Encouraged by all the super feedback that I got from the pre-christmas microadventure at Coombe Hill I had to do more. An Awesome January Campout just had to happen. I made a Facebook event and advertised it on the “Project Awesome’ and ‘Yes Tribe’ groups and waited to see the response. Well blow me if the numbers weren’t fairly amazing, and to be very honest, a bit scary. At one point I had 73 ‘interested’ and 35 ‘Going’ for a bivvy out in WINTER! [Note: The reality of what folk mean by ‘interested’ and ‘going’ on Facebook would make an interesting study].
The meet-up on this one was a bit more chaotic than I would have hoped. I met some folk at Waterloo, others were joining us at Box Hill station and yet more were going to join us on the hill. I was able to lead the main group from the station and then up the steep and muddy path until we got to the clearing behind the Solomon Memorial. It was a cold (5C) night but beautifully clear with superb views of the stars and moon. How cool!
With a few late arrivals we ultimately had 27 campers out which is incredible for January. I know I’m a nutter, but this many crazies in one place is surely not good? What I mean is that it was amazing to meet such a brilliant bunch of adventurers. With this many folks, there were quite a few groups talking and more than one stove used to mull some wine. I did my best to stay up and talk but I’m not a late nighter and retreated to my bivvy fairly early on.
Despite it being actually warmer than last week, I felt colder and didn’t sleep as well. It was more than worth it though to see a shooting star in the night and to experience the most amazing dawn.
I’ve only seen a couple of cloud inversions so to get one here in Surrey seems quite special. We didn’t wait too long before packing up (never takes too long when bivving) and headed down the hill in search of breakfast.
Fortyfied with egg, bacon or sausage baps it was time to head off back to our homes. A good number were straight off to the Adventure Travel Show in Olympia, literally smelling of ‘adventure’. What more authentic way to go.
A terrific microadventure and the first of many ‘Awesome Campouts’ this year!