I've said many times that I don't do camping by roads. If cars come by and loiter in the night then my imagination goes into overdrive as to what harm they may do me. I'd much rather be somewhere where it takes some effort to reach.
Yet, last night we camped by a road. Mick had been complaining of tiredness (which is not like Mick at all) and didn't look too with-it either, so when we finally cleared the burnt area and found a viable pitch we took it. Any other day we would have walked on another mile (which is where the map suggested the next campable land lay).
A few vehicles passed as we were eating tea, but all they did was drive straight past and we were well concealed, so I wasn't concerned. We were asleep by just gone 1930 (it's these 3am starts that do it!).
Just before 11 another vehicle passed. Nothing alarming there, but then the disturbance started. Five minutes later a car horn started blasting away. On and on and on it went. Then the shouting started.
Had the vehicle met with an accident and they were trying to attract attention? Or were they just hoodlums out on a Saturday night? In the dark of night, the only reason I could see for cars to-ing and fro-ing on such an out-of-the-way little road, in the middle of the night, was because they were up to no good. And if people are up to no good then I don't want to be near by. I didn't hold out much hope for more sleep.
Eventually, after sternly telling myself that we were well hidden and that a car horn and shouting didn't mean that the bad boogey men were going to get us, I did drift off. That must have been about 1am. The horns sounded further away by then.
At 2am another car passed, which woke me up, and within minutes there was lots and lots of shouting, sounding quite close and the horns were getting closer again too (in retrospect, the voices could have been a mile away such was the lay of the land and the stillness of the night).
I lay there watching the minutes tick by until 3 o'clock came. I was then packed and ready to go in record time (and without even putting my headtorch on).
So, what was all that noise and palava about? We'll never know, but in the light of day, I doubt very much that it was anyone up to no good. My money would be that someone had been out walking during the day and lost their dog. I suppose it could, equally, have been a missing person, although in that case I would have expected whistles rather than just shouting.
I did swear this morning that I'll never camp by a road again...
...guess where we are tonight? Yep, another road. It's clear that a lot of people camp here and the road doesn't look much used. Finger's crossed...
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