The power is out!

It was a peaceful night. Isabella was not in her crate so there was no need to let her out and Skinny managed to come inside and remain silent until morning. The alarm woke me and I looked at the weather forecast. It’s been less than reliable recently so I was a little sceptical. As we walked across the field, I could feel light rain upon my face. It was not warm either as I was wearing a coat on top of all my other layers. We persevered. The drizzle went away but then returned with its brother so we completed one lap and went back to the van to avoid getting any wetter than necessary. It was now around 06:00. I made a mug of tea, lit the heater and retired to bed. The dogs settled down and went to sleep. I read the newspapers until about 07:00 and then considered getting up. By 07:30, it was properly light as sunrise is just around the corner. We tried to finish off our walk this time meeting the German guy with his dog. I’d carefully explained to him that I’d be clear of the Promontory by 07:15 so it was safe for him to go there with his dog. But not today due to extenuating circumstances! All of mine were on the lead except for Isabella who put up a brilliant show of barking so as not to be left out of the gang. We went our separate ways and we completed three laps of the Promontory ‘like it or not’! It remained dry and was really quite pleasant.

Back at the camping, I fed the cats and prepared my breakfast. I wasn’t planning on running as it was wet and windy so I felt a cycle ride my help to close my circles. I set off to explore one of the tracks which leads up from the road by the bridge over a stream. It’s not a particularly difficult track however large plant has been up and down working on building up the banks to the stream so it’s churned up in places. This was my first proper off-road e-bike experience so I’m still learning. I’d thought about wearing boots but fortunately didn’t as I got my feet wet on a number of occasions. I had to ford the stream at one point which was more demanding than I expected. If I’d increased the power to 3 it would have helped as there was a steep incline directly after the stream. I went to a point where a cliff has collapsed and the river has swept the track away. I couldn’t continue except on foot.

Going back was quick and easy as it was all downhill so I rode back to the camping, put my bike in the storeroom and washed down my legs, feet and shoes before attacking my breakfast for which I was ready.

The remainder of the morning was mostly grey with some sunny intervals but mostly cool and grey. I was sitting outside but some of the dogs more sensibly stayed in the van. I wanted to move some media files from my Media computer to the network drive to make then accessible to my R Pi. I got on with this and other fiddling about then went for a wander around the camping to see the lie of the land.

There was a sunny interval for a little while but it was definitely chilly! I continued my fiddling and hoped it might get warmer. Xanthippos invaded my space to collect carob pods for his animals then left before the rain came.

The forecast was on about 70+mm rain tonight but as yet there is nothing like that. I cancelled any Evening Walk, fed the dogs, put on the heater and we went inside where it was warmer. I started to prepare my food when the telephone rang to announce the arrival of two guys at reception. That was at 18:20 on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year. The guy asked if the camping was open. I said it was. He replied there was no one at reception. I refrained from calling him a blithering idiot as he’s a customer and told him to wait in his car. I donned my waterproofs and set off into the darkness in the pouring rain.

They’d planned to camp(!) but were too chicken to put up their tents in the pouring rain for some reason. I took them to Ξ5 and showed them in. They requested a heater so I went off to find one. It was raining hard which was the perfect test for my new waterproofs. The power went out as I walked up the camping but I had a head torch anyway. I found the heater and returned to Ξ5. One of them asked when the power would resume and I explained there was a storm and that I don’t work for the power company. I mentioned the longest outage which was a week. They’ll just have to snuggle up together if they feel cold in the night!

I came back to the van to remove my wet weather gear and finish preparing my food. I decided to give it until 20:00 for the power to resume then use the gas to cook my meal. Only a couple more minutes to go so I’ll get out my trusty old pot.

I only have a small backup battery for the van after the bigger ones died. Hopefully, one day soon, Antonis will fix up my solar panels so I can generate and store my own. My batteries are actually charged so I can rig something up if the outage is long. I have other batteries and there’s always the generator. I’m not up for fiddling with that tonight especially as Xanthippos has dressed it in cladding and the doors are held closed with stiff bolts. Struggling with that in the dark and the rain doesn’t do it for me. Anyway, there are not enough people here to warrant the generator churning away half the night. It’s still raining hard, there is thunder in the distance and I’m going to connect my phone to the MacBook and send this off whilst we still have 4G as they probably don’t have generators and only limited battery backup.

A puppy tenderly licks a scratch on my left leg…

Post Script

It is still raining and the bulk of the storm appears to be heading off southwards. The power came back on about 20:15 so my supper is cooking in the pot!


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