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What a Trip to the New Forest!

Oh, Daichi the Dashing Dude, our wonderful new Dorset Publications campervan was in full spirits this month and ever so excited to be taking us for our first full camping trip. Nellie, his Grandmother, had told him all about the New Forest Caravan and Motorhome Club Centenary Site in the New Forest. He could not wait. It was a rather good weekend too, so we did not have to worry about getting wet and cold. Well, that is for later…


One of the main advantages of “Dash” is that he has a really nifty ‘lid’ in that it opens along the side of the van and not from front to back as Nellie’s roof lifted. This means there is a tent-like structure inside the van once the roof is fully opened. Not only can we stand up entirely inside, but Hayden, who is 15 and now taller than me, can not only lie down in the ‘upstairs bedroom’, but can also sit up and read too! This is a huge advantage for a teenager who likes his own space. We, the adults, can sit ‘downstairs’ quite happily without needing the awning. For a short trip this is really useful. The Dashing Dude is big enough to take all of us with no squabbling. Bonus!

I-Spy for Adults!

Being a youngster and ever wanting fun, Daichi had brought the I-Spy books which were perfect for a campsite. “I-spy Camping” and “I-Spy Vehicles of the Road” were a great entertainment. If you have never tried these, you can get them at any good book shop or online. They can keep children (and us adults…) occupied for hours. We walked around the campsite finding all sorts of different caravans, awnings, cars, trucks and bikes. Daichi was thrilled we had so much fun.

Treasure Trails

The next day he had planned a Treasure Trail starting at Keyhaven near Milford on Sea. Now I am not a walker and Daichi knows that well, so he tricked me into doing a near seven-mile walk! Really, I could not believe it – seven miles! I have never done that before. The trick you see is to keep me busy… busy looking for clues. One after the other this trail took us from Keyhaven amenity car park to Milford on Sea centre, to Shorefield Holiday Park (how many caravans?) and finally back along the coast! We did it, and boy was I glad to see the pub (now now…) and have a seat in the garden to enjoy lunch, even if it was a bit on the chilly side by then. A well-earned rest was had by all and Daichi was smiling from headlight to headlight, showing off his bright-white grill.

The Water Park!

As if that was not enough… the following day we went to the New Forest Aqua Park for a friend’s 50th Birthday Party! This watersports park happens to have 2 trampolines, monkey bars, flippers, slides, hurdles, springboard, rockers, rollers, an overhang climbing wall, a swing and a giant iceberg. Seriously, are we having a laugh? How old do you think I am? Well in fact all 12 friends, yours truly and another excepted, donned on wetsuits and off they went. Daichi was told he was too heavy and there were no wet suits big enough to fit his muscular, Herculean body. He just strutted his stuff and puffed out his wing mirrors in indignation. Men… After an hour of slip-sliding away, bouncing on air beds, climbing on wet slippery ropes and hauling themselves back onto the floating rafts, the gang came back all smiling (or was it grimacing?) and totally exhausted.

It was a weekend full of high-spirited activity (and it wasn’t just the wine). Daichi is proving to be quite an asset I have to say. He maybe a little too energetic for an over 50 mature lady… or maybe not. He may just keep me young at heart! Where will the Dashing Dude take us next – I wonder? By Debbie Corney

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