Easter folk festival
Fareham Travel Blog› entry 5 of 5 › view all entries
Now if we had been back in Australia we would have been spending Easter as I have done for the last 9 years at the National Folk Festival in Canberra, ACT. We aren't and Andrew found a festival on the web site for Fareham & Gosport Folk festival all over the Easter weekend and booked us tickets and camping. We would be departing for our second attempt at 'doing' Europe from Portsmouth on the Wednesday afterwards so it all fitted in well. I had been to schools in both these afore-mentioned towns so it would be fun to revisit the area and we had hired our van from nearby and given the old one to the hire firm and needed to drop off the papers for ownership to Greg.
It was pretty cold and wet when we set up the tent and carefully put the contents of the van in the tent and inflated the air mattress with the plug in pump and made up our bed in the van. The next morning one of the campers seemed to be heading off to the town on foot but came over and warned me to be prepared for the forthcoming heatwave. I detected a slight twinkle in his eye and told him that I would be ready for it anytime or perhaps I said " Yeah, right!" Found ourselves sitting in the same row as him when we went down to the first concerts in the Ferneham Hall and learnt that his name was Paul.
One morning Paul commented that he had hardly slept a wink as something had been rustling around in a plastic bag all night and I suggested that it might have been a squirrel and was hopeful that I might see some. He thought not as he didn't think that they were nocturnal and was inclined to think it might have been a fox. On the Saturday morning we made a bee line to the pedestrian shopping area where there is a display of Morris Dancing.
During the 5 days of the festival we see performers such as the Hayseed Dixies, Last Night's Fun, Kerfuffle, Les Barker, Roy Bailey, Waterson/Carthy (again), the Saw Doctors, Janis Ian ( her 1st English festival in 10 years and she was superb), Feast of Fiddles ( an amazing 11 piece fiddle band of greats). Miss the return of Dave Swarbrick ( from a serious illness) but Lorna does that one and tells us about it. There were many more and at £70 for the season ticket and entry to whatever you wanted, it was excellent value.
Come Sunday morning Paul is totally pissed off as through the night some SQUIRRELS chewed through the corner of his cooler bag and into the container of margarine!!! He hates being outdone by squirrels. ON the last evening we have dinner in a pub with Lorna and Paul and hope that we will meet them again on our return to the UK at other festivals. My eldest Jamie is at the National Folk Festival in Canberra with the camper trailer and he tells us of the great time he is having. Next day he text messages us again to let us know that some young hooligans from the nearby mission to our south coast home,have thrown a rock through one of the massive sliding glass front doors. Friends of Jamie's were staying there for Easter and their young son had just vacated the seat where the rock landed minutes before. Other houses in the street suffered the same damage and it is believed that they did it in retaliation as they believed that someone from the street reported them to the police for riding a motor bike around a reserve that runs in front of all the homes. Between my 1st and second child they arrange the insurance company to board up the window for the night and replace the panel the next day. This will cost us the basic excess on our policy and I am not really happy to pay for vandalism. Jamie decided to install timer lights too but the vandals were not put off by someone being resident at the time. I just hope our older neighbour wasn't terrorised too.
Next day is Tuesday and we pack up the tent, and make a run to the docks to check out where we have to go to board the ferry to Bilbao in the evening. The cleaner at the terminal points out that there are no sailings that day and we re-check our tickets and find that we are a day too early!! Instead we go back to the dockyards where the HMS Victory lies and using our tickets that are valid for a year we visit the HMS Warrior (1860 built) and take the harbour ride. The commentator is very good and points out all the Naval ships in the bay. Pointing out a vessel of the water Police he advises us to wave back should they wave to us. He tells us that they are not the Highway Patrol who hand out speeding tickets and do have loaded machine guns and to use all fingers when waving to them! We then see a ferry coming in from France and he tells us that it weighs much more than the mothballed aircraft carrier in the bay. He says that the passengers might wave to us from the ferry and if we wave back remember that many are French so a French wave would be appreciated!
At the end of the day we go back to the Ellerslie Camp ground and ask if we can stay another night! While cooking pasta a cheeky robin sings to me from amongst the apple blossom, then hops on to the cooler bag then beside me on our table! Tonight we sleep in the tent. Cool but bearable. Wednesday we drive to Fishbourne in West Sussex and visit a Roman Palace. It is immense and many floors are in excellent condition but have bumps and hollows due to subsidence's. In the potting shed they have a life sized figure who is the gardener who begins telling his story when someone looks in. A beautiful Italian accent. Angela rings to say that one of our banks is concerned that some fraud has occurred on one of our credit cards and we tell her that we drew out a large lump sum to cover the cost of hiring the van and to tell them that if they now look at the records they will see that we have transferred money across to cover it. Good to know they are keeping an eye on us!
Head back to the docks and join a growing queue. Purchase another reflective vest for the continental kit and place the stickers on the headlights to deflect the right hand drive headlight beams. Eventually we are allowed to board and drive on at about 7.45pm. Taken to our cabin which is roomier that expected with two single beds, an en suite and a radio. We quickly explore and avoiding the expensive dining rooms we go to the international food court where for £9 each we get a huge 2 course meal. The server picks us as Aussies and chats for a long while.