On The Road: Blown away by family camping in Pembrokeshire
Saturday 13 June 2009
You have to hand it to my wife. She's embracing the multi-activity craze in Pembrokeshire with gusto. Not content with coasteering, kitesurfing or any of the other daredevil activities available, she's invented one of her own: airbedding.
Our campsite on wild and windy Dinas Head, near Fishguard, is the perfect spot for her maiden flight. I glance up just in time to see her staggering towards our tent, double airbed held aloft like a giant waffle, when a particularly feisty gust sends her soaring above the shores of Cardigan Bay. Actually, the squall sends her cartwheeling across the sodden camping field, scattering sheep in all directions and pinning her unceremoniously against our neighbour's caravan. But our eight-year-old twins, Joe and Ellie, swear she was airborne for a second or two.
There is an unwritten law in camping that, no matter how close you park your car to your tent, the airbed inflator (which plugs into the car's cigarette lighter) will never reach between the two. Inflating an airbed, therefore, must always take place outdoors, at the mercy of British summer weather.
Don't attempt to keep the airbed dry by inflating it inside your car. I tried that a few days later at a rain-strafed campsite in Snowdonia. The airbed balloons into an uncontrollable monster, engulfing the inflator switch in its obese folds and bulging out of the open doors of our Zafira like a malignant fungus.
My wife and children, of course, find this hysterically amusing. And so do I, much later, when we're huddled around our campfire, roasting marshmallows, sipping hot chocolate and spotting stars through the shredded remnants of the afternoon's storm clouds.
On the way home, however, we play it safe with a few days at a Feather Down Farm (pictured). Safari chic with wellies on, Feather Down leads the herd when it comes to luxury camping. We lift the flap on a snug den complete with wood stove, oil lanterns, three bedrooms (including a secret cubbyhole for kids) and an en suite loo. Our car is parked out of sight in the farmyard. Nothing – not even an airbed – can infringe on our pampered rural idyll.
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