Iona Camps by a River

Trip 5: September 2nd 2020. 🌥🌤☁️ 18.0°C Clear intervals. Riverside Gardens, Bothamsall, Notts. Only 40minutes from home, there is no ehu or facilities due to Covid 19.

We rang Mick when we were about ten miles away and he met us at the gate. We had a choice of pitches and we chose one in between two trees. Each pitch has it’s own decking perched out into the river. Unfortunately due to Covid 🦠 the toilets were not open but we didn’t need them.

We had our lunch sat out on the decking where we could watch the fish. There is a gentle breeze but it is warm. We were briefly joined by a squirrel 🐿 until he saw us and went up the tree behind me.

The river runs quite quickly and we have seen a few fish, they are small but look a bit like young trout.

We went for a walk into Bothamsall and around past the church and a memorial water pump, to a footpath that took us to a farm where they had reindeer, Goats and cows. We followed the track going over the river Medan and under an old Colliery railway bridge , past a farm yard and followed the field margin. Here we left the field and again went under a bridge which lead us to the main road which we followed for 300yds and found the footpath again. 

This time it took us across two fields of maize until we came to the river Medan again. Over a footbridge where we met a couple who were looking for treasure from a geo something game. We left them looking under the river bridge and made our way to the road and back to the campsite. Todays walk was only 3 miles but hopefully it has got us ready for tomorrow when we try a 5 mile walk.

Another van arrived just as we were starting to eat tea so I was not allowed to help them fill with water but then they should have all the kit to camp. Sue made spaghetti bol tonight with linguine and it was really good, far better than using spaghetti. 

The radio was bit poor for reception but after wrapping iPod headphones around the aerial and hanging the loose end on the window the reception has been good.

Day 2:
Heavy rain during the night. I woke at 4.00am for a pee and once in the toilet felt dizzy, I must have fainted because I woke up in the shower on the floor with a really painful neck.
Sue woke up and massaged my neck but I was in agony. I had some sleep but this morning the pain is going down my back.

It is rather overcast this morning but hopefully it will brighten up. We had planned a 4 mile walk but I will see how my neck is.

We decided to go for a walk, so Sue made up a packed lunch and we chose the longest route which took us through Bothamsall and out to Clumber Park.

Once we crossed the A614 we followed the path parallel to the road and crossed back by some traffic lights. The path was not very well defined but eventually we found the Robin Hood way . Later on there was a place where the track was totally flooded. After several attempts I went through a barbed wire fence to avoid the ‘pond’ however Sue found that she could not bend down far enough to get her back and bum through the two wire strands. In the end she followed the fence and managed to get past the pond without a wet foot. 

We followed the path back to Bothamsall , I suggested the church bench to eat lunch but Sue remembered the village green had a bench by the pond. We ate lunch there although it was only 200yds from the campsite, in fact Mick the owner walked by as we ate our sandwiches. The total walk was 7 miles and our legs were beginning to fail.

We have new neighbours on site who I talked to. We sat on the bench over looking the river and read until it was time to prepare tea and have a drink.

Tea tonight was steak and salad which went down well.

Day 3:

☁️🌥17.0° C Cloudy 
We are planning a shorter walk today after yesterday’s 7mile walk. Today we are hoping to backtrack on some of yesterday’s walk and visit the old Castle mound.

We set out at 10.30am and headed to the village and out the other side towards the Castle Mound. It didn’t take long to get there but we had to climb over a gate. There was not a lot to see so we crossed back over the road and followed the footpath. 

In the distance we could see what looked like an old military building. At the end of the track there was a barn and some old stables with the stalls still intact. Opposite was the building we had seen from afar so we went to have a look and it turned out to be a very old railway carriage that had a fireplace built onto the side and there was a smaller building that turned out to be a compost type toilet.

As we left a man walking his dog shouted to us and asked if we would like to know the history of the railway carriage. It was an 1820 GWR sandwich car that had been transported to the spot in the 1920s on a steam driven lorry. He told us that his great uncle had lived in it when he first got married and it was beautifully decorated with plaster work and pictures etc. But once it was left empty the vandals moved in although a railway preservation group had showed an interest in restoring it because of it’s rarity. Unfortunately nothing seems to have come of it.

We took some pictures and moved on along the footpath towards a wood where we stopped to let three horse riders by. The next stop was the river and here the map was not so accurate and we followed the wrong path into the wood until eventually coming to the far side where the path ended and Private Lands signs were nailed on the trees. We turned around and followed paths made by motorbikes until we found the river and followed it back to the bridge.

My phone map gave us a better idea and we were soon back on track and heading in the right direction. Eventually we came to a farm that we had passed on wednesday and from here we followed the path back to the village and home. What started out as a 3 – 4 mile walk turned out to be 6.5 miles.

The afternoon was going to be spent sat outside but the wind had got up and it was not very sunny so we retired inside. There is a new motorhome next door but we have plenty of room.

Tea tonight is Duck burgers.

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