After yesterday’s brush with disaster, trying to find the route up to the lakeside castle, we decided that we’d go up there anyway. It turned out that our ‘detour of doom’ was unnecessary. If we’d just kept on the road for another 300m, instead of trying to turn off, we’d have found the signposted right-hand turn fully tarmacked that eventually wound it’s way to our magical place to park.
It’s also a magical place to wake up. The dawn cracked onto the sky like scrambled egg mixture spreading over the base of a frying pan… the hues went from violet to red/gold to a bright summery yellow in a few short minutes. The air was cold at just 40C but the day promised to be full of sunshine.
First order of the day – writing. I’m on Dragon Book 2 now and getting back into the rhythm of writing 2,000 words a day. M snuggled in bed, then made tea, then pottered on contentedly whilst I played nicely with my imagination. That done we got showered and organised, setting off for a walk.
Showered…? Well, yes. This may be a home-made camper, but we make few concessions in terms of comfort. Generally we’ll shower inside, using a pressurised container full of hot water and shower curtains that fall into the portable shower tray (actually a collapsible dog bath). Today however, once the air had lost the worst of it’s chill M decided to set up outside the van, eschewing any covering of his modesty.
Those who know my husband know of his proclivity for nude outdoor cleansing activities. Very, very occasionally I have consented to have a go myself. It never went well. On Dartmoor, semi-covered by a set of beach windbreakers, a car drove past not once, not twice but THREE times to get an eyeful whilst I frantically washed off shampoo suds. A decade later when the horror of the incident had faded, M persuaded me into a Yorkshire river near Riveaux Abbey. He’d sploshed around in cheerful abandon and complete privacy. By the time I had waded, as naked as the day I was born into the thigh-high waters, empty footpaths were suddenly thronging, with the entire dog-walking contingent of North Yorkshire passing by.
Yelping, I ducked as low as I could go in the frigid, slow-flowing waters. I screamed at M: “Bring me a towel”. My husband dutifully disappeared into the van and returned, grinning not with a towel but a camera. He has not been forgiven.
So, when he returned from his nude washing experience this morning, invigorated and enthusiastic, I mocked the idea. Really… we’d been here before.
But it was warm, and providing no-one drove into the car park, it would save on drying out the shower curtains before our walk…
Hurrah! For once, washed without incident, facing onto the beautiful vista of the lake and pine forested mountains. Clean and unseen… Marvellous!
The rest of the day was the 8-mile walk around the lake, some of which had footpaths, much involving hugging the railings on the side of the road. Lunch was a picnic, in a lovely surprise, pine-built hide that overlooked the lake reeds with cormorants, shags, ducks and herons. We caught a fleeting glimpse of a kingfisher diving in and out of the water before it became too shy and we saw it no more.
Supper – chicken casserole in the van – M’s turn to cook and he washed up too – my lucky night. 😀
Tomorrow we’ll move on. We think Salut. We’ll need a launderette and a Wi-Fi café so that I can send off Dragon1 to the next batch of 10 agents. I also need to find images for Lilly (the lovely and talented artist who’ll hopefully be doing my book cover) so that she’s got a clear idea of how I see the Dragon and Faisal.
For now, it’s peaceful in our small mobile conservatory. The dog’s comatose from his extended walk/run/snuffling through Spanish countryside. The fire’s on and M has an audio book playing in the background.
Nite nite all…