The Holiday That Wasn’t…

It was half-term, and when Husband suggested a mini break in Devon, it seemed like a good idea. A reward for forcing myself to confront lots of scary things during the college term. I had lots of study to do, but I decided I could study in a cottage just as well as at home, and my breaks would be striding over windy cliffs rather than walking down the road. Plus, no housework, so all rather lovely. We decided to take elderly dog, as she loves the beach and there won’t be many more opportunities to take her. Mother hasn’t had a holiday in ages, so we invited her too. It was an excellent plan. But even excellent plans can go wrong…

Things started to be difficult fairly early on, but we will skip the description of the dog fouling in the car on the way there, and jump straight into the cottage—which was lovely. A small semi-detached house with two bedrooms and three bathrooms, it seemed ideal. It was incredibly clean, and everything was comfortable and modern. They had painted murals on the walls, and there was a view of the sea from an upstairs window. I set up a table with my computer and books, and settled into a week of study and seaside.

It happened in the evening, when we were leaving to have dinner in a local pub. It was dark, and pouring with rain, and the wind was racing up the cliffs. The cottage had off-road parking a short walk from the house, and I set off with Mum while Husband locked the house. The wind was pulling at our hair, and the rain was beginning to increase, so I hurried ahead to unlock the car and open the heavy door before Mum got there. Such a mistake. Why did I not walk with her, holding her arm for support? Why did I not have a torch? Why did we even think taking an elderly woman to the pub was a good idea? Hindsight is a terrible thing.

There was a step up to where the car was, then a step down. Tricky to see in the dark.

“Mind the step,” I called as I unlocked the car and threw the keys inside.

Mum stepped up onto the kerb, but forgot the step down. I was heaving the door open, heard her call out, watched her stagger forwards. I left the door, rushed towards her as she fought to keep her balance, reached out to grab her hand, missed, lurched forwards and clutched the front of her coat, which slid from my gasp and Mum fell, straight back, smack onto the concrete.

The rain was still falling, relentlessly wetting everything.

“Mum!” I shouted, rushing to her.

No response. She lay, still, not a sound.

“Mum!” I called again as I reached her side.

There was a groan.

Husband arrived, tripped over the same step and managed to get his balance. I yelled to him to call an ambulance. There was no phone signal, so he ran back to the house to use the wi-fi. A man from the flats opposite shouted, asking if everything was okay, and could he help?

I asked if he had an umbrella, and he arrived, knelt next to us, tried to cover Mum. I took off my coat, hardly noticed the rain seeping through my cardigan, tried to cover Mum, told the man to get the old towel from the back of the car, and the blanket from the back seat, all the while telling Mum to keep still, she was safe now, the ambulance would soon arrive.

I tried to remember distant first-aid courses: Don’t move the patient in case of broken bones, keep them warm, reassure them, check for bleeding, check for breathing…but not in that order.

Husband came back to say the ambulance person wanted to ask some medical questions. I went into the house. They took some details, told me the ambulance would be at least two hours (two hours!) and then put me on hold. I was on hold for a long time.

The nice man from opposite arrived, saying they thought they should move Mum as it was so cold and wet. I tried (desperately) to decide what was best. “Don’t move the patient” was embedded in my mind. But it was pouring! And two hours! I told him I agreed it was best, but not to lift Mum, make her get up alone, with help supporting her, but never lifting. Then, if she had broken anything, the pain would make her stop and she was unlikely to make anything worse. If moving was too painful and she stopped, we could have a rethink.

The operator came back to the phone. I asked her whether I should give Mum a drink (sweet tea was in my mind) should I lie her down or sit her up for a head injury? Should I let her eat? Should I remove her wet clothes?

The operator told me not to move the patient. I could lift the visor of a helmet but not remove it. I should check for breathing.

I realised she was reading from a list.

I stopped her, and asked if she had any clinical training.

She told me not to move the patient.

I asked her again (using my teacher voice, which I’m not proud of) whether she had any clinical training.

Long pause.

No, she did not.

I thanked her, said she had been very kind, told her I understood everything she had told me. Ended the call. Dashed upstairs, grabbed duvet and towels, covered the sofa (because it wasn’t my cottage and we mustn’t spoil it) and removed the back cushions so soaked mother could lie down.

Mum arrived, supported by kind man from opposite and husband.

We sat her down, she wouldn’t lie. Should I make her lie down? She said the light hurt her eyes. I knew I needed to observe her, told her it had to stay on.

We tried phoning NHS 111, I needed to speak to a medic to ask what to do. It was on a continual loop, asking us to choose options, then starting again. Might have been due to dodgy wifi-calling with dodgy-internet connection (no phone signal). I realised that actually, I know a LOT of medics, half my friends seem to be doctors! I would message them and ask for help. Felt slightly cheeky, because they would be off-duty and trying to relax/live their life, but I decided I needed a favour. Sent messages to two friends who are doctors.

Managed to remove wet clothes from Mum, left them in a heap on the floor, wrapped her in duvets. She was too shaken to want to be fussed with dry clothes, and it was warm, so I left her for a while as she was. Tried to chat, told her funny stories (which weren’t funny) about the children when they were small, and about my course, and all sorts of strained boring conversation.

She was very shaken and weak, and I wanted to rouse her. I poured some sugar into my palm, told her to dip her finger in it and put some on her tongue. She did. I told her to do it again. Gradually I watched the energy return, it was like magic! Mum noticed too, and asked what I had given her. Assured her it was sugar and not cocaine.

She wanted a drink. I gave her sips of water. She was sick.

Kind doctor friends responded, telling me what to do—which was pretty much what I was doing anyway. But a relief to know that sitting or lying probably made no difference, and a big cup of tea was a bad idea until she had been checked, and being awake was important.

I phoned the ambulance service again, told them Mum had been sick. Made it clear that she had been unconscious for a short time, that she seemed muddled. I could hear her chatting to husband, sounding much brighter. I didn’t mention that, I wanted her checked by someone who knew more than me.

Two hours is a long time. We waited, keeping Mum warm, keeping her awake (not easy) trying to appear unconcerned. My mind was full of cracked skulls and internal bleeding and strokes. I talked about the ducks and how naughty the boys were when they were 10, and did she remember her first job? Husband was better at chatting than me, he managed to get her talking, she would only sigh and groan when I tried.

Daughter messaged, suggesting I pack a bag in case the ambulance took her to hospital. I ran around, guessing what might be needed, searching for prescriptions and toothbrushes and clean underwear and something comfy to wear in bed.

The ambulance arrived—a little over two hours. I opened the door, heard the crew share a joke, fought to control my irritation, to remember that this was their job, they couldn’t do everything at a run even if tonight I needed them to.

They came inside, declined a cup of tea, chatted to Mum while they assessed her. They weren’t sure whether they needed to take her to hospital, as it was already more than two hours since the accident, so they left to phone a doctor. I wondered if they would come back, worried some more about all the things that might be happening inside my poor shaken mother.

They came back. Mum needed to go to hospital. They wrapped her in blankets and took her bag, and I watched them lead her away.

“Try to get some sleep,” they said. “The hospital will phone you later.”

Husband told me to eat (a day without dinner) but I was too tense, ate a bowl of cereal, felt better.

I went to bed and didn’t sleep. The guilt was immense. Why hadn’t I been holding her arm? Why had I taken her out in the dark? Why hadn’t I been quicker at trying to catch her? I cried then, and lifted all my guilt and worry upwards, to God, who was big enough to handle it even when I didn’t have the words to explain it.

I must have slept because at 2:30 am the hospital called and woke me. The doctor asked who I was, said he was with my mother—what was her name? I said her name. He asked if I knew what had happened. Somewhere in my sleepy brain an alert sounded—was this a scam? He had given me no information and seemed to be getting lots of details from me. I stopped giving proper answers, started to be equally vague: yes, I knew what had had happened. He paused, considering. (Afterwards, Husband, who was listening, told me that the poor doctor was trying to verify my identity before he gave confidential patient information. But at 2:30 am, this was too subtle for me.)

Mum had a fractured skull and there was a small bleed but they didn’t need to operate.

He told me that they would keep her in for observation, give her medication so nothing got worse, that everything was stable. It didn’t feel stable. The whole world was out of kilter.


The rest of the holiday was spent visiting the hospital, and trying to enjoy walks on the beach that weren’t relaxed, staring at pages of college work but not really absorbing anything, planning what would happen if Mum had to stay after our cottage let ended.

But she didn’t. We collected her, and we came home. While the course of pills continued, I wanted her with me, to check on her easily. Mum was tired, and shaken, but not ill.

After a week she moved back to her own house. Gradually her confidence came back, eventually her bounce did too.

She’s okay now…though probably needs a holiday…

Anne E. Thompson
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Running Away to Devon

We decided to run away for a week before Boris announced another lockdown, so we filled the car with warm clothes ready for wet weather, and with food so we could avoid eating out, and drove to Devon with the dog and a boy.

The Ship Aground Inn, Mortehoe
The Ship Aground, Mortehoe. Named after the ancient anchor retrieved from a wreck of a steamship that ran aground in 1914.

We’re staying in Mortehoe, a pretty stone village on the cliffs of North Devon. I brought all my Greek books and lists of words to learn, and the cottage promised internet, enabling me to continue my lessons whilst looking across a windy garden to the sea.

Trying to learn Greek vocab with a view of the sea from the window.

The cottage is fairly ugly on the outside, but the inside is warm and comfortable, and there are massive windows in every room, giving wonderful views of the outside. This includes in the ensuite bathroom, which I find slightly perturbing. There is a big bath in the centre of the room, next to a picture window. When I think of soaking in a warm tub whilst watching waves crash into the cove below, it’s rather lovely. When I think of soaking in a warm tub whilst on view to every unsuspecting walker on the North Devon coastal path, it’s less appealing! I checked from the garden, and the window is unfrosted, plain glass, giving anyone looking in a good view of the bathroom. A paradise for an exhibitionist.

The cottage garden joins the footpath, and is a sheltered spot with flower beds and a palm tree. It has an outside tap for washing dirty paws, but I forgot to bring a trowel for clearing up poop (when you keep animals, you can never completely avoid the poop aspect).

We took Kia for a walk along the cliffs. She saw the sea and set off along the footpath, straining on the lead. When we came to some steps, she suggested very strongly that we might like to visit the beach. But the steps had been washed away by a storm, and only the top and bottom steps remained, clinging onto the cliff in a futile attempt to look useful.

Cliff steps to beach.

There was no way to explain this to a persistent German Shepherd, so we dragged her back to the cottage.

Next stop was a trip to Tesco Superstores to stock up on supplies. The mist had crept up from the sea, and we drove through lanes towards the shop with Husband muttering about it being an unlikely place for a superstore, and was I directing him to a small garage Tescos? We turned into the carpark of a decent sized shop, grabbed a trolley, and started to collect things from the shopping list. I had hoped to live on Charlie Bigham ready-meals for a week, but there weren’t many, and we had to buy a few raw ingredients that I could shove into the oven without too much effort. Husband appeared at regular intervals with a selection of implements to use in place of a trowel for poop clearing. I didn’t think a wooden spatula or a plastic ice-scraper would work, despite their bargain prices.

Next challenge was trying to use the oven, which had unhelpfully been set to ‘automatic’ by the previous people, which meant that it was impossible to use until I had managed to turn it back to a manual setting (random pressing of pairs of buttons usually cures it—I have lots of experience in annoying church kitchens). We ate sausage beans and chips, which filled us up even if it wasn’t very healthy, and a Charlie Bigham’s sticky toffee sponge with custard.

Went to bed full and happy.


Tried (in vain) to learn words in various declensions for my Greek lesson. I am writing them in different colours and making up silly sayings (“All the plural datives in the third declension like to sin —σιν”)—but to be honest, very little is staying in my brain.

Decided to take the dog on the beach for the afternoon and drove to Woolacombe Beach. Kia was ecstatic, and even forgot to snarl at all the other dogs in the carpark (anyone who owns a German Shepherd will understand this—the breed is not good with other dogs).

The carpark had lots of signs, saying that due to Covid there was distancing in place, and contactless paying, and certain restrictions. There was a queue waiting to go in (it was the final Saturday of half-term week). At the gate was a man, collecting money through the window of every car—sometimes having to lean across the car to reach the driver—in a very un-Covid-safe manner. I fumbled in my pocket for my crumpled mask (thank you Aunty Margaret) and put on gloves ready to receive the token given in return for the £3 fee. I don’t think it was possible to pay by card/phone. Cars were parked in every space, so I think the person putting up the signs had forgotten to explain them to the man at the gate (I did wonder if, in fact, he was simply a random man collecting £3 from every car and nothing to do with the carpark, but he did give everyone a token that lifted the barrier, so I am assuming he was legit!)

The tide was out, and there was a long expanse of wet sand and huge waves crashing onto the beach. We set off towards the water, the dog dancing next to us. We reached the rocks and Husband and son went closer to explore. I foolishly followed them, noticed a wave washing in, and ran back to the sand—but not in time. The sea lapped around me, filling my wellies and soaking my trousers while a family on the sand laughed. I turned to watch Husband wading through the water, even deeper than me, and son clambered onto the rocks. The dog looked bemused, surprised we were paddling with her. Emptied boots, tried to ignore soggy socks.

Happy afternoon striding through the wind, watching the surfers tackle the waves. Kia kept up for about 25 minutes, but then I noticed she was dragging one of her back legs—which is a sign she’s getting tired, so we turned round. I don’t mind her being old when I can see that she’s still happy and excited by things.

Rinsed out the wellies and filled the washing machine with soggy clothes, then sat down to write this before I put a ready-meal curry in the oven. Another happy day.

I hope you have some fun too this week—and manage to keep your feet dry.

Thanks for reading. Take care.

Love, Anne x

Anne E. Thompson
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Instow, Devon, continued

3rd Day

Went for an early walk along beach. Dog happy. Then I went to church, walking up to the little white hall I found yesterday. I’m not sure how old it was, but it wasn’t modern. Nor was it huge – it was pretty full, and I think there were 18 of us. It’s always a bit scary going to a new church – will anyone speak to you, or will people just stare and make you feel uncomfortable…This church was fine. People looked up and smiled when I arrived, which is always a good sign, and the Vicar came out from wherever he was hiding, just to say hello and ask where I was from. He was a retired policeman, and worked part-time, covering a couple of little churches. The service was nice, very traditional, with an easy, friendly atmosphere. You felt like everyone knew each other well, and it was nice to sit at the back and absorb it all. (Apart from the singing – you wouldn’t want to absorb that – despite the best efforts of the man on the keyboard, it was somewhat rough…)

We had a quick lunch in John’s Cafe (best cafe in the world). Then we drove to Abbotsham, which is sort of attached to Westward Ho. We parked near the cliff, on the edge of a caravan park, and set off for a walk.

The first thing you see is a house. A superb house. It’s huge, facing right out to sea, and is very beautiful. Unfortunately it appears to be falling down the cliff and is now derelict. I walked all round it, looking for a place to break in, but the security was pretty tight. Shame. I would like to die in a house like that. When the medics announce that my end is near, I hope my relatives will break in and rescue me from the beige, airless, machine-filled world of the hospital, and dump me in a derelict house on a cliff edge. Preferably with a stash of morphine, so nothing hurts. Then I can die looking at the sky and listening to sea-gulls and waves. But Husband said this was a morbid thing to say when looking at an old house, and hurried me away along the cliff.

The cliff walk is pretty perfect. There is grass, and gorse, and waves crashing against rocks. Next to us were fields with lambs in. At one point, there was a great mound of pebbles, right up to the cliff path, and we could scramble down onto the rocks and peer into rock pools. Husband was happy, explaining how fresh water channels had formed deep grooves in the rock. The dog was happy, charging up and down the path. I was happy, listening to the sea (and Husband, of course).

A long walk in Devon makes you hungry for a cream tea, so we decided to go to Clovelly, which we visited years ago when the children were small. The car-park is at the top of the village, and you have to pay to enter the village, because it’s all owned by the big estate. But as we were out of season, it was all free, and empty. I have never seen Clovelly empty before, usually it’s teeming with tourists. The village clings to the cliff, and has a cobbled street that meanders down to the harbour. The cobble stones make for pretty tough walking, so don’t wear heels. Or bring a pushchair (I can tell you, from previous experience, a pushchair is a very bad idea).

We walked down to the harbour, and The Red Lion pub was open. There was a fire burning in the snug, and they had cream teas. The tea was a bit ‘packaged’, but actually the scones were soft, and it is not the worst tea I’ve had. Sitting in the window seat, looking out to sea, it was timeless.

Then came the long slog back up the slippery cobble stones to the car park.

When I got back to the cottage, I checked my clever phone app to see how far we’d walked that day. I was sure it was further than the previous day (which was 16 km). I was surprised to see it was only 12km. Then I noticed I had climbed 52 staircases. Clearly the app can’t differentiate, and up and down is a staircase, even when it’s along a cliff edge.

Tomorrow we’re going home, but plan to drive back via Hankerton, where my granny lived as a girl.

Thank you for reading.
Take care.
Anne x


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Instow 2018 – Earthquakes and Sand

Drove to Instow House. Same as when we left it, including the copy of Hidden Faces which I’d left on the bookshelf.
Ate dinner at Instow Arms, which clever Husband had booked before we left home. We ate early (7pm) but it was packed. I had creamy garlic mushrooms, which arrived in a bowl, like soup, and was delicious, followed by fish pie. Also delicious, but after a while I felt overly full of cream. Not a good choice by me.
Walked on beach with Kia, who went completely bananas. She reverts to puppy on beaches, stopping regularly to dig holes.
Watched tv, went to bed.

Day Two

Woke up to sound of seagulls and waves. Went to make tea and let dog into garden. Quite a lot of beach now seemed to be in kitchen.
Drove to Saunton Sands. Husband suggested another walk to beach across dunes, but as I had left my bullet-proof vest and crash helmet at home (see blog from Jan 17 ) I declined. Drove safely to carpark, not shot at once, and no sign of tanks or machine guns. Which is what most people might expect. (See Jan 17 blog. I still have not completely recovered…) Brilliant walk on miles of sand, beautiful sunshine, sky reflected on wet beach. Perfect.
Saw a Mermaid’s Purse, and commented to Husband that Son hadn’t believed it held shark’s eggs on a recent beach trip. Found myself having the exact same argument/discussion with Husband, who insisted it was clearly made from plant matter, and was therefore a type of seaweed. Told him to Google it. He did. Turns out I was right (obviously, or I wouldn’t be telling you this!) Heard those rare words : “Gosh, you were right. I was wrong.” Pretended I couldn’t hear, so he had to say it twice (might never have it said again, tis a rare event indeed…)
Walked for about 90 minutes. Returned to car, and found a Yorkie bar I stashed there months ago. Double perfect.
Drove along coast to Croyde. Husband told me that it’s where Kevin Hallam used to go for his family holidays. I don’t know who Kevin Hallam is, so was not terribly interested. Was then told about Kevin’s family, Warhammer, English degree at Oxford, and that he drove into Husband’s Beetle when they were 17. But the countryside was pretty, so I let him talk (for quite a long time actually. If you know Kevin, do say Hi from me).

Lunch at cottage, followed by an earthquake. Nope, this is not an innuendo, we really did have an earthquake. Apparently the epicentre was in Swansea and it measured 4.9. The cottage was unhappy at being shaken, and new cracks appeared. No reaction from dog at all (too exhausted from exciting beach walks).



Drove to Appledore, which is the village we can see across the estuary. It was full of coloured cottages, information signs and windowsills full of tat. Honestly, if you like stuffed parrots, and pots, and suits of armour, and knitted toys, then you will love the windowsills of Appledore. Some wit had decided to make their own signs, so we passed a chip shop (deliveries to Paris, New York and Appledore) the house where Barbie and Ken lived, and the Beaver Pub (where nothing happened in 1782). There was also a dry dock, which Husband found very interesting (it’s a male thing, not worth looking at unless you are male).

I was keen to find a church for Sunday. There were a lot of churches and chapels. I am quite a connoisseur of churches, so perused the notice boards. Rejected the Bethel chapel (not sure they would welcome someone wearing jeans). Rejected the C of E, despite very cool tower, as the service was communion (a minefield for mistakes in a foreign church). Rejected another chapel as being too far up a hill. Decided the Baptist church looked safe, despite the plaques advertising groups which must’ve been in place about 100 years ago. But there was a photo of a band (so jeans would be okay) and they ran an Alpha course – so probably like new people.
However, when driving back to cottage, we passed a tiny church, just round the corner. It had an 11am service (not communion) and they run a mid-week lunch club. Decided I would give it a try. Will let you know…



Thank you for reading.
Take care,

Anne x


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Instow: The Beach for Dog Lovers…


We came for a mini break to Instow, near Bideford in Devon. It is, by far, the most dog friendly place I have ever visited. In fact, if you don’t like dogs, you will find this a difficult village to visit. We loved it.

We hired a cottage (through English Country Cottages) right next to the beach. We looked out, across the estuary, watching as the tide filled the bay and floated the boats, then went out again, leaving them stranded. When the tide was out, the expanse of hard sand was immense. Every dog owner in the world seemed to arrive – I never saw less than 20 dogs on the beach at any time. There were the early morning walkers (who tended to have annoying yappy little dogs) and the midday walkers with children. There were even ‘after dark’ walkers (they tended to have the big dogs).

Husband had brought his gym kit and persuaded me to bring mine. So we could go for runs along the beach. He has recently watched ‘Chariots of Fire’. I fear his image of young men training for the Olympics by running through sea spray was not going to match the reality of a couple over 50 staggering along, trying to avoid tripping on the dog lead. We never went.

Across the bay was Appledore, a pretty Devon village with cottages scattered up a hill. It looked like Toytown from our cottage. Bizarrely, although we could walk to fairly near it when the tide was out, the river was always too big to cross, so without a boat it was unreachable (unless you drove for miles to a bridge, I suppose).

Even the pubs and restaurants were dog-friendly. They also all displayed 5* hygiene ratings (when you feed the public, you start to take note of these things and avoid places with a low star rating.) We ate in a variety of pubs, all within Instow, all very friendly and with excellent menus. If you go in the summer, you probably need to book. We could even take the dog into the cafe on the front, as long as she sat quietly under the table.

Instow has quite a big military presence (as I discovered, if you read yesterday’s blog!) This is due to the US and British military using the Devon coastline to practice for the D-Day landings.


A Walk on the Wild Side…

img_0963So, Husband announces he wants to walk ‘somewhere prettier’. We’re on a mini-break in Devon, staying in a cottage practically on the beach, but we haven’t actually seen much of the ‘typical’ North Devon scenery. You know, the rolling hills with tiny fields and lots of green.

I thought our village was pretty perfect, but I try to be accommodating, so I said he could choose. This was a mistake.

Firstly, he scurries off with the map and plans a walk which, for some unknown reason, needs to be a secret. I am to have no input at all as to where we go. At this stage, I thought this was fine, a nice surprise, no danger involved or anything like that.

Then we pack the dog and boots into the car, and off we go, heading towards Barnstaple. After a while, we left the main roads and drove along ever narrowing lanes. When the satnav stopped naming them, and then stopped showing them at all (so it looked as if the car was heading through space) I should have been warned. But I wasn’t (I am very easy-going, cheerfully gullible, things like that.)

We arrived at a carpark. The bridleways beyond were fenced, with gates and styles for access. There were, I will admit, a couple of signs, warning the military used the area. But there were no “Keep Out” signs, no locks on the gates, no signs that said “Danger”. None that I saw anyway. So on we marched.

We quickly came to undulating sand dunes, grassy areas, and marshy ponds. It was rather lovely. We headed off, towards where we thought the coast was.img_0965

It was then that I spotted some runners, way off in the distance. They were all wearing white tee-shirts, and I thought perhaps these were the army training exercises. Nice place to run, next to the sea. As I watched them, I realised there was another group, slightly nearer to us, wearing camouflage gear. And firing guns. This felt less safe.

Husband assured me they were probably ‘outward-bound types’ or shooting blanks, and we were fine, we just needed to avoid walking in front of where they were aiming. I sort of believed him. After all, the military wouldn’t shoot in an area used by dog walkers, would they?

A little later, as we skirted the men firing guns, to climb other dunes in our quest to find the sea, we saw some military vehicles. They had their headlights on, and were coming towards us at speed. I wondered if we were going to be arrested. But they zoomed off in another direction before they reached us.

Then we heard machine guns firing. At this point, I got stroppy. I told Husband I was very unhappy and felt uncomfortable about being fired at, and I wanted to go back to the car. He agreed. Trouble was, we were lost.

We had made so many detours, it was hard to remember even which direction we had come from. The area was huge, in different circumstances (ie, not being fired at) it would’ve been lovely. After wandering for a while, Husband looked at phone to see if it had a map. It did. It also showed our position, and where we had parked the car (clever phone).

We made it back to the car, neither shot nor arrested. We did see a few signs that we missed on the way in though….

img_0970 img_0968


Thank you for reading.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the rest of our holiday (nothing quite as exciting. Thankfully.)