3 August 2018
Bugsy called out for me at 05:30 last night: “Mummy, Mummy, I’m cold!” I climbed up the ladder to double over her duvet, but she asked me for a warm Mummy cuddle and I couldn’t resist, so we wrapped up together and she fell asleep while I stroked her hair, and I stayed awake with pins and needles, until she was asleep enough for me to be able to remove my dead arm. I stayed there until morning, as her bed is actual more comfortable as ours and I had plenty of room to spread out! May make it a permanent arrangement….!
She had three pieces of toast for breakfast this morning, while Ian and I stuck to our usual Raisin Bran / Granola and yoghurt combos. We took our time getting started again today, but Cornelia was having fun just hanging out telling stories, doing her activity book and playing Cinderella (again).
At about 12:30, we set off out of the campsite, to explore a bit further down the river. There is a track that led us down past the Benbow Inn (an old-by-American-standards building, which apparently delivers fine dining, so no good for us with a toddler in tow!) and past loads of ripe blackberry bushes, onto the river, which is very low at the moment indeed. There were lots of warnings about blue-green algae contaminating the water, but it was crystal clear where we were, and as we were only paddling, decided it was probably safe enough. (In any event, the warnings said that you shouldn’t drink or cook with the water from the river, and to shower well after entering, so it seemed to suggest that it was okay to take a dip.)
After a lot of stone-throwing (me and Cornelia) and stone-skimming (Ian), the cool of the river became too tempting for me, especially in the heat of the mid-afternoon sun, so I stripped off (almost) and Cornelia put on her swimsuit, and we waded into a deep patch for a “swim”. Ah, moments like this is what this trip is all about to me. Unplanned adventurous playtime with my daughter. Happy heart.
Typically, having seen no-one at all down by the river for two hours, as I stripped off to put my dry clothes on, two more couples arrived. Ian had to jump in front of me to protect what little modesty I still had left, and a cheery wave from them confirmed that they had indeed seen us! We couldn’t persuade Cornelia out of her swimsuit, so we strolled back to the campsite for yet another late lunch.
As Ian and Bugsy ate lunch, I managed to secretly clean the Gang members who are the most chomped, as they were smelling disgusting! Then it was time to go for a swim in the heavily-chlorinated and slightly chilly pool. When I got there (I was slightly behind them, as I was still scrubbing Cowbat, Cowding and Molly), Ian and Cornelia were having a fabulous time. She was on a woggle, swimming away quite happily, and playing with the squishy American football that we’d bought her earlier in the day from reception. I hopped in and the three of us were in the water for quite a while, before the cool water took its toll and I retreated to the jacuzzi, with Cornelia in tow. Ah, that was bliss! Almost too hot, which is just how it should be! We were only supposed to be in there for 15 minutes each time, and Cornelia had seen some girls who were swapping between the jacuzzi and the pool, and obviously wanted to copy them. She can’t go in on her own, but to ensure that one of us (specifically, me….) would follow, she just climbed out of the jacuzzi, walked over the pool and jumped in. Argh!! An older couple next to the pool asked me if she was five, and when I said she was still three (but only for another week), they couldn’t believe it. I then had to embarrassingly tell her off for jumping into the water without making sure that someone was with her, and once she’d said sorry, we were committed to playing some more in the now-even-chillier water. She’d spied an inflatable ring blowing around the pool, so was keen to relax in that, while I swung her around for a while, before I finally called time and insisted we had to get out.
It was now about 17:00, so Ian said he would take Cornelia to the play park for half an hour, so I could go out for a run. I had a really enjoyable run, in heat reaching 91⁰ (30⁰C), running along the road parallel to both Highway 1, and the river. I turned around after about a mile, as I was completely gasping for a drink, but on reaching the entrance to the campsite, the draw of the hill ahead was too much to resist, so I ran (sort of) up and up, until my thighs burned and my lungs were punching me from the inside. It wasn’t far and it wasn’t fast, but it was hot and hard and I loved it.
I was delighted when I finished my run at the playpark, as Ian had brought a bottle of water which I guzzled straight away before I could even speak, as my mouth was so dry that my tongue stuck to the roof if I tried to swallow! It sounds disgusting, and it was! Cornelia’s time at the park was up, and Ian went off for his run while I prepared tea. Bugsy’s was ready first (fish fillets, mash and beans), so she started eating while I then started our supper (teriyaki chicken). It was hot and sweaty work in the RV, so I was glad I hadn’t bothered showering yet!
Once we had finished tea, it was most definitely shower time, so I took Bugsy off with me, and Ian went after he’d finished the washing up. Our shower was uneventful (thankfully!) and we wandered back happily, to brush Cornelia’s teeth and get her into bed. Ian read her a couple of stories and I think she’s crashed straight out. We are about to put the awning down (it’s the first time we’ve needed to use it, as it was so hot today!) and then I suspect it’ll be bedtime for us too. Another fabulous day. I am quite sure the warm sunshine is key!!