I had booked in to the Red Lion at Winfrith for 2 nights so on the Wednesday morning I was in no rush to get up.
It had been very windy overnight with gusts of over 60mph. A few heavy and persistent showers as well.
I tried out my gas cooker which worked well and had a brew before wandering over to use the loo. This is where I noticed they had no power, the storm must of taken it out.
Back to my tent and chilled and read. Just after 12 I went back to the pub and spoke with the landlord, the power was still out!
How ironic that I in my tent was the only one able to make a brew and heat up some oxtail soup!
I then decided to head out on Lucille to the Tank Museum just up the road at Bovington. I spent a good couple of hours wandering around - it's an amazing place with some incredible displays. Also heard the engine running on a FV432 which brought back memories of my short time at 202 Signal Squadron at Paderborn.
Heading back into a head wind and even though I had no panniers the wind was that strong it was a struggle to go forward! At one point I had to drop into 2nd!
Got back, the pub had power so recharged my mobile fully and had a brew.
The showers on site were lovely and warm and recently refurbished so after this I was set for a pint or two and a mixed grill!
My second night was a bit calmer under canvas but I was still unsure as to what my plans would be for Thursday.
Checking the weather it had changed from sunny showers which I could live with to heavy rain all day which was bad news.
After some deliberation I decided that the kit test was done I didn't need to endanger myself by riding further away from home.
Although I did at the time feel I was wimping out! On reflection it was the right decision.
I packed up in light rain and headed off for home.
The rain got harder, the leg shields worked a treat but I stayed dry. Apart from my gloves which decided to leak!
I was relieved to get home and warm up!
So what did I learn from my trip?
Firstly that my tent a Vango Banshee 200 is not a 2 man tent but a 1 man tent with room to stow all your kit.
Secondly, that I need a thicker sleeping mat. It kept me insulated from the ground but I have sore hip bones as it just wasn't thick enough.
Thirdly, I need to get my front rack mounted as I found that having the extra kit behind me on the seat made me sit slightly forward which made it awkward to change gear.
Also for my trip I will be refuelling 3 or 4 times a day and having to unpack my luggage each time to lift the seat to get to the tank will be a pain!
So all in all a good test in possibly the worst conditions there could be.