Monday, 20 August 2012

West Bay

Our next destination was the counties of Devon and Dorset. To avoid school holiday traffic we didn't set off on our next leg until early evening, and for once we had not planned where we would be spending the night.

After it got dark we made the decision to stealth camp - i.e. shun the expensive campsites and park up on a side road somewhere for the night. Alas, the weather wasn't on our side and a thick fog descended so it took us a while to find a suitable spot. In the end we settled on a big country pub car park, and we weren't bothered by anyone. We did have a drink in the pub though, so that we were at least paying customers sleeping in their car park.

Next stop after an early 7am start was West Bay, the harbour town of Bridport in Dorset. Once the sun was up the fog started to dissipate and we went for a wander around the town and beach.

West Bay is about half-way along the Jurassic coast, which because of its geology, is a world heritage site.

After climbing one of the cliffs and watching some local gig racing, the temperature started to soar, so we headed to the beach for a cool down in the sea.

The sunshine also gave us a chance to try out our new sun canopy back at the van, fashioned from a shower curtain!

Later on that night, back in the campsite (just 5mins from the beach) we noticed hundreds of people walking down the main road into West Bay with candles. More people came, and as we watched we noticed a big bonfire on the beach and, not wanting to miss out, went to explore.

There was a bit of a party going on with a live band, and we found out later that it was the date of the annual torchlight procession from Bridport to West Bay, and this marks the end of the Bridport carnival. We were then treated to some fireworks, the cliffs sprinkled with spectators trying to get a better viewpoint.

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