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Saturday

Being the first run with my recently built engine the drive to the Stone henge campsite took a little longer than last year but we arrived in good time. We parked up next to Schrieber who was sitting in the cab of his 90 looking pretty warm.. He jumped out and we said our hellos, he had only been there about 15 mins so hadn't been waiting long. Debs busied herself with the coffee, I busied myself setting up the bed and checking the fluids, and Schrieber went back to the warmth of his cab.

Around 5pm Toppa rolled in with Swingletree in tow, shortly followed by Roger Whittle in his disco. They all proceeded to set up their tents and I gave some really helpful advice whilst cuddling my cup of coffee, eventually giving toppa a hand with some of the poles.

Once we had set up camp Swingletree cracked out the Cuban Cigars and we sat back for an evening in the little camp we would call home for the next few hours..

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Healthy start to the evening


Once we finished the cigars we decided our new home was damn cold so we retired into Toppas huge storage tent with a few chairs and some tilly lamps. This soon warmed up. Word must have got round that it wasn't that cold as we soon had some new visitors.. Lewis, JJ and cannonball bob. Lewis and JJ left after a while to their nice warm hotel... only Bob was brave/stupid enough to stay for the evening.

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Keeping warm in the tent


Beer was drunk and some interesting views voiced.. a good night was had by all... mostly by Swingle though :D

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Camp Chilly the morning after


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Frosty and the last time it was seen clean


Sunday

A chilly but bright morning set the scene for the day, sure it was cold, but it was dry and sunny and there was treasure to be won.

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The weather stayed clear and bright all day long


There was a great turn out and wide variety of vehicles at the starting point, however only one series truck.. Mine. Everyone was briefed and set off in their own groups to go hunting for the clues. Unknown to many of us, RedDwarf had been having a nightmare and had lost his team mate so drove all the way down Salisbury with only a rough idea of where we were meeting and nobody to team up with.. He just made the start as Bob was packing up.. Now thats dedication.

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A great turn out as always for the hunts


I was leading my team and we ran into the back off Toppa and Dav-h who were making very slow progress.. I was getting a little confused as to why they were going quite so slowly, sure its sensible to keep your speed down but 2mph? After about half a mile I jumped out and went to see what was up, It turns out that as we were the first people to go this route that day Toppa had the job of breaking the Ice, not usually a problem for our antipodean friend, but today it was proving a struggle.

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Toppa Breaking the ice


The promise of hot food at the rendezvous point meant we just plugged on clue hunting all day, the conditions were mostly muddy tracks, deep water holes with the odd steep and impossible slope thrown in for good measure (if you go the wrong way).


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Easy going but wet


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Ash making a mess of his paintwork


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So your supposed to go down this part ?


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RedDwarf making a splash


We were not the only people on the plain that day, in fact It was one of the busiest the plain wardens had ever seen, some groups of 15 had been seen and one guy even got arrested by the MOD police.. It is with great pride that I can say none of the LRUK members did anything to concern the wardens or the MOD police, well done guys :)

We all met at a local pub with an open fire which was most welcome after a day on the plains, we ordered our food and went through the answer sheets.

The food was served and was most welcome, it was also very well priced and very satisfying, most people had something to eat which was the least we could do as the landlord had allowed up some off road parking and the use of a dedicated room. Top chap, and I doubt the last time we will go there.

After a good natter everyone set on their way, either home, or back to the campsite for another evening of chilling (literally) and relaxing with a few drinks and many stories to be told around the tilly lamps.

Toppa went off in search of some diesel for his eberspacher heater (not jealous honest) and I decided it would be a good time to get some petrol too. We filled up and decided to take a little detour on the way back.. Following Toppa down some of the larger tracks was interesting to say the least as the pot holes jump out at you, and I suddenly had a good view of the side of toppas truck.. not sure it was intentional.

If you have never been green laning in the dark before its amazing, and even more so on the plains, it takes on a whole new feeling as you can only see what your headlights illuminate, neither of us having high power spotlights meant slow and steady progress. We both had plenty of recovery kit, radios and even beds in our trucks.. I would not recommend going on your own, or even with someone else unless you fully prepared. A breakdown on the plains at night could turn bad fast..

Thankfully there were no issues, even with Toppa taking me through the big watery holes.. Cheers :p

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Not so clean now..


Monday

Monday morning we all emerged from our tents feeling a little tired and cold, but Chris, toppa and swingle all went off to do some more lanes on their way home, fair play to them. I was going the other way so said my good byes and made steady progress home. It was an uneventful journey home except for a 30min stop to remove a caravan that someone had managed to park between two walls.

It was only when I got home did I realise my landy had not missed a beat over the weekend, which is no mean feat considering the engine was built in the spare bedroom and only MOT'd for the first time a week before..

Shake down period?.. Bah.. ONE life, Live it :D

Photo credits to Cannonball Bob, Landyv8, StrangeRover, Dave-H
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