Freaked Out by Giant Moths in the Peak District

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Ella camping in Peak District National Park, UK

Adventure was calling once more. We purchased more camping supplies and fortunately, I did not have a meltdown in the shop again! Mainly because we knew what we wanted after being camping once already, in the beautiful Lake District. We put the finishing touches on our camping supplies and prepared to head off.

Unfortunately, the car had been showing an engine warning for about a week so we decided not to go too far. That really limited where we could go. The Peak District was about an hour's drive so we settled on that as our destination. After a lot of searching, we finally settled on a campsite.

"Can I book?" I asked the receptionist on the phone.

"No, just turn up before 5pm."

That wasn't ideal as that meant we didn't have much time to prepare. The last time we went camping, we rocked up at 10.30pm. Maybe it was a good thing as it would actually encourage us to set off quicker. I also wasn't entirely convinced that there would be room for us if we just turned up; she hadn't even asked me for any details! Not an encouraging start.

As usual with us, packing was frantic and lat-minute. We left a little later than we would have liked and then realised we'd forgotten food for breakfast the next day. So, we had to stop off at a supermarket and buy some sausages. It took me 15 minutes to choose! Time was ticking. We didn't have long till 5pm! I'm quite picky about my sausages and to me it was a risk I was willing to take. It didn't help that there were 2 women gossiping beside the sausages and I kept having to carefully squeeze my hand behind them to look at another pack of sausages. They seemed rather oblivious to my struggles despite shooting me strange glances.

We were back on the road, my partner racing round country lanes to get us to the campsite on time. I started to feel a little car-sick.

Driving through the Peak District National Park, UK

I know what you're thinking...

Driving through the Peak District National Park, UK

What did I take these photos with? A potato?

We arrived at the campsite with 20 minutes to spare. Yes, we made it! As we drove into the campsite, I clocked the massive signs, the shop, the restaurant and bar and numerous car parks. This was nothing like the previous campsite. It seemed much more commercialised which is fine for some people, however it doesn't appeal much to me. First impressions were not great.

We checked in and headed to the field. We had booked to stay in the 'meadow' which sounded lovely on the website. However, when we got there, it didn't look much like a meadow and was in fact more of a field. The worst thing was just how full it was - it was packed with tents! Finding a spot was difficult but we opted for one closer to the car park and the toilets which were a trek away.

We set up our tent and prepared to make dinner. That's when the residents of the tent next to us came back to their tent. It was a family with lots of children which is fine - I don't have a problem with families. What I didn't appreciate, however, was their numerous ball games right next to our tent. We moved our chairs far away but somehow the games seemed to follow and I was nearly hit in the head several times by footballs and tennis balls. The parents merely laughed. It could have been an awkward laugh however the vibes I got suggested otherwise. They were reluctant to move their children to the wide spaces in the middle of the field where no one would be in the firing line.

Cooking whilst camping in Peak District National Park, UK

Our dinner was lovely! It was just a shame about nearly being knocked out by the football. After polishing off my meal, I decided only one thing could get me through this experience. So we leapt in the car and drove 15 minutes away to the nearest town to buy a bottle of wine. I was frustrated as we were meant to bring a wine from home but in all the panic of packing, I forgot it.

We bought a nice bottle of rosé, cheese, cookies and eggs to go with breakfast tomorrow. The wine and cheese went down a treat, curbing my frustration at the chaotic campsite. Eventually we retired to the tent for the night but not after paying a visit to the bathroom. Oh, my, I have never seen so many moths in my life. In case you don't already know - I am absolutely terrified of moths. I thought you only got moths this large and colourful in the jungle but apparently I was mistaken. After a terrifying ordeal, I finally went to sleep.

If you've been reading my blog posts, you will know that I cannot make it through the night without a bathroom trip. This night was no exception. I tried to ignore the urge to pee as much as I could - I really didn't fancy running into the moths on my own, in the night. I swear I was waking up every 5 minutes, desperate to go to the loo. Eventually, I gave in to my urges and went.

It was light outside but I was knackered. There was no way that I was going to wake up at this time. I was just going to wee and then go back to bed. Sadly, it was a massive trek to the toilets. I stumbled, bleary-eyed through the field, almost crashing into several people who were waking up for the day. I passed one of our noisy neighbours who shot me a disgruntled look.

I arrived at the toilets. Whilst mid-pee, I looked up. On the ceiling above me was the biggest moth I have ever seen in my life. It was green and did I mention it was massive? I could have cried. I just kept willing myself to finish but I had to wait there for what felt like minutes. I tried not to look up again but in my head I was imagining it swooping down and fluttering in my face. Absolute nightmare.

Finally, I finished and rushed out of there like a bat out of hell. I felt like moths were crawling through my hair! When I reached the tent, I settled down in my sleeping back.

I heard voices from another tent. "There was a gigantic moth crawling along the ceiling!" Someone was exclaiming. Wow - thank goodness I didn't get to see it crawl.

Ella camping in Peak District National Park, UK
Cooking whilst camping in Peak District National Park, UK

Cooking whilst camping in Peak District National Park, UK

Moth in bathroom camping in Peak District National Park, UK

A green moth. This was not THE moth. THE moth was 4 times the size of this one

Ella camping in Peak District National Park, UK

Ella camping in Peak District National Park, UK

After a traumatic moth-filled night, there was no way I was going back to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I just did it in the tent instead. We cooked breakfast, drank tea and then packed our stuff away and headed home.

Although this trip was no where near as good as the first, I still left feeling happy and relax. It sure was an experience. For my next camping trip, I will do more research of the campsite to ensure it's smaller and thus less busy. Perhaps I should ask about moths too!

Ella McKendrick on Black Rock Viewpoint, Kenmore Scotland

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