almost asking to go to sleep.
In the evening we ventured to the play park and experienced ‘Merlin’s’ which was an indoor play zone for children, it was a large warehouse-like building on the side of the clubhouse. It looked dated, dirty and in need of a refurb. However, the children loved it, William in particular loved the ball pit which made us all laugh, as it was as deep as he was tall!
That evening we all had showers and slept reasonably well after tucking in to our yummy chilli nachos.
On day three we went to Conwy and had a brilliant time exploring the town and castle dodging a few showers, which was only to be expected. When we returned to the campsite in the late afternoon, we discovered we had neighbours. Much to our delight, Emma, Paul and their two children Abi (6) and Olivia (3), were the best camping neighbours we could have asked for.
Charlotte and Olivia became holiday best-buddies and Jez and I observed our new neighbours, taking tips from them, as they were much more experienced than us at camping! Emma was a laid-back, loving mother and her attitude has paid off as her children sleep in until almost noon some mornings! Which in my book is a grand achievement! Paul had all the children collecting wood to build a den, they thought it was fantastic especially as they got to break sticks up for firewood and experience a real campfire.
It was so refreshing to sit and watch the children laugh, play and run about freely, enjoying the outdoors and getting mucky and dirty in the process. We really hit it off with our new neighbours and it was great, not just for the children but for ourselves too.
The forth day was spent at the Great Orme which was brilliant, but Charlotte was keen to get back to Olivia. We did a tourist stop in Llandudno and I even bought some clothes which is unusual for me. The evening was spent with Emma and Paul around the campfire enjoying a few drinks and partially celebrating Emma and Paul’s anniversary while watching the children play.
William was now walking, this was after me saying to Emma moments before “……no he doesn’t walk yet”. There was no stopping him and having two walking, often in different directions takes motherhood onto a whole new level.
Day five and it was time to leave. Unfortunately, I’d left the coolbox plugged into the car lighter and the battery was flat, Jez was not a happy bunny! Our strategic approach to dismantling the tent and packing up was put on hold while I located the park warden who fortunately had some jump leads. Our neighbours were still asleep and we were slightly concerned because they were also leaving that morning. Eventually, Emma appeared from the tent to take Hugo (their dog) out for a walk. Charlotte was amazed by Hugo and spend most of the time giggling as he licked her hand or face. He was great with the children and a really cute dog.
While we were busily packing, in military fashion, Emma was calmly cooking some sausages for breakfast while Paul simply hung-out waiting for the children to wake, before dismantling the tent. The contrast between our two families was huge and rather amusing.
Although we were glad to be packed up and ready to leave; we were rather sad to be saying goodbye to our new camping friends and felt like we could have braved a further few nights under canvas.
We are looking forward to our next expedition already, wherever that may be!