After two nights at the Chichester Lakeside Camping Ground we set off for Portsmouth and the ferry to Spain.
The name, Lakeside Camping has a certain ring to it, a certain attraction of peace and nature, a certain delicacy located in the desire to escape the trappings and noise of modern life. Sadly, its all in the name and the reality is somewhat different. I try hard to think about how we respond to the many campsites we visit in Europe. Do we see them through the eyes of the excitement engendered by travel and the unknown or are we able to see them as they are? The problem at Lakeside was that it seems to be a sense of seediness, of things that we do not like or enjoy; I guess others must otherwise they would change. It seemed a little unkempt, even dirty in places. The serried ranks of mobile homes with few hedges or plantations, the unfinishedness of the layout with piles of cut grass and untended hedges contribute to this sense of unpleasantness that abounds. Maybe it was the glories of 'cheap' food on offer - the breakfast fry up that was on offer if you bought in for seven days, or the cheap gassed up beer/lager, or was it the nightly Bingo? We cannot imagine the owners of our old site in Olonne sur Mer ever allowing his campsite to be like that. Then again the washrooms were unkempt, with dirty floors and a damp smell that was the result of a poor design and low level maintenance. What ever, it all sounds a bit snobbish to me as it was cheap! Twelve pounds a night. But it lay alongside the A27 Chichester by-pass so the noise was persistent and loud. It's a real pity as Chichester and the surrounding area is popular and has lots to offer. No doubt it provides out foreign visitors to a real insight into the ways of the British/English.
Ray was in good form and his house is heading towards completion. Decorating is nearly done and that looks good. Some good paint choices and nice wall paper. Kitchen is potentially very good and with some clear-sighted organisation of the materials will be very good to work in! We hope top see it in its glory at the end of June!
We are now sitting on the ferry ploughing down the channel with loads of white topped waves visible from the cabin windows. The boat is good with lots to do including whale watching later!
Richard Shame about the campsite but hey ho! Are you crossing the Bay of Biscay? If you are I hope it's not too choppy!