A walk and three trains and a bus and a walk, each with a period of waiting in between during which we joggled the babies to keep them amused, or conversed with each other and the dog, and nibbled the many snacks that we had brought to keep us going on our travels.
Then finally, FINALLY we tumbled off of the bus in a mess of suitcase and bags and bodies, and, righting ourselves on the grassy verge, trudged wearily toward the sign.
Have you ever been to Camber Sands?
I have. When I was small, my grandmother broke her hip there.
Over time it became a funny family story; Nanny Noo sliding down the sand dune, the two little girls – myself and my sister – skipping after her. Nanny frantically waving for Granddad, who had strode ahead, to come and help her and Granddad merrily waving back, assuming that she was having a jolly old sit-down in the sand until we ran ahead to fetch him back. We laughed about often, it even came up at her funeral a few years ago. In my family, old-lady-breaks-hip passes for humour.
Still, when a colleague passed on a tip about a great deal on caravan holidays at Camber, I thought it sounded like a great idea. And within the hour, the thing was booked. Signed, sealed and paid for – we were going on holiday!
To a caravan park. Miles from anywhere. With two babies and a dog. Without a car.
What a super idea!
Actually we had a lot of fun. I call this triumphing over adversity.
Camber Sands is gorgeous. Takes-your-breath-away gorgeous. When the tide is out, one can barely even see the sea from the edge of the beach. It’s worth the trek across the dunes to stand atop of them and survey the magnificence of the beach below. Wear a hat though and possibly a scarf because even in late May the wind is a force to be reckoned with. Case in point:
Can you see goosebumps? I can see goosebumps. But LOOK AT THAT BEACH.
Best bits: Hot chips by the seafront; a rainbow-filled sunset on the beach, the journey (yes, really!); a whole week together that was mostly free of electronic distractions; chasing our Josephine-dog across that AMAZING stretch of golden beach; the glee on the twins’ faces as they played in the sand; an exclusively-babywearing holiday (we had enough to lug on public transport without adding a double pram to the equation!).
Kirsty would like me to mention that I haven’t shared HER favourite part of the holiday – the crispy deep-fried smothered-in-sugar doughnuts that we munched on our day trip to Hastings, and that she enjoyed so much that she demanded a second trip there two days later! Oink…
The bits that we could have done without: The wind. It was INSANE and made the babies roar; NO CENTRAL HEATING in the caravan – brr! We slept under four duvets and I can’t say that I wasn’t nervous about the babies suffocating, but it was that or allow them to freeze; The one bus to civilisation that came hourly if we were lucky, and cost a fortune; Construction works that limited our access to the beach. Somebody, naming no names (hint: it wasn’t Kirsty) packed herself a coat and three jumpers but nothing warm for the babies, necessitating a dash to the closest Debenhams, which happened to be all the way away in Hastings! The resulting tiny jackets were tremendously sweet though…
Would we do it again? Absolutely! Though the price would have to be right. And I’ve never been so tempted to learn to drive in my LIFE as I am after this holiday! It would have all been vastly easier with a car – especially as the local supermarket was a(n hourly-running) bus ride away.
But I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much in my life as during those five days away at the seaside, our first holiday as a family of five.
You’re going to see SO MANY PICTURES of our holiday over the coming week.
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