Monday, 27 July 2015

Back to bad weather and winds....

It is a week now since we arrived in Dolton and the weather has been terrible for this time of year..... Last time we were in Devon we had bad weather and strong winds and that is what we are experiencing again.....

After the nice weather that we had during our stay at the Devizes site this weather is a bit of a let down.....

However..... it hasn't stopped us managing to get out for some walks.
Jen the campsite warden, gave us a booklet produced by the local parish council of ten walks of varying distances starting from the village square. It really is a superbly produced little booklet and we have started to work our way through the different walks.

Here are a couple of shots of local buildings taken on today's walk.....

St Edmunds Church Dolton (Note the unusual red tower)
Thatched cottage in the village of Dowland

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Back in Devon.

Well our change of location this time finds us back in Devon....
As I mentioned in a previous post we want to be close to Anne's mother due to her current health problems....

We are now pitched up at the Acorn Farm campsite in the village of Dolton near Winkleigh in North Devon....
The entrance to our new site.
View of the pitches at Acorn Farm.
 The site is only 6 miles from the village of Petrockstowe where Anne's mother lives, so it is ideally situated for us... 
Mind you the route that you have to take to get there is along some pretty narrow lanes.... 
I wouldn't want to meet anything coming the other way if I was on my bike let alone in the car, however when we went over for a visit yesterday we met another car coming the other way and I seemed to be reversing for ages before the lane became wide enough to allow us to pass each other.....

Today the site had a very unusual 'caravan trailer' delivered...
Manufactured locally it is called a 'Barrel Top Wagon' and it has been sited here so that people can view it and possibly rent a week in it or even buy one...
Barrel Top Wagon arriving....
Reversing the wagon onto a hard standing pitch
In some ways it is similar to a traditional Gypsy style caravan, although the interior is fitted out very nicely to appeal to the current popular 'glamping' craze....

I must admit it reminds me of a large bathing machine as used by Queen Victoria...although perhaps I shouldn't say that......
Wagon all set-up next to the wardens campervan..
The campsite warden here is a retired lady by the name of Jen and she has been travelling around in her campervan for the past nine years....
She appears to be a real wealth of 'fulltiming' information and I have already gleaned a lot of good advice from her. 
I am looking forward to more chats with her about all things of interest to a grey nomad......

Monday, 20 July 2015

Don't camp under trees.......

We move on again this morning.....
The route has been chosen.... items packed away....awning taken down...vehicle tank filled with fuel and a picnic lunch prepared for a stop along the way.....

We really are sorry that our time here is up, but as I said in my last post we will be coming back here again.

Where will we pop up next..? Just keep checking out this blog to find out.

A couple of days ago this happened to the caravan on our next door pitch.......


Branch just split from tree but luckily missed the van by inches
I was just sitting outside in front of my awning reading the paper when I heard this splitting sound.....
I looked up and saw a branch on a tree next to our neighbours caravan just break away from it's main branch and slowly fall to the ground.....

It missed the next door caravan by inches...luckily the owner had only just taken his awning down as he was leaving the following day or that would have been crushed under the weight of the branch....

Unfortunately in the picture the branch seems to look smaller than it actually was....but believe me it was a substantial lump of wood......

The tree looks healthy and there was no sign or warning that a large side branch was going to split away from the tree......Also there was no wind to speak of at the time....

The site managers acted quickly and chopped a large section of the branch up and removed it from the area.....first thing the next morning tree surgeons arrived and went around the entire site checking all the trees......

Anne has always laughed at me and my reluctance to camp too close to trees...perhaps now she will be as cautious as me.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

We must come back.......

It doesn't seem possible but we have been at this site for almost a full month....
One thing that both Anne and I are agreed on is that we must come back.

Obviously one of the things that has made our stay so nice has been the good weather that we have enjoyed.... some days it has been almost too hot......

The cycling in the area has been absolutely brilliant..... I am just sorry that none of my mates managed to get up here with their bikes so that they could enjoy it too....
The walking has also been good and Anne and I have enjoyed a number of really nice walks.....

We have managed to get out and visit a number of places while we have been pitched here
....places such as Bath.......
A Popular View at Bath
One of the many old streets in Bath


Another view in Bath
One of the Hire Bike stations in Bath
 Anne liked it a lot and she went back on a number of occasions mainly for the shops I think.......

Another place we visited was the Standing Stones at Avebury........
I have been there a number of times over the years....the last time was about twenty years ago...

I wish that on this visit I had done what I did twenty years ago and driven into the village, had a drink at the pub and parked the car in the pub car park..

On this latest visit we followed the tourist car park signs which was a big mistake.... a £7.00 mistake. 
This was a real rip-off and the car park was just a gravel area full of muddy potholes....not even a nice tarmac finish.......

However we still enjoyed the visit although we did overhear a number of foreign tourists complaining about the high cost of the car park....
Some of the Avebury Stones
Avebury Village Church
A view near Avebury Manor House

Monday, 13 July 2015

Retro.......

On one of my recent rides I came across this disused petrol station.....

Disused Petrol Station.....
I can remember back in the sixties filling my car from pumps like this...... 

Sadly the glass domes with the petrol suppliers name on are long gone.....not surprising really as those items fetch good prices at motor jumbles and car boot sales these days.....

Anyway, on the day I saw these old pumps I seemed to be struggling a bit with my ride...just one of those off days.. I needed some extra fuel myself to get me going again. 
Parking the Tifosi up against one of the pumps did no good at all, although I did feel a bit better for the short rest.

Retro pumps.....Retro looking bike paint job and I am certainly a Retro rider......

Thursday, 9 July 2015

What is that cloud..?

More very hot weather this week so most of my riding has been done early in the day.....
We have had the awning opened up because the weather has been so hot as you can see in the photo below....

Very hot weather again so awning opened up...
 Anne and I have also been getting some walking in although in this weather our pace has been on the slow side.... Up side of that of course is that we have more time to check out the views...

The next photo was taken on the way back from one of our walks and shows the canal with some narrow boats tied up and just behind in amongst the trees you can just see some of the caravans and motorhomes on our campsite.... 
Shows you just how close we are to the canal and towpath...
View of the canal and the campsite...
 The next photo shows the 'lock-up' in the village of Steeple Ashton....
Years ago, drunks and vagrants would be locked up overnight in this small structure.....being a bit of a vagrant myself I didn't hang around too long... but I need not have worried as nowadays only the lawn mower used for mowing the village green is locked inside...

The picture also shows how pleasantly traffic free most of the roads are in this area...only three cars in the photo and each of those was actually parked.....

Tiffany the Tifosi parked up next to the Steeple Ashton 'Lock-up'
Just before I arrived at the village of Steeple Ashton I was cycling along at about twenty miles an hour, when up ahead I saw what looked like a cloud of some sort at about my height just above the road.....

thought to myself "what is that cloud"? A moment later as I hit it I found out........
It was a cloud of flying insects.....
They were only small but there were thousands and thousands of them....I was absolutely covered in them....
They were in my mouth.....nose....and ears. They were under my helmet and even found their way behind my riding glasses.....They really were everywhere..!
They were all over my cycling kit and the bike as well.....
This was the main reason for my stop at the lock up......to clean them all off ......

Sunday, 5 July 2015

A Guided Tour....

I have just given a guided tour of Eva the Eriba......
I had been told by other Eriba owners that it was likely to happen.....

Anne and I were lazing around outside the awning when a guy approached us and asked if we minded answering some questions about our Eriba..
He asked us why we had purchased an Eriba....did we like it....could he have a look inside etc...etc...
He then asked if we would mind if his wife had a look at it..... I agreed and off he went to get her. Next thing I was giving her the guided tour as well....

It turned out that he had very similar lifetime outdoor interests as myself..... He liked the idea and flexibility of a caravan but didn't want one that looked the same as every other white wobbly box on wheels, which was one of my reasons for deciding on an Eriba.
In fact they had purchased a Tab teardrop trailer caravan, but had found in use that it was a bit too small to be fully comfortable especially if the weather was bad....

They both really liked Eva and felt that the interior layout was exactly what they were looking for........ combined with the lovely retro looking exterior they both seemed sold on the idea of getting one.....

Like a Stately Home I will have to start selling tickets for the full tour or failing that claim commission from the UK dealership....

While I am talking about visitors to the door of Eva the Eriba.... we had another visit from Jason Boynton-Lee during the week.
Since we have been on the road Jason has visited us at three locations...

Jason came out to see us at Sixpenny Handley arriving in his Smart car....
When we were staying near Hereford he arrived by train and now here at Seend he has visited us again, this time arriving on his Kawasaki motorcyle.....
It is always nice to see him and friends are always welcome to come out and visit and share a bike ride or camp for a day or two or just sit around and have a natter.

I mentioned in my last post how cycling friendly I have found this location, so I have included a couple of photos below taken on my new cycling loop....

Part of my latest cycling loop
Another view on my latest cycling loop