The last camp out of the year for us is usually VW Action at Santa Pod, but after Big Bang at the start of the year when Lily didn’t really take to drag racing whilst she was trying to sleep we decided this was a no go for us. Luckily our good pal Matt invited us to join him and a massive group of his mates at a new show he was helping to organise and run. Amakuru was a one off show (but I can see it becoming a yearly event after this years success) supporting a charity that does work in Rwanda Set in the fields below Arundel castle in West Sussex it’s a beautiful part of the country to camp in and with early bird tickets a bargain we we’re booked in. As usual we both had Friday off so we could wait until the traffic had cleared before heading off, careful plotting of the route meant that apart from a couple of miles on the A3 and A27 we drove through the countryside on a really quiet drive. No of this M25/M1 nonsense! We stopped for a well earned bite to eat in the middle of nowhere.
And a little while later rolled in to the old town of Arundel, swinging past the castle and into the pay & display carpark we were a little intrigued, but soon enough the fields behind this opened up to reveal a gathering of marquees and campers lined up. The gate staff were overly friendly (Matt had rounded up his mates to marshall during the weekend) and we were soon parked up in the “non LTV” camp with the JTBs to one side and a view of the castle to the other.
Having pitched and unloaded everything and nattered to the others we went for an afternoon walk into town, it has to be the closest show to a town we’ve ever been to, in a couple of minutes we were nosing round the shops.
Back on camp the numbers had grown and it was full of familiar faces and some new ones, we ate, we drank, we nattered, we relaxed.
The sun went down, the mist came up and at midnight after some laser pen assisted photography I hit the airbed in the awning for a snooze.
Saturday dawned grey, but it soon brightened up, breakfast was a bacon roll for the three of us.
Then it was off round the show and the traders, blink and you might have missed it! Yes it was a small show, but with the town and some many friends around it didn’t really matter as we were able to relax and enjoy the company and the area for once. First stop was birthday girl Fay.
Walking round we saw the town crier in all her garb and I couldn’t resist getting a few very “British” together in one shot.
All round the camp people were chilling in the sunshine.
Alan supplied birthday cake for Fay and we all noshed on its chocolatey goodness.
After a crawl round Lily was ready for a nap and we headed again to town, this time up to the top of the hill.
Mid afternoon and word on the street was that a rowdy bunch had gathered alongside some old pickup and there was live music. I turned out that The Rocker Covers were performing an impromptu gig in the town square. Nearly all of the people on camp had already heard these guys play at a shows we hadn’t gone to. They are a three piece rockabilly group from Bristol that does some really cool covers of modern songs as well as some older stuff, they were in the middle of s Johnny Cash number as we arrived. Brilliant.
Thoroughly entertained and now hungry we headed back to the camper and fired up the BBQ for some meat washed down with cider. Before the evening entertainment was on we took a stroll round the second camping field, there was still plenty of space for expansion, but it was a good turnout for a small weekend show in its first year.
As it wasa bit chilly hot chocolate was the order of the evening for some.
Then with Lily asleep in the buggy and Kim relaxing on the blanket, I ventured inside to try my hand at gig snapping! The Rocker Covers rattled the tent for almost an hour with everything from Kings Of Leon to The Police, it was amazing, I not really into my music but I really enjoyed myself as did a rammed marquee by the screams of “more” when the time was up.
We wandered back to camp and nattered some more, but after a day walking round I was knackered and at just after midnight I hit the airbed again. At around 2am I was awoken by the sounds of another impromptu gig in the corner of our camp as the drums were wheeled out once more, I fell asleep again to some interesting singing!
Sadly Sunday dawned grey and bleak after a quick breaky we packed and as the rain began to lash down we decided to head for home via a nice pub.
The Selbourne Arms did us proud and we finished our drive home in sunshine. For a first go it was a really nice little show, a few more traders would have helped, but as I mentioned before the town was so close you could fill a day wandering round the shops there. This is probably the last camp out for us in 2011. Lily has successfully slept under canvas and tintop for four long weekends and she has loved every minute of it (apart from the night racing at The Pod!) as have we. It’s a few day shows and meets now as we wind down for the winter. More camping in 2012 for sure.
The rest of the photos are here.